Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
The treatment for chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is difficult, because the illness is difficult to diagnose. There is no test to ascertain whether one has CFS or not. The diagnosis of CFS involves a process of elimination to rule out other disorders. This elimination process includes:
Even if all these conditions have been ruled out, fatigue presents as an important symptom of several other illnesses such as:
If an individual is be diagnosed with CFS, their treatment options primarily involve management of symptoms. Options include:
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): A number of patients of CFS don’t believe their condition is psychosomatic (involving both mind and the body.) However, studies have shown that patients who undergo CBT show significant improvement in the severity of their symptoms. This is because CBT changes their patterns of thinking through a conscious evaluation of their thought processes.
Graded Exercise Therapy (GET): Slowly introducing patients to some form of physical activity that gradually increases over time has shown to be beneficial. These activities are completely patient-led. However, it isn’t a cure for patients with CFS.
To conclude, treatment for chronic fatigue is difficult but not impossible. It is possible to reverse chronic fatigue naturally through a combination of lifestyle changes.
Fukuda, K., Straus, S. E., Hickie, I., Sharpe, M. C., Dobbins, J. G., Komaroff, A., & Group, I. C. (1994). The Chronic Fatigue Syndrome; A Comprehensive Approach to its Definition and Study. Annals of Internal Medicine, 121(12): 53-59.
White, P. D., Goldsmith, K., Johnson, A. L., Chalder, T., Sharpe, M., & Group, P. T. (2013). Recovery from chronic fatigue syndrome after treatments given in the PACE trial. Psychological Medicine, 2227-2235.