Chronic fatigue treatment is a consequence of the stress and busy lifestyle brought about by social and technological advancements in today’s rapidly developing world.

Chronic fatigue has now become a recognized syndrome, and in cases where it persists chronically, it is considered a medical condition.

Individuals with chronic fatigue may experience physical (weakness, lack of energy), emotional (excessive sensitivity, lack of interest), and mental (attention disturbances, forgetfulness) fatigue. The most fundamental symptom observed is a lack of enthusiasm to start or continue tasks.

Causes of Chronic Fatigue

  • Stress, trauma, and depression
  • Previous infections
  • Dysbiosis
  • Anemia
  • Cardiovascular diseases
  • Rheumatic diseases
  • Liver and kidney diseases
  • Metabolic syndromes
  • Sleep apnea
  • Overeating
  • Unhealthy and imbalanced 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
  • Continuous exposure to electromagnetic fields
  • Injuries, insect bites, or scars 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 medication intake, amalgam fillings, radiation…)
  • Prolonged indoor work and lack of physical activity
  • Insufficient water intake, excessive consumption of tea and coffee
  • Smoking and alcohol consumption
  • Poor quality sexual experiences

Each of the reasons listed above signifies stress on the body. Coping with these stressors leads to changes in cellular metabolism. In a normal healthy individual, cells obtain the energy they require from nutrients and oxygen through cellular respiration, which occurs mainly in the mitochondria, often referred to as the cell’s powerhouses.

In individuals with chronic fatigue syndrome, this energy production does not occur effectively, and specific micronutrients and high-quality oxygen are needed. However, the source of oxygen is also crucial. In individuals with chronic fatigue syndrome, the mitochondria are unable to produce the required energy.

As a result, the body is pushed out of its normal balance both physically and mentally.

How is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Diagnosed?

Due to the presence of numerous potential symptoms and the complexity of the clinical picture, diagnosing chronic fatigue syndrome remains challenging. Various 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 necessary for a diagnosis:

  • Fatigue: Persistent, recurring physical or mental fatigue that significantly reduces the person’s activity level.
  • Post-exertional malaise and fatigue: Symptoms of exhaustion, weakness, and pain that persist for more than 24 hours after usual exercise.
  • Sleep disturbances: Chronic sleepiness, inability to wake up in the morning, and other sleep disturbances.
  • Pain: Widespread body pain.
  • In addition to the symptoms mentioned above, individuals with chronic fatigue syndrome often experience concentration difficulties, mental fog, and movement disorders.

According to the Canadian criteria, individuals must have experienced these symptoms for at least six months. The International Consensus Criteria are quite similar to the Canadian criteria but require a shorter time frame for the onset of symptoms to qualify for a diagnosis of chronic fatigue syndrome.

The severity of chronic fatigue syndrome varies significantly from person to person. Some patients have a milder form of the condition, while others are so severely affected that normal daily life becomes challenging.

What Treatments are Available for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?

Since the underlying causes of chronic fatigue syndrome are still unknown, therapy primarily focuses on alleviating individual symptoms and improving the overall quality of life.

Modern medical approaches lack a unified ideal treatment for chronic fatigue syndrome. To date, there is no proven treatment with confirmed efficacy in this regard.

Given the diverse range of complaints associated with chronic fatigue, treatment must be tailored to each individual. Therapy can involve both medical and non-medical measures, with the primary goal of alleviating symptoms.

Medications for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

All medications used for chronic fatigue syndrome should be taken under medical supervision. Pain relievers can help alleviate pain. In cases of chronic bacterial infections, affected individuals are treated with specific antibiotics. If chronic fatigue syndrome is primarily linked to depression, antidepressants might be beneficial.

If a deficiency in vitamins or minerals is identified, it can be compensated for by modifying dietary habits or using specialized dietary supplements.

Behavioral Therapy for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

In general, doctors often recommend adhering to a regular daily routine to manage chronic fatigue. Additionally, individuals can benefit from new behavioral therapies that significantly reduce symptoms in daily life. Avoiding both physical and psychological stress is essential. Doctors typically follow a gradual procedure to increase an individual’s performance and reintegrate them into daily life.

In many cases, relaxation exercises such as autogenic training or meditation have proven effective in treating symptoms. Relaxation exercises can also assist those suffering from sleep disorders.

It’s important not to avoid physical activity in cases of chronic fatigue syndrome. Starting with gentle, not excessively long movement exercises and avoiding overexertion is key. Initially, light stretching exercises and five-minute daily exercises to improve mobility are often sufficient. Later on, you can gradually increase your sports activities according to your capabilities. Many patients find relief from their symptoms through this approach.

Rehabilitation for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Specialized rehabilitation clinics for chronic fatigue syndrome often provide integrative treatments and regulatory medicine to improve the overall condition of affected individuals. In the case of chronic fatigue, rehabilitation aims to identify the actual triggers of the syndrome and eliminate them. It regulates concurrent nutrition, normalizes intestinal flora, detoxifies the connective tissue, and focuses on eliminating symptoms.

What Can Help Combat Fatigue?

  • Bananas: Rich in folic acid, potassium, and vitamin B6. Potassium prevents cramps and helps combat fatigue.
  • Pomegranates: Strengthen the body and the heart. However, caution is advised for those with stomach and intestinal diseases, young children, and pregnant individuals.
  • Broccoli: Contains calcium and is beneficial against osteoporosis. It’s a vitamin powerhouse that helps with mineral and iron deficiencies.
  • Tomatoes: Protect against cancer, slow down mental and physical aging, and contain vitamins C and E.
  • Rosehip: Good for the eyes due to its high vitamin content. Provides vitality to the body.
  • Cabbage: Effective against cancer, rich in vitamins B, C, and E, and potassium. Particularly effective against breast and uterine cancer.
  • Yogurt: Important for a well-functioning digestive system and blood sugar balance. Boosts 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.
  • Nuts (walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts): High in vitamin E and antioxidants.
  • Coenzyme Q1 – NADH: Effective in cases where fatigue is accompanied by depression.
  • Coenzyme Q10: Increases energy production in mitochondria, reducing fatigue.
  • Magnesium: Particularly beneficial for chronic fatigue accompanied by muscle pain.
  • B Vitamins: Especially vitamin B12 can be useful. They support the immune system and red blood cell production.
  • Vitamin D: Its deficiency leads to general fatigue. Essential to supplement, especially during winter.
  • Ginkgo Biloba: Regulates circulation and can be used for brain-related issues.
  • Vitamin C: Supports the adrenal glands, boosts the immune system, and enhances tissue healing.
  • Licorice: Supports the adrenal glands. Caution is advised for those with hypertension.
  • St. John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum): Used widely to combat depression due to its nourishing effect on the nervous system.
  • Echinacea and Astragalus: Useful when immune system issues accompany long-term fatigue.
  • If your fatigue does not improve within two weeks despite these support products and recommendations, it’s advisable to consult a physician. Chronic fatigue syndrome is a treatable condition.