Chronic Fatigue Treatment Options
In order to treat chronic fatigue syndrome, individual signs and symptoms are managed. For instance, since a patient with CFS aggravates his condition by having physical and mental stress, then doctors advise him to slow down in doing activities of daily living. The goal for this chronic fatigue treatment is not to have a complete rest (as this can make your body weaker in the long run), but to maintain a moderate level of activity so that you can increase your stamina.
Another one is regarding pain. To manage this without the use of pharmacology, patients are advised to have deep breathing exercises in order to release the body’s natural pain killers called enkephalins and endorphins. Diverting one’s attention from pain can also help, like encouraging the patient to watch television and listen to music. Pharmacological interventions include giving of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like aspirin, ibuprofen, and mefenamic acid, and giving of paracetamol.
Exercise programs are also part of chronic fatigue treatment. Initially, physical therapists exercise you slowly, then the exercises become more challenging as long as you can tolerate it. According to research, gradual increase in exercise improves the symptoms of the disorder.
Since psychiatric health is very much related to CFS, sleep problems and depression are also managed whenever possible. Tricyclic antidepressants or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors are given to improve sleep, relieve pain, and minimize depression. Changing of sleep habits may also help. Patients are advised to stick to a regular pattern of sleep by avoiding daytime naps, sleeping at the same time each night, and avoiding caffeinated and alcoholic beverages. In addition to this, cognitive behavior therapy is also given so that healthcare providers may identify negative beliefs and behaviors that may delay recovery. These negative beliefs are often replaced with positive ones in this chronic fatigue treatment.
If the patient is hypotensive, certain drugs are also given like fludrocortisones. If nervous system is affected, clonazepam is also prescribed. And if a patient develops allergy-like symptoms, antihistamines are given.
Aside from these, there is an experimental chronic fatigue treatment being researched on. One of these is the use of methylphenidate or commonly known as Ritalin. It is said that this drug may improve the level of concentration since it balances the neurotransmitters in the brain. Corticosteroids were also found to improve the symptoms of CFS in some studies. Even antiviral agents, immune globulins and interferons are being investigated on how they can be part of chronic fatigue treatment by boosting the immune system. However in some patients, some side effects were noted.
In conclusion, the treatment for CFS is not specific and it all depends on the signs and symptoms experienced by an individual. It is very important for patients to work with their doctor, since most drugs given to them need to be taken with precaution. Some of these drugs are psychiatric drugs, therefore there may be side effects. Lastly, never take this disorder lightly, because it is a serious illness and in some patients, they even experience this for years.