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Posts Tagged ‘CFS’

7 Tips for Managing Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)

Wednesday, February 13th, 2013



Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a recognized condition that affects hundreds of thousands of people, regardless of age. Overwhelming tiredness, relentless body aches, and persistent illness make it difficult to manage daily activities. Here are some helpful pointers for dealing with constant fatigue.

7 Tips for Managing Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)- B12 Patch

Recognizing chronic fatigue syndrome

There’s a big difference between fatigue from life and fatigue from chronic illness. It’s normal to feel tired in the morning, and want to crawl back to bed and call in sick for work.

If you have difficulty motivating yourself to become more physically fit, then…well, you’re just like the rest of us.

However, if you suffer from chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), then you’re not just tired some mornings; you usually wake up feeling worn out, as if from a long day’s work, though the clock just struck 6:30 am and you slept the whole night through.

People with chronic fatigue can’t imagine running a marathon; it’s hard enough just to walk around the block.

1- Acceptance is the key

Don’t delay getting treatment by putting off symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome, thinking they’ll go away. You can’t get better until you accept that the amount of exhaustion and pain symptoms you experience on a daily basis is not normal, and requires treatment.

By opening the doors of acceptance you open the doors to a new beginning…

2- It’s a mind-body experience

Chronic fatigue is a combination of physical and emotional ailments combined. Symptoms of CFS can include:

  • Overbearing weariness
  • Headache
  • Aching joints
  • Muscle pain
  • Hypersensitivity to scents, textures, noise, and light
  • Frequent colds and flu
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Brain fog
  • Memory loss
  • Digestion problems

Vitamin B12 Deficiency and Fibromyalgia Pain Types

3- Be your own advocate

Talk to other people who have CFS, and join the network of chronic illness awareness on Facebook, Twitter, and advocacy sites.

If chronic fatigue syndrome is making it impossible for you to work, find out about special accommodations or benefits that you may be entitled to according to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

4- Find a chronic pain specialist

Seek a professional who has experience with patients of chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia, and discuss treatment options.

5- Communicate with friends and family

Don’t try to sweep chronic illness under the rug. Let the people closest to you know that it’s okay to discuss why you’ve been feeling tired all the time, and ways in which they can help out.

40 Things NOT to say to a Fibromyalgia-Chronic Fatigue Sufferer

6- Work your day around CFS

Schedule your day by the hour, and calculate how much time you’ll need to recuperate from certain tasks ahead of time.

Use the Spoonie philosophy to realistically plan your day, acknowledging that doing three loads of laundry in a row may wipe out your energy for the rest of the day.

Energy is finite, so don’t waste it!

Chronic Fatigue and House Work- Motivating Tips for Success

7- Consider natural preventive medicine

Managing chronic illness requires a multi-pronged approach that incorporates both conventional medicine and complementary alternative treatments.

For chronic pain, discuss prescription or over-the-counter (OTC) pain medications with your doctor. Sometimes, antidepressants can improve the effectiveness of analgesic medications by reducing stress and providing emotional balance.

Natural alternative treatments may include vitamin supplementation, as underlying vitamin B12 deficiency or other forms of malnourishment are often comorbid with CFS and fibromyalgia, exacerbating symptoms of fatigue, depression, and chronic pain.

Other good preventive treatments to try include:

  • Homeopathy
  • Acupuncture
  • Restrictive dieting
  • Physical therapy
  • Meditation

Your turn!

Do you have any questions or suggestions?  Please leave your comments below.

Share with your friends!

If you found this article helpful, then please share with your friends, family, and coworkers by email, Facebook, or Google+.

Like this? Read more:

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia- Is there a Difference?

Boost Energy Now! 20 Practical Tips for Fighting Fatigue

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS)


Managing chronic fatigue syndrome (myalgic encephalomyelitis)

Image(s) courtesy of imagerymajestic/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Chronic Fatigue and House Work- Motivating Tips for Success

Thursday, September 20th, 2012



When we suffer from constant chronic fatigue, house work might be the last thing on our mind. How can we be bothered with dirty dishes and piled-up laundry when our bones are aching and we’re too tired to get out of bed each morning? Because the truth is, clutter makes us more tired. Living in a chaotic household makes us more depressed each day, and that’s true for every single family member. Here are some realistic, helpful tips for managing chronic fatigue and house work, and avoiding the hurricane-hit-my-house syndrome.

Chronic Fatigue and House Work- Motivating Tips for Success- B12 Patch

One small step…

You know how the rest of that goes…try taking on one new habit, and commit yourself to it every day.  It should be something that will be part of your daily house maintenance schedule.

Decide today that before you get up from eating a meal, you will wash every plate and piece of silverware that you used. Or, make your bed every morning, regardless of how tired you feel.

