Treatment for chronic fatigue syndrome focuses on symptom relief.
Because chronic fatigue syndrome affects people in many different ways, your treatment will be tailored to your specific set of symptoms. Symptom relief may include certain medications:
- Antidepressants. Many people who have chronic fatigue syndrome are also depressed. Treating your depression can make it easier for you to cope with the problems associated with chronic fatigue syndrome. Low doses of some antidepressants also can help improve sleep and relieve pain.
- Sleeping pills. If home measures, such as avoiding caffeine, don't help you get better rest at night, your doctor might suggest trying prescription sleep aids.
The most effective treatment for chronic fatigue syndrome appears to be a two-pronged approach that combines psychological counseling with a gentle exercise program.
July 01, 2014
Graded exercise. A physical therapist can help determine what types of exercise are best for you. Inactive people often begin with range-of-motion and stretching exercises for just a few minutes a day.
If you're exhausted the next day, you're doing too much. Your strength and endurance will improve as you gradually increase the intensity of your exercise over time.
- Psychological counseling. Talking with a counselor can help you figure out options to work around some of the limitations that chronic fatigue syndrome imposes on you. Feeling more in control of your life can improve your outlook dramatically.
- Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/cfs/. Accessed March 30, 2014.
- Goldman L, et al. Goldman's Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2012. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed March 30, 2014.
- Ferri FF. Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2014: 5 Books in 1. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2014. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed March 30, 2014.
- Gluckman SJ. Clinical features and diagnosis of chronic fatigue syndrome. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed March 30, 2014.
- Chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis. Chicago, Ill.: International Association for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Myalgic Encephalomyelitis. http://www.iacfsme.org/Portals/0/PDF/PrimerFinal3.pdf. Accessed March 31, 2014.
You Are ... The Campaign for Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit organization. Make a difference today.