Another beautiful, sunny day here in Florida, just like I ordered up…
Hope you’re feeling good and enjoying this wonderful life we’ve been gifted into.
Speaking of this wonderful life, made me think of my wife, Treasa’s favorite song, Louis Armstrong’s What A Wonderful World.
Some pretty sweet crooning, huh?
Now that we’ve set the mood, on with today’s offering…
This post is the result of my research on sleeping disorders, which I’ve had most my life.
Surprisingly, there was little about sleep disorders online. And, what little I did find was relevantly useless to us laypeople. While I did have better luck offline, the more interesting story turned out as chronic fatigue syndrome.
Plus, the insights gained about my sleeping problems, are covered in the bigger story of chronic fatigue syndrome. Although I’ve condensed it, this is still kinda long, so bear with me. (is ‘bear’ the proper spelling, or even the right word?)
If you’ve suffered from chronic fatigue syndrome, you know it’s a debilitating and exhausting condition. Despite knowing how you badly you feel and how much you suffer, other people don’t think you ‘look’ sick and they may have a hard time to sympathizing with what you’re going through.
Which can be a little frustrating.
Other than prescription drugs that have harmful side effects if used too often or too long, the medical community offers little help for people with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). Yet, there are natural remedies that could give you some relief, which is the focus of this.
What Is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?
Chronic fatigue syndrome is a medical condition marked by a range of possible symptoms. Unlike other illnesses, there isn’t a specific test to verify it. Instead, your healthcare provider looks at your symptoms and works backwards by ruling out other illnesses.
There’s no known cause for CFS.
No known cause means no known cure, right? But researchers currently suspect it’s caused by inflammation somewhere in the body. They’re also researching the possibilities it’s related to an infectious virus, to physical trauma, or is hormonal in nature.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome isn’t a sleeping disorder. Sleep disorders are usually caused by lifestyle and environment. And, the very act of sleeping ‘cures’ them.
Not so with CFS.
One of the primary identifiers of CFS is not being treatable by bed rest, or sleep therapy.
- Habitual fatigue
- Exhaustion, even after a good night’s sleep
- Muscle pain without cause
- Joint pain, and swelling, that moves around
- Swollen and painful lymph nodes under your arms and in your neck
- Painful headaches
- Sometimes, depression
CFS is deceptive to those without it. Sufferers often appear healthy. Yet, they find it difficult to get up each morning and carry on with a normal life.
Chronic fatigue syndrome can strain relationships, harm job performance and impact your self-worth.
Natural Remedies For CFS:
We all know what we eat is crucial for maintaining good health. If, chronic fatigue syndrome is an inflammatory condition, it could be caused by eating food that’re known to cause inflammation.
- Refined sugar
- White flour
- Artificial flavoring
- Artificial colors
- Saturated fats
You’ll note that the list items are present in processed foods.
Eliminating these and eating whole, nonprocessed foods, should help reduce inflammations in your body. And, it could help relieve chronic fatigue syndrome symptoms.
Whole foods means eating foods in their most natural state. A diet high in whole foods will include:
Some Whole Foods:
- Whole grains
- Lean protein
- Healthy fat from oils and nuts
Note:You can read my post about the harmful effects of common oils by clicking on the following link: Olive Oil’s Health Benefits
Eat organic foods. Non organically grown food often contain toxins from pesticides, herbicides, and with preservatives added during processing. As we said earlier, toxins cause inflammation, which trigger CFS symptoms.
In just a few weeks of eliminating inflammatory foods from your regular diet, you could begin to see some relief from your CFS symptoms. On the least, you’re likely to have fewer aches and pains, fewer problems with sleep, and a boost in energy levels.
Fatigue Fighting Supplements:
Because their benefits aren’t verified, I’m not big on taking nutritional supplements. But, if you’re so inclined, I suggest you do it under the guidance of your doctor.
Still, some people swear they’ve helped them.
The argument is that supplements are without harmful side effects, and that they will help your body naturally heal itself. While I’m leary of such claims, who am I to say?
Nutritional Supplements For CFS:
- L-carnitine, said to boost energy levels
- Coenzyme Q-10, said to fight symptoms associated with fatigue, reduce inflammation, and reverse the aging process
- Ginseng, said to reduce fatigue, help fight off illnesses and give you change for a 20 dollar bill
- Fish Oil as a supplement, said to reduce, and prevent inflammation, fight depression, and detail your car
- Magnesium, said to help maintain healthy body tissue
I don’t know, maybe these things can help. I’d love it if they did.
BTW: Really like to hear your thoughts and experience with nutritional supplements.
Exercise and CFS:
With chronic fatigue syndrome, the idea of exercising is nearly incomprehensible. On the first, and second place, you stay exhausted, and your ‘get-up-n-go’ has long gone. How could you even consider adding daily exercise into your already tortuous life?