Choose something that will visibly improve your living situation- something that you can manage each day, not counting flare-up days of fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue.  House work routines that are learned gradually are more likely to stick and become automatic.

Is Chronic Fatigue your Middle Name? Maybe it’s…

Lose weight

No, not body weight; lose the weight of all that clutter that you have amassed over the years. Every item in your house should “live” somewhere, either in a closet, drawer, or plastic storage container. If you can’t find a place to put most things in your home, then you probably have too much stuff.

As a rule of thumb, if you haven’t worn a certain pair of shoes in over a year, then you might as well lose it. Is it worth keeping something that takes up physical (and mental) space, just on the off-chance that you might use it someday in a few years?

Even if you don’t suffer from chronic fatigue, your house work efforts will suffer if you don’t make a habit of cutting down on the clutter.

But nobody’s expecting you to get it all done in one day. Plan on spending fifteen minutes each day just picking out things you don’t need, and getting rid of them. Donate something to Goodwill or have a garage sale, but do what you need to do- your chronic fatigue and house work situation will improve.

Take a day of rest

If you suffer from chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, or any other sort of chronic pain disorder, then you know your limits better than anybody else.  Choose a day of the week to rest, regardless of what the house looks like; set aside certain other days of the week for accomplishing house work goals.

Never try to get caught up on your house work when chronic fatigue flare-ups are slowing you down and keeping you constantly tired, though. Even if you end up canceling a workday because of chronic fatigue, your house work efforts will shine, just by sticking to a schedule.

Please tell us…

Do you have any questions or suggestions?  Please leave your comments below.

Share with your friends!

If you found this article helpful, then please share with your friends, family, and coworkers by email, Facebook, or Google+.

Like this? Read more:

Vitamin B12 Deficiency and Fibromyalgia Pain Types

Tired All the Time? 30 Likely Causes of Daytime Fatigue

Images courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Is it Chronic Fatigue or Fibromyalgia? Four Ways to Tell

Monday, July 25th, 2011



Most people who have fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) also suffer from chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), as the two conditions share comorbidity with each other. So, how do you to tell if you have fibro fog, chronic fatigue…or both?


About  80 to 90 percent of all chronic fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue sufferers female. Also, fibromyalgia sufferers share many of the same symptoms, such as severe chronic pain and mental exhaustion.

If that’s the case, then how does one tell the two conditions apart?

7 Reasons You Have Brain Fog…And What to do About It

Symptoms of fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue

In order for you physician to diagnose CFS or FMS, you must exhibit some of the following symptoms:

  • Extreme mental fatigue
  • Muscle or joint pain
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Unusual headaches
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Forgetfulness
  • Lightheadedness

Suffering from Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue? B12 to the Rescue!

So we know what features CFS and FMS have in common, but what criteria do physicians use to tell them apart?

The basic difference is that fibromyalgia is that fibromyalgia involves specific pain points, while chronic fatigue has no rhyme or reason.

However, that’s only a rough description.


Factors that differentiate fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue

1) Statistics

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 5 million Americans suffer from fibromyalgia syndrome, compared with 1 million who suffer from chronic fatigue.  If you suspect you have one or the other, seek a fibromyalgia diagnosis first.

A rheumatologist often determines fibromyalgia, while an infectious disease specialist is more likely to diagnose CFS.

2) The substance P factor

Fibromyalgia patients have 300% more substance P, a chemical that your brain uses to spread pain signals throughout your body.  The more substance P your body emits following an injury, the stronger your body’s reaction to pain.

If you have fibromyalgia, then you suffer three times the amount of muscular pain or joint aches than people who don’t have chronic illness.

3) It’s in the zone

There are approximately 18 distinct pain points throughout body that signal fibromyalgia syndrome.  To receive a diagnosis, fibromyalgia sufferers must exhibit soreness in at least 11 of these specified zones.  Conversely, chronic fatigue patients have no connection with the 18 pain points.

How to Tell if Chronic Pain is Fibromyalgia: 18 Pressure Points

4) Chronic fatigue is viral

Chronic fatigue syndrome patients have higher levels of an antiviral enzyme, RNase L, leading experts to believe that CFS is the result of an autoimmune disorder following exposure to a virus.

While fibromyalgia often begins following an emotional trauma or physical injury, CFS generally appears because of a viral infection, like mono or the flu.  Chronic fatigue sufferers often complain of residual flu-like symptoms and sore throat, in addition to exhaustion following physical exercise.  CFS patients feel tired all day, even after sleeping a full eight hours.

