Chronic Fatigue Treatment is a consequence of the stress and fast-paced lifestyle brought about by the developments in the socially and technologically advancing world.
Chronic fatigue has now become a syndrome, and it is considered a disease when it persists chronically.
Physically (weakness, lack of energy), emotionally (excessive sensitivity, lack of interest), and mentally (attention disorders, forgetfulness) fatigue can be observed in an individual. The most fundamental symptom is a lack of motivation to start or continue tasks.
Causes of Chronic Fatigue Stress, trauma, and depression Past infections Dysbiosis Anemia Cardiovascular diseases Rheumatic diseases Liver and kidney diseases Metabolic syndromes Sleep apnea Overeating Unhealthy and unbalanced diet (excessive consumption of refined carbohydrates and packaged foods) Hormonal dysfunction (hypothyroidism, insulin resistance, adrenal gland problems, menopause, andropause) Reduced nutrient absorption Mineral and vitamin deficiencies Allergies and intolerances Constant exposure to electromagnetic pollution Injuries, insect bites, or scar marks that can disrupt the body’s integrity Increased oxidative stress and free radicals Prolonged exposure to toxic and chemical substances (air pollution, heavy metals, chemical solvents, paints, excessive drug intake, amalgam fillings, radiation, etc.) Long periods of working indoors and being sedentary Low water intake, excessive consumption of tea and coffee Smoking and alcohol consumption Low-quality sexual activity
Each of the reasons listed above represents stress on the body. Dealing with these burdens and stress leads to changes in cellular metabolism. In a healthy individual, cells obtain the energy they need daily from food and oxygen. This energy transformation occurs in the mitochondria, known as the energy powerhouses of the cell.
In individuals with chronic fatigue syndrome, this energy production cannot occur fully, and specific micro-nutrients along with high-quality oxygen are needed. However, the source of oxygen is also important. For individuals with chronic fatigue syndrome, providing the body with all the necessary nutrients and regularly supplying fuel through oxygen is crucial. Those suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome share the common feature of not producing the necessary energy in their mitochondria.
As a result, the body deviates from its normal balance both physically and mentally.
How is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Diagnosed?
Due to the complexity of the clinical picture and the presence of numerous possible symptoms, diagnosing chronic fatigue syndrome remains challenging. Various diagnostic criteria catalogs are used for diagnosis. The most commonly used ones are the „Canadian Consensus Criteria“ and the „International Consensus Criteria.“
According to the Canadian Consensus Criteria, the following complaints are required for a diagnosis:
- Fatigue: Persistent, recurring physical or mental fatigue that significantly reduces a person’s activity level.
- Post-exertional malaise and fatigue: Complaints of fatigue, weakness, and pain that last for more than 24 hours after exercise.
- Sleep disturbances: Continuous desire to sleep and sleep disorders such as difficulty waking up in the morning.
- Pain: Widespread body pain.
- Additionally, individuals may experience concentration disorders, mental confusion, and movement disorders.
According to the Canadian Consensus Criteria, a diagnosis of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome also includes at least two additional symptoms:
- Autonomic symptoms: Cardiac arrhythmia, palpitations, dizziness, nausea, irritable bowel syndrome.
- Neuroendocrine symptoms: Loss of appetite or increased appetite, abnormal weight changes, low body temperature, sweating.
- Immunological symptoms: Flu-like symptoms, sore throat, extreme sensitivity to drugs and foods.
According to the Canadian criteria, these complaints must have persisted for at least six months. The international consensus criteria are very similar to the Canadian criteria but have a shorter time frame for symptom onset to diagnose chronic fatigue syndrome.
The severity of chronic fatigue syndrome varies significantly from person to person. Some patients have a milder form of the illness, while others are so severely affected that a normal daily life becomes nearly impossible.
What Treatments Are Available for Chronic Fatigue?
Because the causes of chronic fatigue syndrome are still unclear, therapy primarily depends on individual symptoms and aims to alleviate them.
There is no comprehensive medical approach for treating chronic fatigue syndrome. Until now, there is no proven treatment for this condition.
Considering the diverse range of complaints associated with chronic fatigue, treatment should be tailored to the individual. Therapy can include both medical and non-medical measures. The primary goal of treatment is to alleviate the individual’s symptoms.
