Caring For Patients – Effective Ways To Manage This Condition
If you have been diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome it can indeed be a bitter pill to swallow. However, you will find that there are several things that you can do in order to make it easier. Here’s a look at the best of them.
The Best Ways To Manage Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
While it might sound difficult to do, this is one of the best things you can do for yourself if you have been diagnosed with CFS. You don’t have to push yourself all that hard, either. All you need to do is simply pace yourself and do something as simple as walking. You can also do strengthening exercises using your own body weight. In order that you don’t push yourself all that much, you can simply do one minute of exercise followed by three minutes of rest. Furthermore, ensure that you break your exercise into several sessions a day.
In time, as the exercise becomes manageable, you can gradually step up the time frame of those bursts of exercise. In lieu of this you might wish to go in for Graded Exercise Therapy (GET). The benefit here is that it is carried out with the help of a trained specialist. It usually involves swimming or walking, which are exercises that increase your heart rate.
Watch What You Eat?
Your diet can have an important role to play where it comes to managing those CFS symptoms. For starters, you need to ensure that you avoid any foods that you are sensitive to. Avoid a diet that is rich in saturated fats and refined carbohydrates, and instead eat one that is rich in polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats.
Make sure that you eat several small meals through the day. This might also help to control that nausea that sometimes comes along with chronic fatigue syndrome. Also, you want to avoid things like sugar, alcohol and caffeine.
Get Help For Depression
You will find that about half of the people who have chronic fatigue syndrome, develop depression at some point in time. Furthermore, you will see that the symptoms of depression are somewhat similar to the symptoms of CFS, and so it can be hard to tell the difference.
If you have feelings of worthlessness and hopelessness and thoughts of suicide or death, you should seek help. There are medications and therapy for depression that can help to counter those physical and emotional symptoms.
Do The Things That Will Help You Sleep Better
The last thing you want when you have chronic fatigue syndrome, is to have a bad night’s sleep. We just touched upon staying away from caffeine and alcohol. If you can’t, at least limit your consumption of them. That will help you sleep better. And yes, try and avoid napping during the day. That might just be the reason that you are not able to get sleep at night.
That being said, you need to establish a proper sleep routine. Try and go to bed the same time every night, and wake up the same time every day. You will find that the better the sleep you get, the better you will feel on waking.
While medication might seem like an easy fix to what is a truly complicated condition, you will see that there is no single medicine that can treat all of your symptoms. Also, you will find that your symptoms might change over time, and in turn your medication might have to as well. As we have already touched upon, your CFS might trigger or even be a part of depression, which is why you might need an antidepressant.
If you find that the changes that you have made to your lifestyle are not able to help you sleep better, then you might just be needing a sleep-aid in the form of some pain reducing medicine that can help you cope with the aches and the joint pain that are caused by CFS.
Managing That PEM (Post Exertional Malaise)
Post Exertional malaise is nothing short of being the worsening of symptoms after even minor physical or mental exertion. You will see that the symptoms usually get worse 12 to 48 hours after the activity that has been performed and can last for days and even weeks. In this case what is really effective is activity management, or pacing. What the patient needs to do is find his or her individual limit for mental and physical activity. Then, they need to plan those activities and rest to stay within those limits.
There are some doctors and patients that refer to staying within these limits as staying within the ‘energy envelope’. Note that the limits might be different for different patients, and it is most prudent for the patients to keep activity and symptom dairies, so they stay within those limits.
Using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
This is a therapy that can be very effective for people that have mild or moderate CFS. In essence, cognitive behavioral therapy is a talking treatment that can help you manage your CFS by changing the way you think and behave. Ideally, you will find the treatment will be offered one on one, by a CBT therapist who has experience dealing with CFS patients. You will see this therapy will be highly instrumental in helping you to accept your diagnosis and feel more in control of your symptoms.
You will be able to challenge those feelings that can prevent your symptoms from improving, and also gain a better understanding as to how your behavior can help improve your condition.
Work On Boosting Your Memory
As your memory is one of the things affected by CFS, you should work on boosting it. So, ensure you use a day planner. This could be the regular paper kind, or perhaps even the one on your smartphone. Set those reminders on your smartphone when it is time t go somewhere, and even make use of ‘sticky notes’.
You might also wish to check out our article on the causes and symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
We at CO Cure are committed to dedicating our lives towards helping people that are diagnosed with CFS. We know how frustrating it can be to live with this condition, and we are here to help you with all the valuable information that you might need where it comes to the diagnosis and even treatment of this condition.