Patients of CFS or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome respond differently to various treatments. Some of them recover after drastic changes in lifestyle, some of them are more responsive to pharmacological treatments. Here are the most common treatment modalities to which CFS patients are subjected and to which most of them respond well.
Some patients can facilitate self-care treatments. This can be done by monitoring the level and pacing of activities such that prolonged and extreme levels of exhaustion are prevented. This can also be done by preventing the urge to rest. Since CFS is not relieved through rest, regardless of the duration, health care professionals do not advise the patients to rest excessively. Some form of physical activity must be maintained. This is oftentimes recommended by the physician. When trying to manage the symptoms of the disorder by yourself, it is best to keep the pacing and the level of the activities under control. Otherwise, symptoms may occur at a more debilitating rate.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
CBT or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a psychological therapy that delivers relief of symptoms but not necessarily cure. This helps the patients understand their conditions and can therefore better guide them in forming their beliefs, perception and attitudes towards the syndrome. It is believed that through a more accurate depiction of the condition, the patient can better respond to the symptoms and they can cause lesser inhibition of the recurrence of their symptoms.
Graded Exercise Therapy
This therapy involves the introduction of incremental changes in the patients’ levels of activity. While concrete evidence are yet to be established, many experts believe that integration of activities is very important in managing the disease. Under this therapy then, the patient will have to monitor his own activities and exercises. As the therapy progresses, he moves to higher intensities until he gets back to the doing activities he normally participated in prior to the onset of the condition.
Managements of the conditions through pharmacological treatments can involve the following medications:
- Antidepressants are primarily used to manage mood swings and secondary depression. Low dosage antidepressants, on the other hand, are helpful in managing sleep disturbance and pain.
- Autonomic nervous system stimulants are used to help improve concentration and short-term memory which are greatly affected by the disorder.
- NSAIDs or Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs are prescribed to CFS patients to relieve them from muscle and joint pains.
- Anxiolyticagents are used to target symptoms of anxiety.
CAM or Complementary and Alternative Medicine
The use of dietary supplements in managing Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is central in alleviating the symptoms of CFS. According to some pilot studies, supplements of Carnitine, essential fatty acids, Magnesium and polynutrient supplements have shown strong indications of symptom reduction among patients.
Because the origins of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome are not yet fully understood, treatment options are more directed to managing the symptoms and not really in curing the disorder. The main objective in producing relief from symptoms is to reinstate the conditions of the person as well as his well-being prior to the onset of the disorder.
As a result, majority of sufferers do not fully recover and even if they do, they recover gradually. For people who expect better and faster recovery, frustrations often ensue which for most of the cases, worsen the condition. It is therefore recommended to undergo a treatment at a very slow but well-managed pace.