Teach people how to treat you

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There is no cure or approved treatment for myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS). However, some symptoms can be treated or managed. Treating these symptoms might provide relief for some patients with ME/CFS but not others. Other strategies, lượt thích learning new ways khổng lồ manage activity, can also be helpful.

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Patients, their families, and healthcare providers need to lớn work together to decide which symptom causes the most problems. This should be treated first. Patients, families, and healthcare providers should discuss the possible benefits và harms of any treatment plans, including medicines & other therapies.

Healthcare providers need to tư vấn their patients’ families as they come lớn understand how to live with this illness. Providers & families should remember that this process might be hard on people with ME/CFS.

Symptoms that healthcare providers might try to address are:


Patients can use this fillable form to keep track of their medications và can bring it to lớn doctor appointments.

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Post-exertional Malaise (PEM)

Post-exertional malaise (PEM) is the worsening of symptoms after even minor physical, mental or emotional exertion. For some patients, sensory overload (light & sound) can induce PEM. The symptoms typically get worse 12 to lớn 48 hours after the activity or exposure và can last for days or even weeks.

PEM can be addressed byactivity management,also calledpacing. The goal of pacing is to lớn learn lớn balance rest and activity to lớn avoid PEM flare-ups, which can be caused by exertion that patients with ME/CFS cannot tolerate. To vị this, patients need tofind their individual limits for mental và physical activity.Then they need lớn plan activity and rest lớn stay within these limits. Some patients và doctors refer to lớn staying within these limits as staying within the “energy envelope.”The limits may be different for each patient. Keeping activity & symptom diaries may help patients find their personal limits, especially early on in the illness.

Being mindful of personal limits could prove lớn be a helpful coping skill for people living with ME/CFS. This enables them the ability lớn find balance between activities và rest, giving them a sense of managing the illness rather than the illness controlling them. People living with ME/CFS may find that everyday activities such as buying groceries, brushing their teeth, or interacting with others may be enough to cause a relapse or “crash”. It may not be possible lớn entirely avoid these situations, but people living with ME/CFS need to be aware of monitoring their own activity limits. When having a good day, it is tempting lớn try and “push” (increasing activity beyond what would normally attempt) to hóa trang for lost time. However, this can then lead to a “crash” (worsening of ME/CFS symptoms); the cycle can then repeat itself after people start recovering from the crash.

Rehabilitation specialists or exercise physiologists who understand ME/CFS may help patients with adjusting khổng lồ life with ME/CFS. Finding ways to lớn make activities easier may be helpful, like sitting while doing the laundry or showering, taking frequent breaks, and dividing large tasks into smaller steps. Some patients find heart rate monitors useful in keeping track of how hard their body is working, as a way to lớn prevent PEM. Patients who have learned khổng lồ listen to lớn their bodies might be able to lớn increase their activity level. However, ME/CFS is unpredictable. PEM symptoms may not start right after exercise, making it important for each treatment plan to be tailored for each case. Exercise is not a cure for ME/CFS.

Any activity or exercise plan for people with ME/CFS needs to be carefully designed with đầu vào from each patient. While vigorous aerobic exercise can be beneficial for many chronic illnesses,patients with ME/CFS bởi not tolerate such exercise routines. Standard exercise recommendations for healthy people can be harmful for patients with ME/CFS. However, it is important that patients with ME/CFS undertake activities that they can tolerate, as described above.


Sleep

Patients with ME/CFS often feel less refreshed và restored after sleep than they did before they became ill. Common sleep complaints include difficulty falling or staying asleep, extreme sleepiness, intense and vivid dreaming, restless legs, and nighttime muscle spasms.Good sleep habits are important for all people, including those with ME/CFS.When people try these tips but are still unable lớn sleep, their doctor might recommend taking medicine to lớn help with sleep.First, people should try over-the-counter sleep products. If this does not help, doctors can offer a prescription sleep medicine, starting at the smallest dose and using for the shortest possible time.

People might continue khổng lồ feel unrefreshed even after the medications help them lớn get a full night of sleep.

