Do you know about the term myalgic encephalomyelitis (Chronic fatigue syndrome)? How CFS affects your body’s metabolism, brain function, and social life? How does CFS links with exercise, brain inflammation, and muscle pain? Want to get rid of CFS? Wandering for the treatment and the general exercise tips with CFS? If yes! You are in right place to find answers to your all problems. 

Chronic fatigue syndrome, also called myalgic encephalomyelitis is defined as an illness characterized by chronic, profound, disabling, and unexplained fatigue. It is diagnosed by extreme fatigue of at least constant six months and a group of several abnormalities that also are constant for at least six months. The abnormalities that are caused by CFS involve inflammation in the spinal cord and brain and muscle pain. Depression and extreme workload are much more common causes of chronic fatigue. CFS may be triggered by immunization, trauma, viral infection, and gastroenteritis. It affects children as well as adults and occurs at any age.

CSF affects the body in various ways by altering the metabolism of the body. It is a type of exhaustion, crash, or in other words payback. In this illness, the body has not have enough energy to perform daily activities efficiently. Lactic acid is accumulated in large amounts in muscles due to anaerobic respiration because oxygen is not available into cells of the body in continuous exercise. There is a piece of evidence that some individuals suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome show an autoimmune condition in which their immune system attacks particular tissues in the body. The accumulated lactic acid lowers the pH and causes extreme fatigue, muscle pain. The sleep-wake cycle of the body is also disturbed due to CFS. The Gastrointestinal system of the body is also affected because of disruption of digestive system functioning which causes multiple abnormalities. Due to continuous exercise in CFS, the normal blood flow is disturbed and the heart rate increases for a continuous supply of oxygen to every cell in the body. There are several abnormalities that occur in the body in CFS due to disturbed metabolism of the body which involves:

  • Flu-like feeling because of sore throat and tender lymph nodes.
  • Several allergic reactions because of disturbance of body metabolism, it may cause sensitiveness to sound, light, smells, foods, touch, medications, and different chemicals.
  • Shortness of breath due to continuous exercise results in increased heart rate and thus palpitations.
  • The extreme change in weight.
  • Inability to withstand the changes in temperature.
  • Neurocognitive problems that may cause memory loss, problems in concentrating and thinking.
  • Aches in the joints, muscles, and head
  • Problems in the gastrointestinal tract that cause constipation, nausea, diarrhea, and bloating.
  • Disturbance in the sleep-wake cycle of the body.

CFS affects our minds and causes a mild cognitive impairment. The brainstems in brain areas become smaller in this illness which actually controls the heart rate. Research suggested that in this illness, changes occur in cerebrospinal fluid also occur. There is also a decrease inactivation of an area of the brain called the basal ganglia. Levels of interleukin-8 also elevate in patients having CFS. It causes difficulty in focusing, lack of concentration, slow thinking, confusion, haziness in processes of thought, and forgetfulness. Individuals suffering from CFS are described as having brain fog. Neurocognitive testing in patients suffering from CFS shows a deficiency in speed and efficiency in the processing of information, attention, working memory, and concentration.

CFS affects our lives in various ways and causes disturbance in peaceful social life. No activity can be accomplished efficiently in CFS. For example, individuals with CFS become too bad to work, go to school, study, socialize, and even manage the essential affairs of their family. The activity of an individual is reduced by at least 50 percent and the individual is mostly housebound. Another reason for disturbance in life is that person is bed-bound and dependent on help for all daily care.

Strategies to cope with CSF

There are several ways to cope with CSF, in addition, to take medicine. These involve setting your lifestyle following the ways to get rid of CSF such as:

  • Balanced diet
  • Nutritional supplements
  • Complementary therapies
  • Professional counseling

Balanced diet

Eating a diet containing all essential macro and micronutrients inefficient amounts can help to treat CSF. A balanced diet is an essential requirement that the body needs to work properly.

Nutritional supplements

Make sure your diet might lack any essential nutrients. Doctors should run the test to check if any important nutrients missing and suggest supplements to try. There must be a discussion of the benefits and risks of supplements.

Complementary therapies

These therapies involve gentle massage, deep breathing, meditation, and relaxation therapy. Practicing these therapies on regular basis can help cope with CSF.

Professional counseling

This involves talking with a therapist to help find suitable ways to cope with the illness and its impact on daily life and relationships.

Exercise tips for people with CSF

General exercise tips that can help an individual cope with CSF involve:

  • Find the type of exercise that works best for you from a wide range of activities such as walking, lightweight training, stretching, yoga, and tai chi.
  • Write your performance in a diary daily so that you can get an idea about the factors that might impact your symptoms.
  • Feel up your body and do exercise only when you listen your body needs it.
  • Pace yourself is important.  Stop the exercise well before you feel any symptom is aggravating.
  • Make sure you consult with health professionals regarding physical activity who fully know your real biomedical condition.

References:

Watanabe, Y. (2018). Brain science on Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Brain and nerve Shinkei kenkyu no shinpo, 70(11), 1193-1201.

Lange, G., DeLuca, J., Maldjian, J. A., Lee, H. J., Tiersky, L. A., & Natelson, B. H. (1999). Brain MRI abnormalities exist in a subset of patients with chronic fatigue syndrome. Journal of the neurological sciences, 171(1), 3-7.

Ocon, A. J. (2013). Caught in the thickness of brain fog: exploring the cognitive symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Frontiers in physiology, 4, 63.

Morriss, R., Sharpe, M., Sharpley, A. L., Cowen, P. J., Hawton, K., & Morris, J. (1993). Abnormalities of sleep in patients with the chronic fatigue syndrome. British Medical Journal, 306(6886), 1161-1164.

Afari, N., & Buchwald, D. (2003). Chronic fatigue syndrome: a review. American Journal of Psychiatry, 160(2), 221-236.

Natelson, B. H., Weaver, S. A., Tseng, C. L., & Ottenweller, J. E. (2005). Spinal fluid abnormalities in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome. Clinical and diagnostic laboratory immunology, 12(1), 52-55.

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