Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Chronic fatigue syndrome has, at yet, no miracle cure. There is actually still some controversy about whether it even really exists. If you suffer from its symptoms, you doubtless believe in it very much. One of the problems with chronic fatigue syndrome is that there isn’t a lab test for it, so therefore a doctor must diagnose through the process of elimination. Although no magic pill is yet on the market, and perhaps that’s a good thing, there are certain steps you can take to battle this disorder.

Chronic fatigue syndrome, in case you weren’t aware, feels like the flu to many sufferers. The patient feels persistent fatigue, chronic fatigue-not just the usual tiredness we all feel. Along with the fatigue come headaches, backaches, joint pain, sore throat, and unsatisfied sleep. You may get sleep, you may get lots of it, but you never really feel refreshed after waking up. In most cases, but not all, a low grade fever accompanies these symptoms.

Medically, you can battle the symptoms, but not the syndrome. You may alleviate the back and head pains with aspirin; you may get some relief through injections of gamma globulin; even antidepressant pills have been known to help some patients. But if you try to take all this into your system at once, you are definitely not going to improve things.

There have been some impressive results from studies that attack the disorder with a nutritiona-based battle plan. Almost all tiredness can be traced in some form or another to a lack of something in your diet. Of course, chronic fatigue syndrome is not, once again, just that irritating feeling of being tired all the time.

First off, there are things you should definitely avoid if you think you may suffer from CFS. Alcohol is at the top of list. Sorry! Alcohol, in case you weren’t aware, tends to lower all your immunities and makes you more susceptible to disease. That isn’t always the case, of course, there are exceptions to every rule, but chances are if you are feeling fatigued in any way and you are a moderate to heavy drinker, you will instantly notice a difference once you cut down. Or out. Chronic fatigue syndrome sufferers have enough to worry about without all the problems brought on by alcohol.

Next to avoid, and you either probably see this one coming or are completely surprised, is caffeine. But wait a minute! Doesn’t caffeine perk you up, give you energy, bounce kids off the walls at sleep time? Well, that’s just it, isn’t it. If you’re tired all the time, you aren’t getting good sleep. And if you’re intaking massive or even less than massive doses of caffeine-three cups of coffee, a Mountain Dew with dinner-you probably aren’t going to get as good a night’s sleep as you would otherwise. (Mountain Dew makes a caffeine-free version, by the way, and you probably can’t tell the difference.)

Low blood pressure has been linked to chronic fatigue syndrome. The studies have focused on those patients who may be salt-resistant and need a higher intake of salt. So at last you’ve got some good news! You have an excuse to eat foods high in salt. Instead of going straight for the chips, however, why not try pickles and olives? By the way, this is only for those patients who have been determined to have low blood pressure. And, like always, eat in moderation. And while you’re at it, try eating more complex carbs. Dr. Atkins might not like it, but pasta, rice, grains, along with lean protein meats have been shown to help some patients.

For those who don’t mind walking on the alternative side of things, you might try injections of vitamin B12, or vitamins supplements high in iron, zinc, A and C. While on the other side of the street across from your general practitioner, there has been a study which suggests that a combo of fish oil and primrose oil at night might just help. But be mindful of other herbs because many of them contains stimulants and, like caffeine, that’s something you don’t need.

Other than dietary changes, try not to take nap because that’s likely to interfere with your nighttime sleeping habits. And, of course, look into an exercise program. Diet and exercise, it seems to be the one thing that’s good for whatever ails us.

Doggone it!

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