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If so, they should consider seeing a sleep specialist. Most people with sleep disorders, lượt thích sleep apnea (symptoms include brief pausing in breathing during sleep) and narcolepsy (symptoms include excessive daytime sleepiness), respond khổng lồ therapy. However, for people with ME/CFS, not all symptoms may go away.


Pain

People with ME/CFS often have deep pain in their muscles và joints. They might also have headaches (typically pressure-like) and soreness of their skin when touched.

Patients should always talk to their healthcare provider before trying any medication. Doctors may first recommend trying over-the-counter pain-relievers, like acetaminophen, aspirin, or ibuprofen. If these bởi not provide enough pain relief, patients may need khổng lồ see a pain specialist. People with chronic pain, including those with ME/CFS, can benefit from counseling to learn new ways to deal with pain.

Other pain management methods include stretching & movement therapies, gentle massage, heat, toning exercises, và water therapy for healing. Acupuncture, when done by a licensed practitioner, might help with pain for some patients.


Depression, Stress, và Anxiety

Adjusting khổng lồ a chronic, debilitating illness sometimes leads to lớn other problems, including depression, stress, & anxiety. Many patients with ME/CFS develop depression during their illness. When present, depression or anxiety should be treated. Although treating depression or anxiety can be helpful, it is not a cure for ME/CFS.

Some people with ME/CFS might benefit from antidepressants & anti-anxiety medications. However, doctors should use caution in prescribing these medications. Some drugs used lớn treat depression have other effects that might worsen other ME/CFS symptoms & cause side effects. When healthcare providers are concerned about patient’s psychological condition, they may recommend seeing a mental health professional.

Some people with ME/CFS might benefit from trying techniques lượt thích deep breathing & muscle relaxation, massage, & movement therapies (such as stretching, yoga, và tai chi). These can reduce stress và anxiety, and promote a sense of well-being.


Dizziness và Lightheadedness (Orthostatic Intolerance)

Some people with ME/CFS might also have symptoms of orthostatic intolerance that are triggered when-or made worse by-standing or sitting upright. These symptoms can include:

Frequent dizziness & lightheadednessChanges in vision (blurred vision, seeing trắng or black spots)WeaknessFeeling like your heart is beating too fast or too hard, fluttering, or skipping a beat

For patients with these symptoms, their doctor will kiểm tra their heart rate and blood pressure, & may recommend they see a specialist, like a cardiologist or neurologist.

For people with ME/CFS who vì not have heart or blood vessel disease, doctor might suggest patients increase daily fluid và salt intake & use support stockings. If symptoms vì chưng not improve, prescription medication can be considered.


Memory và Concentration Problems

Memory aids, lượt thích organizers và calendars, can help with memory problems. For people with ME/CFS who have concentration problems, some doctors have prescribed stimulant medications, like those typically used khổng lồ treat Attention-Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). While stimulants might help improve concentration for some patients with ME/CFS, they might lead lớn the ‘push-and-crash’ cycle & worsen symptoms. “Push-and-crash” cycles are when someone with ME/CFS is having a good day và tries to push to vị more than they would normally attempt (do too much, crash, rest, start khổng lồ feel a little better, bởi too much once again).


Living with ME/CFS

Strategies that vì chưng not involve use of medications and might be helpful lớn some patients are:

Professional counseling: Talking with a therapist lớn help find strategies to lớn cope with the illness và its impact on daily life & relationships.Balanced diet. A balanced diet is important for everyone’s good health and would benefit a person with or without any chronic illness.Nutritional supplements. Doctors might run tests khổng lồ see if patients lack any important nutrients và might suggest supplements to lớn try. Doctors & patients should talk about any risks & benefits of supplements, and consider any possible interactions that may occur with prescription medications. Follow-up tests to lớn see if nutrient levels improve can help with treatment planning.Complementary therapies. Therapies, like meditation, gentle massage, deep breathing, or relaxation therapy, might be helpful.

Important note: Patients should talk with their doctors about all potential therapies because many treatments that are promoted as cures for ME/CFS are unproven, often costly, and could be dangerous.

Disclaimer: This website is for informational purposes only. The information provided on this trang web is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.