All of us feel tired or exhausted at times. But for some of us, being tired almost ends up being a way of life – you tend to feel exhausted more often than not. If you find that sleep or rest doesn’t seem to make you feel much better, it’s time to consult your healthcare provider. This could have so many underlying causes and it’s important to find out what’s going on.
Let’s talk about one particular health condition that isn’t discussed too often.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
This is a debilitating and poorly understood malaise. It is also often misdiagnosed or not diagnosed at all. It’s important to consult a trusted healthcare professional and have other potential causes such as autoimmune diseases, hypothyroidism etc ruled out to get a correct diagnosis.
Even post diagnosis, CFS has no straightforward treatment as such, and most people who suffer from this often have to live with simply managing the disease while leading their lives.
However, there is an increasing amount of information available as well as support groups. Habits you can adopt to make lifestyle changes go a long way in being able to lead full, productive lives and many sufferers have also seen periods of remission (alleviation of symptoms entirely).
One of the best lifestyle changes to make is to begin a healthy and balanced diet. Here are some things to discuss with your doctor…
Eliminate food allergies and environmental allergies
Research has found a correlation between CFS and allergies (however, causation doesn’t seem to have been studied). It is a crucial first step to systematically analyse and eliminate any possible food/environmental allergies to help deal with the fatigue.
Experiment with food and maintain a food journal in conjunction
Some foods may help with or worsen certain symptoms, and this may be different for each person. Try certain eliminations (such as gluten, dairy etc.) and certain inclusions, and take note of which ones help with your symptoms.
No inflammatory foods
Since CFS has been linked to inflammation, cut out all the inflammatory foods from your diet for example, deep fried foods, simple sugars and processed meat.
It is important to remain hydrated If you suffer from CFS. Water may not be a cure for all your symptoms, but it is vital to prevent dehydration when you are already dealing with something debilitating. Dehydration can worsen the situation.
This has been found to be an energy booster and is frequently prescribed by doctors to help with symptoms. Some foods that contain magnesium include green veg such as peas, broccoli, spinach etc, fruit such as banana, figs and avocados, nuts and seeds.
Boosting Potassium may help too
Low levels of potassium have been found in some people with CFS and although potassium supplements are not generally prescribed, eating a diet rich in potassium may help. Some foods that contain potassium include bananas, potatoes, sweet potatoes, raisins and dates.
Vit B and D supplements
Vitamin B (specifically B12) and Vitamin D are both reportedly helpful in alleviating some symptoms of CFS. In fact, vitamin B12 shots are often advised for some people with CFS.
Yoghurt and probiotics
While there is still a lot of room for research on this topic, many sufferers report seeing an alleviation of symptoms when they include probiotics in their diet (as well as take supplements). Not much has been studied scientifically, but reportedly, taking a variety of strains of good gut bacteria has been a wonderful solution for many.
Healthy fats are important to maintain good health and well-being. Additionally, they keep inflammation down. Adding in some more Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids by way of nuts (such as walnuts, pecans, almonds etc), coconut and coconut oil etc is an important addition to your diet.