Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: What Is It and How Can We Treat It?

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: What Is It and How Can We Treat It?

Last update: 13 August, 2015

Chronic fatigue can be scary and debilitating. There’s nothing more disconcerting than finding you no longer have the energy to live your normal life. It can also be embarrassing. This is not a joke: our culture says if you don’t get out of bed, you must be lazy. This condition should be treated with immense respect, as it often affects people who are far from lazy. Let’s look at some of the causes and treatments.

Causes and symptoms of chronic fatigue

Scientists are hilariously confused by chronic fatigue. Oh, so you’re supposed to be the expert, and you don’t know what really causes chronic fatigue? Excellent. Some of the factors thought to contribute, include:

  • viral infections. Did you get sick and then try to carry on? Getting sick can be very inconvenient at times, but it may not be able to function in the same way when it’s trying to combat a virus. Ignoring your body’s signals may be linked with chronic fatigue. Specific viruses that have been marked as suspicious when it comes to chronic fatigue include the Epsein-Barr virus, human herpes virus 6, and mouse leukaemia viruses.
  • immune system problems. The immune system of people who suffer from chronic fatigue seem to be impaired in some way, but the connection isn’t well understood.
  • hormonal imbalance. The significance of the link between hypothalamus, pituitary and adrenal gland issues and chronic fatigue is unknown, but some experts suggest there may be a correlation.

The symptoms you are likely to experience when you have chronic fatigue can be severe, and may involve a mixture of the following:

  • Fatigue
  • Trouble remembering things or concentrating
  • Enlarged lymph nodes in the neck or under the arms
  • Sore throats
  • Unexplained muscle pain or soreness
  • Pain in the joints, but with no swelling
  • Headaches, which may travel around and change over time
  • Feeling sleepy, with a lack of energy, even after sleeping for a long time.
  • Extreme exhaustion for more than a day after mental work or physical exercise.


Food for chronic fatigue

Eating right has been seen to be extremely helpful when it comes to chronic fatigue.

Flaxseed oil

Taking 1000mg of flaxseed oil every day can help with energy levels, and is obviously very beneficial to overall health. It has a bit of a strange taste. Kind of nutty. The omega 3 and 6 oil it contains are excellent brain food, and it helps balance your blood sugar beautifully, so you’ll have less glucose-related energy crashes.


Coffee can be reduced gradually. And it really should be, as it’s like a chronic fatigue sufferer’s worst nightmare. What you don’t want to do is stimulate your body to use energy it doesn’t have. Borrowing it in this way can be truly catastrophic for most people with energy issues. If you find yourself reaching for the coffee, try and find a replacement that doesn’t even contain any coffee. There are some interesting alternative products in health food shops. Chamomile tea and dandelion chia are far more helpful to your health. Give them a go.


Junk food

When you haven’t got the energy to cook, it’s easy to start feeding yourself less and less nutritious meals. Learning to get other people to help you is not easy for most people with energy issues, as they may have worked themselves self-sufficiently into this mess to begin with. Ask people to come and cook for you! Ideally someone who knows how to cook healthily. If you just don’t have that luxury, make quick salads, grab plenty of fruit, and look for raw or other healthy and fast recipes you can experiment with.

Vitamin B12 and B complex vitamins

This isn’t exactly a homemade remedy, but it’s so important that it needs mentioning. These vitamins play such a key role in how the body uses energy. Subcutaneous and sublingual forms are the best. The methylcobalamin variety is the one that has the most benefits, according to experts. Synthetic B complex vitamins aren’t so great, so go for a food-based type.

Bee pollen

Dubbed the “perfect food”, bee pollen is full of enzymes, protein, amino acids, vitamins and minerals. It can help with physical and mental tiredness, and the energy it provides lasts for a long time, so you won’t be crashing so much. Royal jelly and propolis have also been recommended for people with chronic fatigue, due to their excellent health benefits.


Other thing to try

Recommendations to avoid chronic fatigue

  • Avoid overexertion. Know your limits and respect them with love.
  • Get enough sleep.
  • Sooth stress and keep it to a minimum.
  • Avoid getting colds and other bugs where possible.
  • Boost your energy level with healthy food.
  • Exercise, but wisely. Try yoga and other gentle methods.
  • Stay positive. It is likely that once you have sorted out the habits that created the fatigue, you will recover, and be a lot wiser. Reassure yourself. You can get through this.