Treatment for chronic fatigue syndrome focuses on symptom relief.
- 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. And 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.
Jun. 18, 2011
- 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: General information. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/cfs/general. Accessed April 20, 2011.
- Ebenbichler GR. Chronic fatigue syndrome. In: Frontera WR, et al. Essentials of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation: Musculoskeletal Disorders, Pain, and Rehabilitation. 2nd ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2008. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/208746819-6/0/1678/0.html. Accessed April 20, 2011.
- Gluckman SJ. Clinical features and diagnosis of chronic fatigue syndrome. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed April 20, 2011.
- Chronic fatigue syndrome: Causes. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/cfs/general/causes/index.html. Accessed April 20, 2011.
- Vincent A (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. May 4, 2011.
- Jones JF. Chronic fatigue syndrome. In: Bope ET, et al. Conn's Current Therapy. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2011. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?eid=4-u1.0-B978-1-4377-0986-5..C2009-0-38984-9--TOP&isbn=978-1-4377-0986-5&about=true&uniqId=236797353-5. Accessed April 21, 2011.
- Gluckman SJ. Treatment of chronic fatigue syndrome. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed April 20, 2011.
- White PD, et al. Comparison of adaptive pacing therapy, cognitive behaviour therapy, graded exercise therapy, and specialist medical care for chronic fatigue syndrome (PACE): A randomised trial. The Lancet. 2011;377:823.
- Natural medicines in the clinical management of chronic fatigue syndrome. Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. http://www.naturaldatabase.com. Accessed April 22, 2011.
- Chronic pain and CAM: At a glance. National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. http://nccam.nih.gov/health/pain/chronic.htm. Accessed April 22, 2011.
- CFS toolkit. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/cfs/toolkit/index.html. Accessed April 22, 2011.