Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is a debilitating disease that can be extremely distressing. But don’t lose hope. There are natural ways to help you regain your energy levels and quality of life.
You can start by making some simple changes to your lifestyle such as:
Slow down and pace yourself in everything you do. If you overdo it you’ll pay for it later with more severe symptoms.
Nutrition for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
What you put into your body is extremely important in managing CFS. Avoid refined foods, sugar, caffeine, alcohol, and saturated fats. Eat more fresh vegetables, legumes, whole grains, protein, and essential fatty acids (found in nuts, seeds, and cold water fish). Many people with CFS develop sensitivities or even allergies to foods. An elimination diet (done under the guidance of a qualified dietician who is experienced in food allergies) may help you identify which foods to avoid.
Naturopathy for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Vitamins and mineral supplements can be highly beneficial to help manage CFS. Always take supplements in consultation with a qualified practitioner. The following supplements are commonly used to treat CFS:
- Fish oil and Evening Primrose oil
- Coenzyme Q10
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin B12 injections
CFS Chemical Overload
Some people with CFS find their symptoms are relieved if they eliminate harsh chemicals from their lives. It’s best to do this under the guidance of an experienced health care practitioner as it can be wide-ranging and includes products such as cosmetics, shampoos, soaps, perfumes, sunscreen, cleaning products. A chemical elimination is often done in conjunction with a food elimination diet.
Herbs Help Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Herbs can help strengthen your body and stimulate your immune function. A herbalist may prescribe:
Remember, herbs, vitamins and supplements can all interfere with each other and with other medications. Always tell your health care practitioner everything you are taking.
When you’re consistently exhausted even the thought of exercising can be exhausting! But people with CFS who exercise regularly have fewer symptoms than those who do nothing. Just be sure you don’t overdo it. You might start with a five-minute stroll. Next week you might manage 10 or 15 minutes.
Yoga is particularly beneficial for CFS as it can be adapted to match the ebb and flow of your energy levels. Gentle, restorative poses will support the immune and nervous systems and pranayama (breathing) and meditation help reduce stress, which exacerbates symptoms.
Aromatherapy for CFS
A soothing massage by a qualified aromatherapist using essential oils can do wonders to ease CFS symptoms and enhance overall well-being. At home, add a few drops to an oil burner or a warm bath. The following oils can be helpful for boosting the immune system, relieving muscle pain, enhancing your mood, and/or improving sleep quality:
A homeopath will look at your constitutional type -- your physical, emotional, and psychological makeup – when determining the most appropriate remedy for you. Some remedies commonly used by homeopaths to treat CFS include:
Acupuncture can help boost your immune system and enhance the quality of your sleep. An acupuncturist will look for excesses or deficiencies of qi in various meridians, particularly the spleen, kidney, lung or liver.
A chiropractic spinal manipulation may influence the nervous system and boost energy and decrease pain in people with CFS.
Therapeutic massage can reduce stress-related symptoms, improve circulation and muscle tone and increase your overall sense of well-being.
A counsellor may teach you techniques such as cognitive behaviour therapy or sleep therapy to help you adapt to living with CFS. They will also listen to your concerns and support you to find ways to live a fulfilling life with CFS.
Living with CFS can be a very stressful and isolating experience. It is vitally important that you have support around you – family, friends and/or health care practitioners. A combination of natural therapies can be very successful in treating, managing and recovering from CFS.