Home treatment is the most important
part of treating
chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). If you have CFS, you
can take steps to control and sometimes relieve your symptoms:
Adjust your schedule to take advantage
of times when you feel more energetic and less tired. Keep a diary for a week
or so and record the times of day when you have energy and when you are tired.
If there is a pattern to how your energy level changes during the day, try to
plan your work, school, or other activities around that
- Try not to do too much when you are feeling energetic. If
you do too much, you may become overtired, and it may take several days for you
- Improve your sleep habits. Sleep problems may
contribute to your fatigue and other symptoms.
- Go to bed only when you are sleepy, and get
up at the same time every day, regardless of whether you feel rested.
- If you lie awake for longer than 15 minutes, get up, leave the
bedroom, and do something quiet until you feel sleepy again.
alcohol, caffeine, and tobacco before bed.
- Keep the bedroom at a
comfortable temperature, and eliminate all sound and light disturbances.
- Make sure your mattress provides good support. Use a neck support
pillow to keep your head and neck from moving too much when you
- Take naps if you need to. Keep them short (20 to 60
minutes), and try not to take them late in the day or evening.
- Insomnia: Improving Your Sleep
- Get light, gentle exercise regularly. Stretching
is a good beginning exercise. Light aerobic exercise such as walking, swimming,
or riding a bicycle or stationary bike can also be helpful. You need to find a
balance between exercising enough to benefit from it and exercising so much
that you become overtired.
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Using Graded Exercise to Get More Energy
- Try taking nonprescription pain medicines to
relieve muscle and joint pain and headaches caused by CFS. Medicines that may
be helpful include acetaminophen (such as Tylenol), ibuprofen (such as
Advil or Motrin), or naproxen (such as Aleve). Be safe with medicines. Read and follow all instructions on the label.
Join a support group. These groups can be a good source of information and tips
for managing your illness and a chance to share your frustrations and
problems with others who have CFS. Ask your doctor or contact a local hospital
for the location of a support group near you.
- Eat a balanced diet that is low in fat and high in
carbohydrates and fiber.
Be patient, and keep in mind that consistent home treatment
usually helps relieve or control CFS symptoms. Your doctor may suggest
cognitive-behavioral therapy to help you with your home treatment.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Using Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy