Chronic Fatigue Syndrome | Treatment

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How can my doctor help?

Your doctor can work with you to provide symptom relief and to help you find ways of coping with the way CFS changes your life. Chronic fatigue affects you physically, emotionally and socially. When you address all of these factors, you have the best chance of adjusting to your illness and feeling more satisfied with your life.

If you have CFS, a good long-term relationship with your doctor helps. This relationship can be the key to managing CFS.

How is chronic fatigue syndrome treated?

Medicine can treat some of the symptoms, such as muscle aches, sleep problems, anxiety and depression. The medicine may only reduce your symptoms and allow you to be more active, not cure the fatigue. So far, there is no medicine that cures the entire syndrome. Most symptoms improve with time.

How can I help myself?

  • Keep a daily diary to identify times when you have the most energy. Plan your activities for these times.
  • Keep up some level of activity and exercise, within your abilities. Your doctor can help you plan an exercise program to maintain your strength at whatever level is possible. Exercise can help your body and mind.
  • Give yourself permission to recognize and express your feelings, such as sadness, anger and frustration. You may need to grieve for the energy you have lost.
  • Ask for support from family and friends. Look for support groups or counseling in your community. Your doctor is another important source of help. Emotional support is important in coping with a chronic health problem.
  • If your memory and concentration are affected by chronic fatigue, keep lists and make notes to remind yourself of important things. Also, give yourself more time for activities that take concentration. Medicine may also help you sleep better, which might improve your memory and concentration.

Written by familydoctor.org editorial staff

Reviewed/Updated: 02/14
Created: 01/94

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