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Chronic Fatigue Treatment

MEDICAL ENCYCLOPEDIA 
Chronic Fatigue Treatment
Chronic fatigue
Causes and Risk Factors
Symptoms
Diagnosis
Treatment

Chronic fatigue treatment
The earlier a person diagnosed with chronic fatigue receives medical treatment the greater the likelihood that the illness will resolve.  There is no cure for chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) at the moment.  The goals of treatment are to control symptoms and reduce the impact of the disease on daily life. These include:

  • Gradual increase of activity level
  • Improved quality of life: participation in social, recreational activities, and work
  • Reducing the severity of fatigue
  • Controlling other symptoms related to CFS

Most people diagnosed with chronic fatigue require an individually tailored treatment program that addresses individual symptoms. In many cases, a combination of traditional and alternative treatments is used. Usually, treatment programs are developed by a team of health care specialists, which may include physicians, mental health providers, physical therapists, and dieticians.

Alternative medicine
Alternative therapies that may be beneficial for treating chronic fatigue include the following:

  • Deep breathing techniques
  • Healing touch
  • Massage
  • Muscle relaxation
  • Tai chi (type of movement therapy)
  • Yoga

Lifestyle
To reduce fatigue, it is important for patients to learn how to manage activity levels and sleep patterns. Many patients experience a worsening of symptoms (called exacerbation) following physical or mental exertion, but in most cases, the correct level of activity and exercise can improve symptoms. Exercise programs can be designed according to your needs, should be started slowly, and should include strength, flexibility, and conditioning exercises.  Severely ill people require a modified approach to activity.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
Cognitive-behavioral therapy emphasizes the ways in which thinking affects health.  This type of psychological therapy can help you cope with chronic fatigue syndrome by reducing stress and symptoms. Therapy is designed to teach you how to identify the reasons behind feelings and behaviors, and to help you learn how to replace these thoughts with those that can improve health.

Medication
No prescription drugs have been developed specifically for CFS at the moment.  However, some over-the-counter and other general prescription medications (e.g., pain relievers, tricyclic antidepressants) may be prescribed to reduce chronic fatigue symptoms such as pain, depression, and difficulty concentrating.

Managing chronic fatigue syndrome can be as complex as the illness itself. There is no cure yet and symptoms vary considerably over time. These factors complicate the treatment picture and require you and your health care team to constantly monitor and frequently revise treatment strategies. One key to managing CFS is working with your doctor and other health care practitioners to create an individualized treatment program for you. Be sure that this program is based on a combination of therapies that address coping techniques, symptoms and activity management in order to reach your treatment goals.

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Tags: chronic fatigue symptoms, chronic fatigue syndrome, chronic fatigue, chronic, fatigue, prescription medications, difficulty concentrating, alternative treatments, prescription drugs, medical treatment, sleep patterns, Mental Health, prescription, alternative, health care, medications, physicians, treatments, Depression, medication
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