Related reading:

100 Best Sites for Fibromyalgia or Chronic Fatigue Information

Staying Fit with Fibromyalgia: 13 Pain-Free Workouts

Why More Fibromyalgia Patients are Taking Tai Chi

15 Handy Household Tools for Chronic Pain Sufferers

Best Clothes for Fibromyalgia Pain- 6 Helpful Dressing Tips


The Common Threads of Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome – Fibromyalgia Center – Everyday Health

Difference Between Fibromyalgia and Chronic fatigue syndrome | Difference Between |  Fibromyalgia vs Chronic fatigue syndrome

What is the difference between fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue?

Staying Fit with Fibromyalgia: 13 Pain-Free Workouts

Tuesday, July 5th, 2011



Fibromyalgia patients report feeling fewer and milder fibromyalgia chronic pain symptoms with routine gentle workouts.


Fibromyalgia, or Fibromyositis (FMS), is a debilitating condition in which sufferers often feel excruciating pain for little or no apparent reason.

Other symptoms might include depression, insomnia, and  chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), also referred to as myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME/CFS) or chronic fatigue and immune dysfunction syndrome (CFIDS).

If you suffer from long-term chronic pain in your muscles, joints, or other areas of your body, yet are unable to isolate any injury whatsoever, then you should visit your doctor and ask for a fibromyalgia screening.  Although scientists are still at a loss to explain the causes of fibromyalgia, they have found some effective fibromyalgia treatments to help you cope with the symptoms, including some fibromyalgia approved fitness exercises.

Suffering from Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue? B12 to the Rescue!

Which workout is right for you?

Finding the right workout routine with fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue can be intimidating.

On the one hand, even the slightest amount of physical activity leaves you feeling worn out, exhausted, achy, and ill.  This phenomenon, “Post-exertional malaise,” often deters fibro sufferers from staying active.  However, you can eventually build up your tolerance to post-workout fatigue and slowly raise your endurance level to many kinds of aerobic exercises and strength training.

Many fibromyalgia patients who successfully get past that first “hurdle” report feeling fewer and milder fibromyalgia pain symptoms.

7 Reasons You Have Brain Fog…And What to do About It

Below are some light exercises that you can practice 3-5 days per week.  As with any new fitness program, consult your doctor first.

1- Bike Riding: Bicycle riding is a fun exercise that can be adapted to suit many levels.  Start out small- avoid hilly areas, choose a short-term goal, such as circling the block once, and pace yourself.

2- Stationary Bike: If you belong to a gym, sign up for a beginners spinning class.  There are also many virtual spinning classes, both on YouTube and DVD, which can provide a great home workout.

3- Walking: Walking is a great low-impact sport for pain sufferers.  Invest in a good pair of walking shoes, pick a comfortable route, and grab a friend!  People who walk in pairs are more likely to stick to their routine, and find it easier to complete their workout.  If weather permits, take a nice nature walk or stroll in the sunshine, but if it doesn’t, you can still hit the indoor mall before the morning rush for a bit of brisk “window shopping.”

4- Jogging: Light jogging is like running, only more controlled and less strenuous.  If you want to increase your energy without compromising your leg muscles, then try alternating five minutes of jogging with five minutes of brisk walking, and work up to fifteen-minute sessions of each.  Choose soft, grassy, or sandy paths, if possible, and try to avoid jogging on hard surfaces, which can cause knee injuries.

Can a Gluten-Free Diet Ease Symptoms of Fibromyalgia?

5- Treadmill: Walking on the treadmill is a great indoor alternative to stationary biking, and an excellent way to get the heart pumping.  As with jogging, be on the alert for any sign of swelling, which could indicate knee injury.

6- Swimming: Swimming is one the best, non-injurious cardiovascular workouts for people who suffer from chronic pain, particularly arthritis.  Individuals who have difficulty with most types of physical activity often have an easier time incorporating water aerobics or lap swimming into their daily workout.

7- Golfing: Golfing is an enjoyable sport, but it can be strenuous on the lower back muscles.  Get your doctor’s okay before heading out for the golf course.  Avoid the urge to join the caddy, and walk your way around the greens for a low-impact aerobic workout.

8- Physical Therapy: A certified physical therapist can teach you how to relieve some of your pain symptoms, enabling you to stick to your daily workout.

9- Yoga: Yoga combines therapeutic deep breathing with gentle stretching of your various muscles, for a relaxing, healing bodily workout.  Many fibromyalgia patients have reaped the benefits of yoga in alleviating their chronic pain symptoms.

10- Pilates: Pilates focuses on developing core muscular strength and flexibility, as opposed to merely stretching the muscles.  Developed by Joseph Pilates, Pilates is a beneficial exercise for fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome patients.

Do not attempt to practice Pilates on your own; a trained Pilates instructor is crucial, in order to avoid injury.

