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Are there any effective treatments for chronic fatigue syndrome?

Treatment for chronic fatigue syndrome can be difficult to administer because symptoms often vary and can even lessen with time. Treatment for chronic fatigue syndrome is most effective when it is addressed to one of the main possible causes of the condition. Most medications have been proven ineffective on the whole, although some people find certain medication helpful, including antidepressants, anxiety medication, acetaminophen for sore muscles, allergy medication, or medication to treat low blood pressure. Your doctor may also suggest lifestyle changes such as a regulated exercise program, dietary supplements, a sleep schedule, or even sleep medication to relieve symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome. You can also take therapy such as cognitive behavioral therapy or counseling to help with stress management, depression, substance abuse, or other harmful habits.
Tieraona Low Dog, MD
General Practice
When treating chronic fatigue syndrome, you need to rule out other conditions first, since fatigue is a common symptom. Watch me explain this concept and also suggest some natural treatment options.
Right now, there is no cure for CFS. But there are things you can do to feel better. Talk to your doctor about ways to ease your symptoms and deal with your tiredness. You might also try these:

Lifestyle changes:

Try to stop or do less of the things that seem to trigger your tiredness. For a week or two write down what you do each day. Note when you feel really tired. Then, look over this list to find out which activities tend to tire you out. An occupational therapist can help you by looking at your daily habits and suggesting changes to help you save energy. Your doctor can help you find an occupational therapist near where you live. At the end of the day, try thinking about how much energy you think you had that day, and how much energy you actually used that day. If you keep these two amounts of energy similar over time, you may slowly gain more strength and energy. Think about which activities are most important to you, and which activities you do not need to do as often. Make sure to tell other people in your life how much energy you can actually use each day. They can help make sure you don't do too much. It is important to remember that energy can mean mental, emotional, or physical energy.

Medications:

Over-the-counter pain relievers such as Advil, Motrin, or Aleve can help with body aches, headaches, and muscle and joint pain. Nondrowsy antihistamines can help with allergy symptoms, such as runny nose and itchy eyes. Prescription medications like doxepin or amitriptyline can help improve sleep.

Some people say their CFS symptoms get better with complementary or alternative treatments, such as massage, acupuncture, chiropractic care, yoga, stretching, or self-hypnosis. Keep in mind that many alternative treatments, dietary supplements, and herbal remedies claim to cure CFS, but they might do more harm than good. Talk to your doctor before seeing someone else for treatment or before trying alternative therapies.

Also, keep in mind that your doctor may need to learn more about CFS to better help you. If you feel your doctor doesn't know a lot about CFS nor has doubts about it being a "real" illness, see another doctor for a second opinion. Contact a local university medical school or research center for help finding a doctor who treats people with CFS.

This answer is based on source information from the National Women's Health Information Center.
Dr. Robin Miller, MD
Internal Medicine
Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) can be difficult to treat. In this video, I will reveal a therapy that can be effective in treating CFS.


 

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.