Chronic Fatigue – Dealing With The Symptoms of CFS
Have you ever had that feeling of tiredness that nothing seemed to help? The kind of fatigue that sleeping late, vacationing, and even quiet time alone just doesn’t eradicate? Well, you’re not alone. Many single moms, describe symptoms such as:
Feeling worse after exercise
Muscle and joint pain
Exhaustion that lasts longer than 24 hours
Headaches soreness of the lymph nodes
Forgetfulness or difficulty concentrating
If you can identify with some or all of these symptoms for 6 months or more, it may be time to ask your doctor about Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS). Chronic fatigue syndrome affects an estimated one million people a year with the majority of them being women. As a single mom, these symptoms and their effects can be multiplied and intensified with the staggering day-to-day responsibilities of single parenthood.
Unfortunately, there is no cure for CFS and most cases go undiagnosed. Only 16 to 20% of patients seek medical care for these symptoms. Even of the patients who do seek treatment, many are often misdiagnosed by their physician since there is no causal factors for the illness and the symptoms often mirror those of other illnesses. While there is no cure for chronic fatigue syndrome, there are treatments to help manage the symptoms.
Counseling. Chronic fatigue patients have been found to respond relatively well to cognitive behavioral therapy. Regular sessions with your therapist can help you to develop personalized stress management techniques as well as organizational techniques to reduce daily workload. These sessions can not only help you to develop ways to relieve stress related to CFS, but also identify other areas of your routine that cause undue stress.
Regular Exercise. Since strenuous exercise has been shown to do more harm than good for CFS patients, healthcare professionals recommend non-extreme paces when engaging in physical activities. A steady pace often helps to increase energy and build physical and mental endurance. Using a gradual increase in resistance and speed can be more helpful than interval and Tabata-type protocols. In addition, exercises that emphasize stretching such as yoga, tai chi, or simple massages can help relieve chronic fatigue symptoms.
Diet. A healthy diet that minimizes empty calories and emphasizes a variety of fruits and vegetables can help relieve CFS symptoms. Patients should avoid stimulants such as highly caffeinated soda and coffee along with alcohol which can intensify feelings of sluggishness. These are just a few ways to combat the stresses of chronic fatigue