Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)

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More than one million Americans suffer from chronic fatigue syndrome, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome can range from mild to severe and debilitating. Many factors can contribute to the severity of the condition. However, regardless of the triggering factors, any person suffering from CFS will want to take the following steps to get the most out of life while coping with chronic fatigue syndrome.

Step #1 - Accept the fact that you have chronic fatigue syndrome. Accepting that you have limitations is not being negative - it is being realistic. You will not be able to do as much as before, and it's OK. Chronic fatigue patients need to pace themselves, as pushing themselves will only worsen the symptoms.

Step #2 - Take more breaks, even if you don't feel fatigued at the moment. It will ensure that you do not overexert yourself. It's not uncommon for CFS sufferers to overexert themselves when they feel better, only to be bed ridden for days if not weeks afterward.

Step #3 - Recognize your mental limitations to cope with CFS. Mental exertion can have the same affect as physical exercise or physical activity. Additionally, be positive as much as possible. Your emotions can affect how you feel physically. Stress will make your chronic fatigue symptoms worse, even if it's not the root cause.

Step #4 - Chronic fatigue syndrome requires that you schedule time for yourself. It's important that you spend time engaging in relaxing activities without feeling guilty.

Step #5 - Realize that chronic fatigue syndrome is a real illness. It goes beyond feeling tired or fatigued. It can affect every system in your body. Some CFS sufferers literally end up in wheelchairs while others may lose their eyesight and suffer from hair loss. Fortunately, in most cases, once the condition improves, most symptoms go away or become more manageable.

Step #6 - Avoid confrontations with people that don't understand chronic fatigue. Confrontations require mental exertion, and as a CFS patient, you need your energy to heal.

Step #7 - Discuss with your physician the need for supplements. Some chronic fatigue sufferers experience relief after taking magnesium supplements. Unlike calcium, which you find in many foods, magnesium is more difficult to obtain. Many persons are magnesium deficient. According to the World Health Organization, approximately three quarters of Americans do not consume enough magnesium. In the US, the recommended daily allowance (RDA) is 340-420 mg. Magnesium helps muscles relax, promotes mental clarity, relieves depression and improves your energy level. Additionally, chronic fatigue patients benefit from regular, moderate exercise and drinking plenty of water, which can greatly reduce muscle aches, cramps and heaviness in the legs.

Step #8 - Consider anti-fatigue mats.  Anti-fatigue mats are also beneficial if you spend time in the kitchen baking or cooking. For example, The Cook's carries a variety of mats, including the GEL Pro Anti-Fatigue Mats. CFS sufferers many benefit from using a gel anti-fatigue mat since it provides a cushion for the sole of their feet and helps the muscles relax.

Step #9 - Eat regular meals to prevent hypoglycemia (spikes in their sugar levels). Plan to have a mini-meal every 2 to 21/2 hours. Include some protein and vegetables in your mini-meal. It will help keep your sugar levels stable and give your muscles the protein they need to generate energy.

Step #10 - Enlist support from others to help you cope with your chronic fatigue syndrome. If you do not have supportive friends or family, look for support groups in your area or online. Take advantage of sites like to find support groups locally. The Center s for Disease Control and Prevention also provides helpful information on how to choose a support group. Feeling that you are not alone is critical to aid in the healing process.

Tips & Warnings:

  • If you suspect that you have chronic fatigue syndrome, you may want to consult more than one doctor. Not all medical professionals understand this condition.
  •  Do a search on the Internet. Conventional doctors won't tell you about alternative methods that can treat or alleviate chronic fatigue syndrome symptoms.
  • Although chronic fatigue syndrome is not life threatening, over time, it can weaken your immune system and lead to complications.

It’s possible to enjoy life despite having chronic fatigue syndrome. Strive to be positive, eat healthy foods and never exert yourself. Be kind to yourself without feeling guilty. Focus the positive things in your life and work at reducing or eliminating stress in your life. While your chronic fatigue syndrome may not disappear, proper stress management techniques are important to relieve the symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome. 

Copyright © 2011 Ana Jackson. All Rights Reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part constitutes plagiarism, is illegal and strictly prohibited.