Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Treatment
- What It Is
- Risk Factors
- Living With
- User Questions
- Alternative Treatment
- Care Guide
- Questions for Your Doctor
- When to Contact a Doctor
- Find a Doctor
- Resource Guide
How to Treat Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
The main goal of CFS treatment is to achieve symptom relief.
Treatments for CFS include:
CFS patients should avoid overexertion and physical and emotional stress. Moderate exercise that is monitored by a doctor or physical therapist may improve symptoms. Light exercise and stretching four hours before bedtime may help with sleep.
- Tai chi
Diet and Nutrition
A well-balanced diet can help prevent nutritional deficiencies and weight fluctuations. Nutritional supplements cannot make up for an inadequate diet. Avoid foods to which you may be sensitive.
CFS can be mentally and physically debilitating. Depression is common among people with CFS. In fact, as many as half develop depression as a consequence of CFS. Psychotherapy and supportive counseling often help CFS patients cope with the disorder. Relaxation training, stress management , and sleep hygiene counseling may also help.
Cognitive behavioral therapy , activity pacing, and envelope theory can help you to learn how to moderate activity and spread it evenly throughout the day, without overexerting yourself.
Medications used to treat specific symptoms of CFS include:
- Antidepressants-to help improve sleep and relieve depression
- Anti-anxiety drugs-to treat panic disorders
- Acetaminophen (Tylenol); aspirin (Bayer); and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), such as ibuprofen (eg, Advil, Motrin)-to treat pain and fever
- Stimulants-mild ones may be helpful, but strong stimulants may cause the “push-crash cycle” and lead to relapse
- Sedatives-to help with Insomnia
The following experimental treatments are sometimes used for CFS but have not been proven to be effective. Talk to your doctor before trying any experimental treatments.
- Experimental drugs
- Dietary and vitamin supplements (eg, magnesium )
- Herbal remedies (eg, evening primrose oil )
- Aquatic therapy
- Chiropractic therapy
- Self- hypnosis