Published: 11/05/2013 - Updated: 08/05/2017
Author: Miriam Reyes
Known as chronic fatigue syndrome, this is a debilitating disorder characterised by profound fatigue that does not improve with rest and usually worsens with physical and mental activity.
Currently, we live in a fast-paced world and forget our limits, requiring us to put in more effort every time. It is now often thought that feeling worn out and tired is part of everyday life, and is completely natural. However, we must be informed in order to avoid chronic fatigue syndrome.
What is it?
Basically the feeling of exhaustion, tiredness, lack of energy, fatigue, which is not related to lack of sleep or apathy.
To be considered chronic physical and mental fatigue, it must be prolonged. Sometimes we can feel like this, especially in difficult days, but our body usually recovers after the break. Something that characterises this syndrome is that despite the physical rest, the symptoms usually do not improve. In addition, chronic fatigue syndrome is disabling, preventing us from performing our daily activities.
Although often associated with stress, chronic fatigue syndrome usually comes as a result of our lifestyle. An unbalanced diet, sedentary lifestyle, poor sleeping habits and smoking and alcohol together are the main causes of this disorder.
It is mainly characterised by physical and mental fatigue that is not improved by bed rest, and often worsen after physical exertion or exercise that, under other conditions, would not pose a problem. Other symptoms that have been identified are:
- Headaches, throat and joint aches
- Sensitivity in the lymph nodes in the neck and armpits
- Impaired memory
- Difficulty concentrating
- Mild fever
- Muscle weakness all over the body, or in different parts with no apparent reason
- There may be other symptoms, including flu-like symptoms and chronic pain.
Today, this illness is "incurable" as specific causes are still debated and there is not a medication that specifically attacks the disease, yet the symptoms are treatable , i.e. they can be combatted. The best strategies are the following:
A balanced diet: Healthy eating is a key factor, including fruits and vegetables. Avoid fast food, simple sugars and refined flours: If your diet is healthier, your body will also feel good and can cope more effectively with fatigue.
Medication: In some cases, it may require the use of antidepressants. Pharmaceutics, non-steroidal analgesics, NSAIDs and medication that strengthens the immune system are also often prescribed to combat the symptoms.
Relaxation techniques: Yoga, relaxing massages and acupuncture are often recommended to combat this illness, since the disease can be aggravated by stress.
Therapies: For many patients, Cognitive Behavioral therapy may be a useful treatment and is highly recommended.
Sleep Management Techniques: Although a good sleep is no guarantee to improve symptoms, when it comes to this disorder, it is certainly important to combat it.
- Practicing regular exercise prevents developing a sedentary lifestyle
- Watch your diet: Try to eat a healthy, balanced diet
- Consume plenty of water and fluids a day
- As far as possible, try to avoid stressful situations or try to control your stress levels
- If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, please consult a psychologist for advice
- Avoid alcohol, nicotine and caffeine in excess
- Try to get used to a routine of sleep where you are sleeping for a good number of consecutive hours
Practical ways to relax, such as yoga, help us to maintain our physical and mental balance. We can also implement reiki or tai chi as alternatives.
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