Medication for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
All medications used for chronic fatigue syndrome should be under the supervision of a doctor. Pain relievers can be effective in alleviating pain. In cases of chronic (bacterial) infections, affected individuals can be treated with antibiotics. If chronic fatigue syndrome is associated with depression, treatment with antidepressants might be helpful.
If vitamin or mineral deficiencies are identified, these can be compensated for by altering dietary habits or using specific dietary supplements.
Behavioral Therapy for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
In general, doctors recommend adhering to a regular daily routine for treating chronic fatigue. It is ideal to combine this with new behavioral therapies that largely eliminate symptoms in daily life. Avoiding both physical and psychological stress is crucial. Doctors follow a gradual procedure to gradually increase an individual’s performance and reintegrate them into daily life.
In most cases, relaxation exercises such as autogenic training or meditation have proven to be effective methods for treating symptoms. Relaxation exercises can also be helpful for those affected by sleep disorders.
In the case of chronic fatigue syndrome, avoiding physical activity is not recommended. Starting with gentle, short movement exercises and avoiding excessive strain is important. Initially, light stretching exercises and five-minute exercises to improve mobility are usually sufficient. Later, physical activities can be gradually increased according to individual capabilities. Many patients can alleviate their symptoms this way.
Rehabilitation for Treating Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Specialized rehabilitation clinics for the treatment of chronic fatigue syndrome often offer regulatory medicine and holistic treatments to improve the general condition of affected individuals. In the case of chronic fatigue, rehabilitation usually aims to identify the real triggers of the syndrome and eliminate them. It regulates simultaneous nutrition, improves gut flora, detoxifies the body from toxins in connective tissues, and focuses on eliminating the individual’s symptoms.
What Can Help Combat Fatigue?
Bananas: Rich in folic acid, potassium, and vitamin B6. Potassium prevents cramps and helps with fatigue. Pomegranate: Strengthens the body and the heart. People with stomach and intestinal problems, small children, and pregnant women should avoid excessive consumption. Broccoli: A fantastic vegetable that protects against cancer and extends our lifespan. Because it contains a lot of calcium, it is perfect against osteoporosis. Broccoli is a vitamin treasure. Tomatoes: A vegetable with cancer-protective properties and the ability to slow down mental and physical aging. It contains vitamins C and E. Tomatoes are rich in potassium and contain very little salt. Rose Hip: Supports the eyes due to its high vitamin content. Gives vitality to the body. 100 grams of rose hip contain as much vitamin C as a crate of oranges. A good remedy for rickets and an effective blood cleanser. Cabbage: Known to be effective against cancer. Rich in vitamins B, C, and E, and potassium. Particularly effective against breast and uterine cancer. Yogurt: Important for regular digestion. Balances blood sugar with its satiety feature. Revitalizes the immune system. Onions and Garlic: Reduce the risk of high blood pressure and heart disease. Onions reduce the risk of stomach cancer, and garlic reduces the risk of colon cancer. The substances found in garlic yeast prevent cell damage and protect the body from premature aging. Walnuts, almonds, and hazelnuts: Contain vitamin E and have high antioxidant properties. Coenzyme Q1 – NADH: An effective support, especially in cases of fatigue accompanied by depression. Coenzyme Q10: Increases energy production in the mitochondria, the energy production center of the cell, reducing fatigue. Magnesium: Provides significant benefit in chronic fatigue syndrome, often accompanied by muscle pain. B Vitamins: Especially B12 can be beneficial. These vitamins support the immune system and increase the production of blood cells. Vitamin D: Vitamin D deficiency leads to a general feeling of fatigue. Especially in winter, supplementation is essential. Ginkgo Biloba: Regulates circulation and is even used to address brain-related problems. Vitamin C: Supports the adrenal gland, strengthens the immune system, enhances tissue healing. Licorice Root (Liquorice): The use of licorice root extracts as a fatigue support is very old. It supports the adrenal gland. People with hypertension should use it carefully. St. John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum): Widely used worldwide for its ability to strengthen the nervous system and combat depression. Echinacea and Astragalus: Can be beneficial for those with long-term fatigue problems, especially if immune system problems are also present.
If your fatigue does not improve within two weeks despite using these support products and recommendations, it’s advisable to consult a doctor. Chronic fatigue syndrome is a treatable condition.