If you want to learn to combat chronic fatigue naturally, the food in your kitchen right now might be your best weapons! In the United States, chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a steadily growing problem.
Women are four times more likely to develop chronic fatigue but men are afflicted with it as well. Teenagers and adults 40-50 years old have a higher incidence of CFS.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than one million Americans suffer from a condition that can’t be tested and is often misdiagnosed.
Combat Chronic Fatigue: Know Your Enemy!
Severe fatigue is a common symptom for many other illnesses (both minor and serious) so tests for those are typically exhausted before CFS is determined by a physician.Severe fatigue is a common symptom for many other illnesses so it's important you visit your doctor regularly.Click To Tweet
Some patients may never receive an actual diagnosis.
Most doctors see an otherwise healthy patient who is simply “tired.” To make matters worse, chronic fatigue is not always consistent. Flare-ups that subside for prolonged periods, symptoms that appear and disappear, and drastic changes to how you feel from one day to the next can make it difficult to manage CFS effectively.
9 Common Symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
- Intense fatigue that doesn’t lessen with additional sleep.
- Physical or mental exertion drastically worsens fatigue.
- Sleep patterns that are inconsistent.
- Inability to concentrate and problems with memory.
- Joint and muscle pain that seems to have no cause.
- Headaches that happen frequently.
- Tender lymph nodes or sore throat.
- Changes in mood that may include depression or anxiety.
- Issues with coordination or balance.
If you experience these symptoms consistently for six months or longer, you should talk to your doctor about the possibility of CFS. Addressing your concerns as soon as possible will speed up the process and put you on the road to recovery.
You May Fight Alone
Often, learning to combat chronic fatigue is a solitary experience.
This is because doctors are hesitant to believe symptoms they’re unable to see or test. This is how they’re trained in medical school (the problem is most often with the training rather than the doctor him/herself). Don’t be discouraged!
Until the last decade, many conditions were thought to be psychosomatic (in the head of the patient rather than a health reality they were dealing with). Doctors are finally learning that everything can’t be revealed in a brain scan, blood sample, or DNA swab.
Chronic fatigue syndrome is gradually gaining interest in the medical community because too many people are presenting with the same series of symptoms.
This used to be the case for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, depression, and female “hysteria” that was used to explain every issue (mental or physical) that a woman had in the course of her day.
In 1869, a neurologist named George Beard discovered a condition he called neurasthenia. It was also referred to as “nervous exhaustion.” The symptoms were similar to what we know of CFS today.
Causation was believed to be overworking the human brain or stress from demanding jobs. If a woman was diagnosed with neurasthenia, she was put on strict bed rest. If a man received the same diagnosis, he was told to get vigorous exercise and journal.
Because the symptoms were so common among many illnesses, this particular diagnosis declined after the first World War. “Now, these symptoms can be attributed to things like chronic fatigue syndrome, low thyroid function, nutritional deficiencies,” explains Norman Rosenthal, MD with Georgetown University, “but back then, they didn’t know these things existed, so it was common for people to be called neurasthenic.”
All Forms of Fatigue Are Draining
Everyone has days where you feel like you can’t keep your eyes open. It’s usually not chronic fatigue but it comes with a cost all the same. If you’re under stress for a long period of time or you’re getting less quality of sleep than usual, you’re going to feel it!
You can combat chronic fatigue and improve your daily slumps by adding a few natural (and effective) foods to your eating plan. Remember, caffeine and sugar are (very) temporary solutions that will cause a quick burst of energy and then leave you flat.Combat chronic fatigue and improve your daily slumps by adding a few natural foods to your eating plan. #fatiguefactsClick To Tweet
Give your body fuel that burns slow and helps you on the cellular level.
9 Foods to Fight Fatigue Naturally
- Water infused with lemon (and other citrus)
- Probiotic foods like Greek yogurt, pickles, or sauerkraut
- Nuts (especially almonds, walnuts, and pistachios)
- Wild-caught fatty fish (salmon, tuna, and sardines)
- Nut butter (peanut or almond)
- Fresh fruit like berries, citrus, or bananas
- Hummus with pita or crackers
- Eggs made any way you like them
- Leafy greens (kale, spinach, and more)
You can play with these ingredients and make things interesting. Throw several of them in a shake first thing in the morning, make a frittata, or put together a crazy good salad.
Don’t Ignore Chronic Fatigue (Fight It)
Maybe your fatigue isn’t “that bad” or maybe you’re embarrassed to talk about it. The one thing you need to know is that whether you talk to your doctor or deal with it alone, you can’t ignore it. Physical, mental, and emotional exhaustion can creep up on you but once you notice, you need to take steps to fix it.
Eventually, your body will take what it needs whether you’re prepared or not. It can also worsen your health and create an even bigger issue.
If you aren’t making progress on your own, ask for help! Chronic fatigue syndrome can affect how you feel, how you function, and how you look.
5 Tips to Combat Chronic Fatigue Right Now
- Practice simple meditation daily for ten minutes.
- Consider low-impact yoga, tai chi, or swimming to ease joint and muscle pain.
- Create a sleep routine (and calm space) – then stick to it.
- Up the nutrition, limit the junk in your diet.
- Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!
Improving energy, increasing motivation, and accomplishing more is a goal for most of us. If you don’t give your body what it needs (nutrition, exercise, adequate rest, and so on), it will eventually shut you down so that you pay attention.Improving energy, increasing motivation, and accomplishing more is a goal for most of us. Listen to your body!Click To Tweet
Love your body, listen to it, and get some rest.
Chronic fatigue syndrome: Puzzling, frustrating condition. (2017). Mayo Clinic.
Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) | Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) | CDC. (2017). Cdc.gov.
How to Boost Your Energy With Food. (2017). Health.com.
10 Healthy Foods That Boost Energy. (2017). EverydayHealth.com.
6 Forgotten Mental Illnesses. (2017). EverydayHealth.com.