Staying Fit with Fibromyalgia: 13 Pain-Free Workouts

11- Stretching: Stretching exercises are a mandatory pre-workout activity, even if you don’t suffer from chronic pain.  Stretching warms up your muscles and increases flexibility, preventing torn muscles, sprains, and other sports injuries.

12- Tai Chi: Similar to yoga, Tai Chi also incorporates controlled movements, deep breathing, and meditation.  A growing number of fibromyalgia patients have found relief through these gentle martial arts.

Why More Fibromyalgia Patients are Taking Tai Chi

13- Movement Therapy: Also known as dance therapy, movement therapy uses music and gently choreographed dance movements to relieve anxiety, chronic pain, depression and stress.

Related reading:

15 Handy Household Tools for Chronic Pain Sufferers

100 Best Sites for Fibromyalgia or Chronic Fatigue Information

How to Tell if Chronic Pain is Fibromyalgia: 18 Pressure Points



Fibromyalgia Syndrome and Alternative Therapies: Dance Therapy

Strenuous Exercise & Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia Treatment – Exercise as a Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia Treatment

Post-Exertional Malaise

Aerobic exercise in fibromyalgia: a practical review

7 Reasons You Have Brain Fog…And What to do About It

Tuesday, May 31st, 2011



“Fibro Haze” isn’t an acid rock band from the 70s-  fibromyalgia brain fog is what happens when when your physical, emotional, and biochemical elements get together and decide to wreak havoc on your nervous system.

7 Reasons You Have Brain Fog…And What to do About It


Oftentimes linked with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), the symptoms of fibromyalgia are confusion, tiredness and forgetfulness.

Do you have trouble remembering somebody’s name about one minute after she introduced herself?

Do you often forget where you parked your car, or which side of the mall you entered from?

How’s your math- do you have trouble adding up simple calculations in your head?

When you try to read, do you get distracted by every outside noise? 

Unfortunately, there are a lot of different factors which can cause fibromyalgia and fatigue, making it all that much more difficult to get to the root of the problem.

Below are the most common causes for fibro fog:
  • 1) Insomnia: If you’re not getting enough sleep, then it’s all downhill from here. Sleep disorders make it difficult for your body to produce enough serotonin, which is important for memory. Stick to a rigid sleep schedule, and don’t spend time on the computer less than 1 hour before bedtime. Try to avoid long naps in the middle of the day; twenty minutes should be your limit. If fibromyalgia nerve pain is what’s keeping you up nights, then test out an orthopedic support pillow, test-drive a different mattress, or ask your doctor about safe, gentle sleeping aids. B12 Deficiency Linked to Cognitive Decline, and more
  • 2) Emotional upset caused by nerve pain: Chronic pain takes up a lot of your brain’s attention. It’s hard to focus on all the things that are happening around you when inside, your nerves are on red alert from constant pain signals. Some prescription pain medicines are helpful for alleviating aches. Ice compresses or heating pads are effective, as well. Many fibromyalgia sufferers are also finding that practicing tai chi helps relax their nerves and soothe muscular soreness. Why More Fibromyalgia Patients are Taking Tai Chi
  • 3) Stress, anxiety and depression: Chronic stress and anxiety attacks  lower your  immunity and tire out your nervous system. If you can’t remove yourself from a stressful situation, then learn to cope- your health depends on it. Try yoga, deep breathing, light exercise and a healthy diet. If necessary, ask your doctor about antidepressants which help to prevent panic disorder. Chronic Depression, Chronic Pain- It’s All the Same, say Experts
  • 4) History of child abuse: Recent studies have noted a strong link between people who suffer from fibromyalgia symptoms and personal history of physical or mental abuse.
  • 5) Family history: Ask your family members if chronic fatigue syndrome, chronic pain or fibromyalgia symptoms run in the family. If anything, at least it will help solve the mystery. Teens are No Stranger to Chronic Fatigue
  • 6) Diet: An increasing number of CFS and fibromyalgia patients are finding that switching to a gluten-free diet has helped reduce some of the fibromyalgia symptoms, such as stomach problems, headaches and fatigue. Try seeking out some great non-gluten breads, mixes and sweets in the health food section of your supermarket, and see what happens! Can a Gluten-Free Diet Ease Symptoms of Fibromyalgia?
  • 7) Vitamin B12 deficiency: There is a strong correlation between fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue and vitamin B12 deficiency. Scientists haven’t determined exactly why this phenomenon exists, but they have proven that fibro patients who take B12 supplements experience a surge in stamina and overall well-being. Suffering from Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue? B12 to the Rescue!

Also read:

100 Best Sites for Fibromyalgia or Chronic Fatigue Information

How to Tell if Chronic Pain is Fibromyalgia: 18 Pressure Points


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