The good news is: it doesn’t take a huge amount of exercise to begin seeing improvements.
Healthiness begins with being active. And, exercising does help chronic fatigue syndrome symptoms. If physically possible, it’s important to get the relief exercise will bring,
Yet, with CFS, it’s equally important to pace yourself. And, begin with something easy. Walking is a good place to start. Don’t push it, though. Do what you can.
A five minute walk every day for a week or two, could lead to seven minutes, and so on…
Eventually, add strength training and flexibility exercises to tone up your body and reduce inflammation and aches. Five pound weights are a great starting point.
With all the inherent stretching and breathing exercises, yoga could also help ease your symptoms. Yoga, in particular, can help reduce fatigue and improve energy levels. And, yoga can help ease your suffering from aches and joint pain.
Note: I’ve a bunch of posts about yoga. To see them click the following blue link: Yoga For Beginners And, follow the links.
The Miracle Of a Good Night’s Sleep:
CFS sufferers don’t necessarily have a sleeping disorder. And, getting plenty of sleep doesn’t seem to help their core condition.
Yet, not getting enough sleep can heighten their symptoms.
It’s ironic for people with chronic fatigue syndrome to also suffer from sleeping disorders. It’s like they’re living a Catch 22 nightmare. All day long, they’re exhausted. Then, when they can finally get to bed, they can’t sleep!
How cruel it must seem!
Natural Ways For Getting More Sleep:
Improving sleep quantity, and quality, could help reduce inflammation and could, in turn, help ease, and possibly, reverse the symptoms of CFS. (indelicately put, but you get my drift, right?)
- Set up, and follow, a bedtime window, e.g., go to bed & get up at the same time
- Get a well made mattress, quality pillows and bedding that soothes and relaxes you
- Turn down the temperature in your bedroom, as a cooler environment lulls us
- If bothered by night noises, turn on a fan, or use a ‘white noise’ machine
- Don’t have a clock displaying where you can read it
- Shelve TV’s and other distracting electronic devices
It seems to help most people if they establish a ‘before bed’ routine. Two or three hours before going to bed, begin doing a few things to help get you into a relaxed state by the time you hit the mattress.
- Lower the lights during the evening hours
- Take a warm bath (sometimes a warm shower helps me)
- Read. (I always do some reading, the ‘heavier’ the better)
- Listen to low-key music (smooth jazz does it for me)
- Caffeine: don’t drink it within three hours before bed
- Melatonin. Some people say it helps them. Didn’t do squat for me
If, none of these helps, you may want to get a sleep study done. A study can identify sleeping disorders, such as sleep apnea, which is a real illness, but is treatable.
CFS Relief Through Acupuncture:
Acupuncture is an alternative medical practice which some people said helped ease their chronic fatigue syndrome symptoms.
It didn’t help me with my sleeping disorder, but I can’t say anything against it’s usefulness for treating CFS symptoms.
Acupuncture is an ancient practice that mainly consists of inserting thin needles into strategic points of the body. This is said to help increase and direct energy flow throughout the body.
Although it didn’t help me, my sessions were painless and relaxing.
Stated Benefits of Acupuncture:
- Increase energy levels
- Lessens aches and pains
- Improves sleep
- Mood enhancement
- Immunity booster
If you try it, go to a licensed acupuncturist. It’s probably a good idea to work with someone who also practices Chinese medicine and can prescribe Chinese herbs and other such treatments.
I mean, if you’re going to do it, jump in and wallow around…
Also note: With acupuncture, the treatment is based upon treating the whole body rather than trying to treat specific symptoms.
These days, acupuncture is covered by many health insurance plans. Naturally, not mine..
Stress is also thought to cause the onset of chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Or, on the least, contribute to it.
Natural Ways To Reduce Stress:
- No. Learn to say no to extra responsibilities
- Time management. With CFS you can’t afford to waste your powers of concentration
- Put your well being and health first
- Eat a healthy diet that includes fruits, vegetables and lay off the processed foods
- Exercise. Just start and do what you can
- Yoga, meditation and deep breathing are known to calm
- Sleep. Get 7 – 9 hours nightly
- Water. Half your body weight in ounces daily of filtered water
It’s impossible to eliminate all stress. But you can learn to reduce and control much of it.
While there’s no cure for CFS, you could get some relief by taking good care of yourself.
It also seems (from my research), that for many people, the symptoms eventually run their course and they gradually get back to living without the symptoms of CFS.
Let me end this by saying “I don’t know anything for certain and I’ve no advice about anything. My role is reporting upon my research and sharing personal stories with you.
Still, I hope to inspire you in some small way.
Ideas for me, your aging related story, or comments are very damn welcome…