Help for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

by Dr. Nick Zyrowski September 06, 2022

If you’ve been diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, you may feel somewhat hopeless. Most doctors tell their patients there’s nothing that they can do about it, and it will have to run its course. The problem with that is CFS (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) can last for several months. It can be hard to imagine feeling awful for months while you still take care of everyday life responsibilities.

You may not even have a diagnosis but have read enough online that you feel like CFS is what you’re fighting. If that’s the case, you’ve probably searched for cures and remedies to shorten the duration. If you’ve scoured the internet looking for help, you’ve come across all kinds of pills and potions promising to get you better. You may have even tried some to no avail.

There are all kinds of misinformation online about health and wellness, but we’ll sort through the literature to get the answers you need. When you don’t feel well, you don’t have time to waste. We will break down the science behind this mysterious illness and show you some things you can do to start feeling good again.

What is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?

Depending on your healthcare practitioner, you may get different answers to this question. That is because it’s a complex illness that we still don’t fully understand. Another term for chronic fatigue syndrome is myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME). For some doctors, since there is no blood test that shows it, they don’t believe it exists. If you’ve ever experienced chronic fatigue, you know how real this illness is and how long it can take to recover.

Chronic fatigue syndrome is an illness that’s mostly characterized by extreme fatigue that doesn’t get better with rest. It is usually a diagnosis that gets labeled after other issues are ruled out. You may have memory problems and feel like your thinking is foggy or unclear. Sleep isn’t refreshing, and some people even get dizzy upon standing. (1)

The Stigma Behind the Illness

There is a stigma that gets associated with illnesses like Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Since there isn’t a lot known about it, many people don’t understand what it means to suffer from CFS.

When you let others know you have it, they’ve likely never heard of chronic fatigue. You may even get told to get more sleep or more exercise. Some of this may be well-meaning, but when you have fatigue that exhausts you, it can be difficult or even impossible to imagine exercising. (2)

Luckily, research is ongoing, and there is more information available. Now, friends and family members can see for themselves that this illness is real, and it can give them more insight into how it affects you.

Real Help for Chronic Fatigue

You’ve probably been told there is no cure for chronic fatigue. While that may be true, it doesn’t mean there’s no help while you go through the illness. There are natural ways to support your health and feel better when dealing with CFS.

We’ll go through some of the best ways to fight the symptoms of chronic fatigue naturally. There are different approaches and protocols you can use to ease the fatigue and pain and make any other symptoms less burdensome.

Supplements for support

When you have chronic fatigue syndrome, you may need additional support that quality supplements can provide. What you don’t want to do is grab a bunch of generic vitamins from the grocery store. Most of these contain fillers and very little of what you need. The best supplements for chronic fatigue syndrome will enhance your immune system and fight off some of the exhaustion you have. (3)

  • Magnesium - One of the signs of a magnesium deficiency is fatigue. It is a great supplement to take before bedtime to relax the muscles and help you get better sleep. When you take a quality magnesium supplement, you may feel more rested, which helps fight the fatigue you experience with chronic fatigue.
  • CoQ10 - CoQ10 increases cellular ATP production, which may improve energy levels. In studies, taking 200 mg of CoQ10 per day decreased fatigue.
  • B12- B12 is known as the energy vitamin. When your levels of B12 are low, you will likely experience fatigue and difficulty with cognitive processes.
  • Iodine - We don’t hear much about the importance of iodine, but it is critical for our bodies to function. Having low iodine levels can contribute to CFS, so you may want to talk to your doctor and get your levels checked. If you and your healthcare practitioner agree on iodine supplementation, be sure you use a pharmaceutical-grade product.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids- Omega-3 fatty acids are crucial for many reasons, but they can fight inflammation in the body, which helps with any illness you have. It can also decrease oxidative stress, which can contribute to fatigue.

Lifestyle methods

There are several things you can try to help improve your chronic fatigue symptoms that are gentle but offer enormous benefits. Some of these may be new to you but don’t discount their effectiveness without trying them.

  • Acupuncture - This healing method has been used in Chinese medicine for thousands of years. It has now gained popularity in other areas of the world for its effective treatments. Acupuncture uses thin needles for different pressure points in the body. It is not painful and can ease the symptoms of chronic fatigue to the point where some people feel almost cured. (4)
  • Massage - Massage can be a powerful tool to help with CFS. It is not only incredibly relaxing but also improves blood circulation and your nervous system response.
  • Gentle exercise - By gentle exercise, we mean things like stretching and yoga. When you practice yoga stretches, you improve systemic circulation, which may reduce your pain and fatigue from CFS.
  • Sleep - You may feel exhausted but be unable to sleep well when you have chronic fatigue syndrome. It is crucial to practice proper sleep hygiene to get better quality sleep. Wearing an eye mask can help remove sleep disturbances. Try a warm bath before bed to ease sore muscles and help you relax. Keep your bedroom dark and cool to get better rest. (5)

Role of Nutrition

When you are suffering from chronic fatigue, the last thing you may care about is what you eat. Eating can seem more like a chore because you’re so tired. During this period, it’s easy to reach for comfort foods like mac and cheese or a burger and fries from the nearest fast-food place.

A healthy diet can be enormously beneficial when you’re sick. Having CFS is no different. It is especially crucial that you treat your body well to help it fight off this illness. Eating a nutritious diet doesn’t have to be complicated, and you can make it easy, so it doesn’t seem like such a task.

  • Whole foods - It doesn’t get much easier than eating whole foods as nature intended. You can grab an avocado and add a little olive oil and sea salt to have a delicious meal that takes very little time. Add in a handful of nuts to round it out. The main thing you want to avoid is anything inflammatory. (6)
  • Stay well hydrated - Your body is mostly water and needs plenty of fluids to stay healthy. When you’re sick, you may not drink enough fluids, and that can lead to dehydration. Staying hydrated will help with your energy levels and decrease pain.
  • Cut out sugar - Try to cut out sugar, at least while you’re sick. Sugar is highly inflammatory and will make your symptoms worse.
  • Limit caffeine - You can still enjoy your morning cup of coffee, but don’t overdo it. When you feel lethargic and need energy, it can be tempting to reach for more caffeine. The problem is too much caffeine can rob your adrenal glands and make you have rebound fatigue. You may end up more exhausted, so keep your caffeine levels in check.

You Can Feel Better

When you have chronic fatigue, it’s easy to get stuck in a feeling of hopelessness. You want to enjoy your regular activities and feel like yourself. If you’ve been told to let it run the course and that there’s nothing you can do to feel better, that’s an old way of thinking.

Having chronic fatigue is no fun and can drastically change your life when it flares. Fortunately, there are natural protocols you can use that will dramatically improve how you feel during times of illness.

You don’t have to feel helpless. Knowledge truly is power, and when you know what to do, you can change how you feel. If you’ve been diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome, or feel like you have it, start using these tips to improve your symptoms. You might be surprised by how much better you feel. As always, it is our pleasure to help you on your health journey. Feel free to check out our other articles and resources, or contact us and let us know how we can assist you.

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Dr. Nick Zyrowski
Dr. Nick Zyrowski