Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) causes exhaustion that can’t be alleviated by bed rest and that gets worse with physical or emotional exertion. As a result, many try to find natural ways to relieve the long-term, debilitating symptoms rather than turning to medications that add side effects to the many and varied symptoms of this chronic ailment.
We’re going to take a look at five ways that people are choosing to battle chronic fatigue naturally. Our goal is to help you get some relief without needing to reach for a pill bottle.
#1 Maintaining a Healthy Sleep Schedule
Wait – didn’t we just say bed rest won’t alleviate the exhaustion? While that is true, failure to get proper rest will make symptoms worse. So having a regular schedule for getting 8 hours of sleep per night is a must for CFS patients. In fact, you may see your energy levels improve if some of the fatigue was related to a lack of sleep rather than the condition itself. Here are a few tips for getting a good night’s rest, even while dealing with a chronic ailment.
- Only use the bed for sleep – It can be tempting to stay in bed all day when you don’t feel well, but leaving the bed just for sleep signals to your body that it is time for an eight-hour nap when you get under the comforter. Even if you feel terrible, try moving to the couch for the day.
- Have a set time to go to bed and wake up – Our bodies love consistency. If you go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day, your body will get used to the schedule and sleep will come easier.
- Create the right sleep environment – That means lights out and sounds too (unless you need white noise to fall asleep). Charge your mobile devices at night so you aren’t tempted to surf the Internet in bed. The light from your phone can signal your brain that it is still daytime and keep you awake.
#2 Fix the Vitamin D Deficiency
About half of people have a vitamin D deficiency according to some estimates. However, a patient with chronic fatigue may notice the symptoms of the deficiency more since they can coincide with symptoms of the condition. Of course, you’ll want to check with a healthcare provider before starting on any new supplements. You can also get tested for a deficiency, so you know exactly how much you should be taking. Vitamin D research has involved everything from seasonal affective disorder to leaky gut. Even if it doesn’t help with your CFS, vitamin D supplementation may help with other health problems you are experiencing.
#3 Get More Ribose
Again, you want to check with a healthcare practitioner before starting on this supplement, but ribose may give you more energy. It is a key element in producing energy within the body. While ribose is a type of sugar, you can’t get it by sucking on a lollipop. You will have to get a supplement, many of which are labeled as D-ribose. According to one study, D-ribose helps chronic fatigue patients with pain, sleep problems, and brain fog.
#4 Graded Exercise Therapy
It’s tough to recommend exercise for a condition that gets worse when you are physically active, but being sedentary can make CFS pain even worse and add to the exhaustion. The nice things about graded exercise therapy is that it begins very simply with stretching and progresses from there, so you don’t wear yourself out with your first day of exercise and spend the rest of the week in bed to recover. As a result, you may experience some relief from fatigue and be able to do a little more exercise over time. This is important for your joints and to maintain a healthy weight which can be tough to do with a condition that causes pain and fatigue.
#5 Upper Cervical Chiropractic Care
In a 2012 study, patients with chronic fatigue syndrome saw improved quality of life regarding both general and mental health after upper cervical care. While the study had no control group and was performed by just one practitioner, many in the upper cervical chiropractic field are seeing similar results with patients who have chronic ailments like CFS or fibromyalgia. What is upper cervical chiropractic and why does it help?
Upper cervical chiropractic care involves precise and gentle adjustments of the top two bones of the spine, the C1 and C2 (atlas and axis). The atlas, in particular, is positioned to protect the brainstem. However, a misalignment can actually place pressure on the brainstem and affect proper function. These bones also help to facilitate blood flow to the brain, so a misalignment can inhibit this vital flow of oxygen. Additionally, upper cervical misalignments may result in inhibited cerebrospinal fluid drainage which can cause intracranial pressure.
Obviously, if such a misalignment exists, it is important to correct it as soon as possible. Upper cervical chiropractors take advantage of modern diagnostic imaging techniques to pinpoint misalignments down to hundredths of a degree. This is what allows us to be able to tailor adjustments that are precise and gentle to meet each patient’s needs.
If you have never tried this niche in the chiropractic industry before, it’s time to find out why it is bringing hope to so many patients with chronic health issues. To learn more, schedule a no-obligation consultation with a practitioner near you.