How do I Choose the Best Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Treatment?
The best chronic fatigue syndrome treatment will likely be a combination of various approaches. Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a disease that is difficult to treat and to diagnose. As of 2011, there is no cure for CFS and treatments focus on alleviating symptoms. A combination of lifestyle changes and medications may help, but some patients may wish to include alternative remedies in their plan for chronic fatigue syndrome treatment.
When you are diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome, make a list of all of your symptoms and discuss them with your doctor. Some common symptoms include general pain, insomnia, and depression. Other patients may notice allergy-like symptoms, such as a runny nose, as well as low blood pressure, dizziness, and difficulty concentrating. Over-the-counter and prescription medications may help ease these symptoms. To avoid a possible drug interaction, never take a combination of medications without your doctor's approval.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen or aspirin, and acetaminophen can be helpful in relieving general pain and a fever, if you have one. Ask your doctor for an appropriate dosage recommendation, because taking aspirin for a long period of time may lead to an increased risk of stomach bleeding. Patients who suffer from allergy-like symptoms may find relief with an antihistamine or a decongestant. Those who experience skin tenderness and dizziness may try an anti-anxiety medication, such as lorazepam or alprazolam. Hypotension, or low blood pressure, may be treated with drugs like atenolol or fludrocortisone.
A chronic fatigue syndrome treatment plan should also address insomnia, a common symptom of many CFS patients. Typically, medications for sleep problems are taken on a short-term basis only, so patients should instead focus on improving their sleep habits. You may find that you can sleep better when you stick to a strict sleeping schedule. Avoid alcohol and caffeine, because these can keep you from getting a good night's sleep. Sleeping in a very dark room with a source of white noise, such as a running fan, may also help.
Chronic fatigue syndrome treatment is often a matter of trial-and-error. A treatment plan that works for one patient may not work for another. While not all CFS patients suffer from depression, for example, those that do may benefit from an anti-depressant. These medications, such as amitriptyline and paroxetine, may also help you sleep more soundly. You may also choose to seek psychological counseling to address depression.
Many CFS patients are also advised to include physical therapy in their chronic fatigue syndrome treatment plan. A physical therapist can help you begin an exercise program that gradually increases in intensity. This may help alleviate common symptoms of the disease. It is essential that you do not push yourself too much, as maintaining a strenuous activity level can hurt, rather than help you. Other beneficial lifestyle changes include reducing stress levels, eating a healthy diet, and avoiding tobacco.
Some alternative remedies for chronic fatigue syndrome treatment include movement therapy, such as tai chi, yoga, or stretching, as well as meditation and deep breathing. Acupuncture may help alleviate pain, fatigue, and anxiety. A D-ribose supplement may give energy levels a boost and lower pain at the same time. Before taking any supplements for CFS, talk with your doctor about whether they might interact with your medications.
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