Munson Health
 
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Back to Document

by Alan R

(CFS; Chronic Fatigue and Immune Dysfunction Syndrome)

 

Symptoms

Symptoms vary from person to person. They include:
 

Treatment

The main goal of CFS treatment is to achieve symptom relief.
Treatments for CFS include:

Diet and Nutrition

A well-balanced diet can help prevent nutritional deficiencies and weight fluctuations. Nutritional supplements cannot make up for an inadequate diet. Avoid foods to which you may be sensitive.

Counseling

CFS can be mentally and physically debilitating. Depression is common among people with CFS. In fact, as many as half develop depression as a consequence of CFS. Psychotherapy and supportive counseling often help CFS patients cope with the disorder. Learning relaxation training and stress management techniques , as well as changing your sleep routine, may also help.
Talk with your therapist about whether cognitive behavioral therapy is right for you to reduce fatigue symptoms.

Medications

Medications used to treat specific symptoms of CFS include:
  • Antidepressants
  • Anti-anxiety drugs
  • Over-the-counter medication like acetaminophen, aspirin, and ibuprofen—to treat pain and fever
  • Stimulants—mild ones may be helpful
  • Sedatives—to help with insomnia

Experimental Treatments

The following experimental treatments are sometimes used for CFS but have not been proven to be effective. Talk to your doctor before trying any experimental treatments.
 

RESOURCES

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
http://www.cdc.gov/

Chronic Fatigue and Immune Dysfunction Syndrome Association of America
http://www.cfids.org/

 

CANADIAN RESOURCES

Health Canada
http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/

Women's Health Matters
http://www.womenshealthmatters.ca/

 

References


Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. American Academy of Family Physicians Familydoctor website. Available at: http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/diseases-conditions/chronic-fatigue-syndrome.html . Updated November 2010. Accessed December 28, 2012.


Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/cfs/index.html . Updated May 16, 2012. Accessed December 28, 2012.


Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us . Updated November 10, 2012. Accessed December 28, 2012.


Craig T, Kakumanu S. Chronic fatigue syndrome: evaluation and treatment. Am Fam Physician. 2002;65(6):1083-1090.


Darbishire L, Ridsdale L, Seed PT. Distinguishing patients with chronic fatigue from those with chronic fatigue syndrome: a diagnostic study in UK primary care. Br J Gen Pract. 2003;53(491):441-445.


Prins JB, Bleijenberg G, Bazelmans E, et al. Cognitive behaviour therapy for chronic fatigue syndrome: a multicertre randomized controlled trial. Lancet. 2001;357(9259):841-847.


Reeves WC, Wagner D, Nisenbaum R, et al. Chronic fatigue syndrome—a clinically empirical approach to its definition and study. BMC Medicine. 2005;3:19.


Reid S, Chalder T, Cleare A, et al. Chronic fatigue syndrome. Clin Evid. 2004;(12):1578-1593.


Rimes KA, Chalder T. Treatments for chronic fatigue syndrome. Occup Med. 2005;55:32-39.


3/3/2011 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance : White P, Goldsmith K, Johnson A, et al. Comparison of adaptive pacing therapy, cognitive behaviour therapy, graded exercise therapy, and specialist medical care for chronic fatigue syndrome (PACE): a randomised trial. Lancet. 2011 Feb 17.


10/1/2013 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance : Patterson E, Wan YW, Sidani S. Nonpharmacological nursing interventions for the management of patient fatigue: a literature review. J Clin Nurs. 2013 Oct;22(19-20): 2668-78.

 

Revision Information