People seek medical care when the fatigue and cognitive difficulties of chronic
fatigue syndrome affect their quality of life. People who have questions about a
particular treatment should contact a qualified health care provider, local
medical society, or university medical school for additional information.
Physical activity performed at a comfortable pace is important for everyone to
maintain good health, including people with chronic fatigue syndrome. People
with CFS need to learn how much activity is helpful and when to stop, so they do
not increase their level of fatigue.
In general, people with CFS should pace themselves carefully and avoid excessive
physical or emotional
. Remember, the goal is to avoid increasing fatigue or pain. Maintain a regular
and manageable daily routine to avoid a relapse or increase of symptoms.
Exercise should be supervised by a knowledgeable health care provider or
Total rest should also be avoided as it may make your fatigue worse. You should
maintain physical activity at a comfortable pace. If you increase your level of
physical activity, do so gradually.
Decreased consumption of alcohol and caffeine at night may help you sleep.
Try to minimize social isolation.
Other therapies tried by people with chronic fatigue syndrome include massage
therapy, cranial-sacral techniques, self-hypnosis, and therapeutic touch.
People with CFS may feel better with such techniques, but these therapies should
be combined with an individualized exercise program that includes
Many people report successful treatment of CFS symptoms with experimental
therapies, herbal supplements, and dietary modifications. Various dietary and
herbal products have been promoted in the market to improve symptoms of CFS.
Many of these have not been tested in controlled trials. Preparations that have
been claimed to have benefit to CFS patients include astragalus, borage seed
oil, bromelain, comfrey, echinacea, garlic, Ginkgo biloba, ginseng, primrose
oil, guercetin, St. John's wort, and Shiitake mushroom extract. Dietary
supplements and herbal preparations can have potentially serious side effects,
and some can interfere or interact with prescription
Do not begin any experimental treatments without consulting your doctor or
health care provider.
Regular follow-up is necessary for your doctor to monitor your treatment
program. Because the treatment program should be based on your overall medical
condition and current symptoms, it should be modified over time. Visit your
health care provider regularly.
Chronic fatigue syndrome symptoms are worsened by
lack of sleep. Avoid these triggers.
The percentage of people who completely recover from chronic fatigue syndrome is
not known. Most people with CFS have improvement in their symptoms over time
with proper treatment strategies and regular care. People with CFS may have
cyclical symptoms in which they have periods of illness followed by periods or
relative wellness. Most patients recover within 5 years of the beginning of the
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