Have you ever experienced extreme fatigue or been so tired all of a sudden that you can’t even lift a finger to do anything? If you have, then you may be experiencing a condition called chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). People with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) are always very tired. It’s not the usual tired feeling that goes away after resting and research has found how more women get CFS than men. It is also more prevalent in people over 40 years old. It can last a short time or a very long time. The cause isn’t clear, but some simple natural remedies for chronic fatigue syndrome might help manage its symptoms.
What causes Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
No one really knows what causes CFS. Some experts think it might be due to a virus while others think it could be linked to the immune system. Some risk factors might be long-term stress, not getting over a flu, not eating well, or certain mental health conditions. Feeling very sad or depressed can make CFS even harder to deal with. (Read all about chronic fatigue syndrome here)
Symptoms to Watch Out For-
- Feeling extremely tired suddenly, especially after flu-like symptoms
- Pain in the throat and swollen areas in the neck or under the arms
- Not feeling rested after sleeping
- Low fever and feeling cold
- Pain in muscles and joints without any visible signs
- Finding it hard to focus or remember things
- Head pain
- Changes in mood
Remedies for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
CFS can be hard to deal with which is why you need emotional support from family or friends. While there’s no sure cure for chronic fatigue syndrome, doctors might suggest medicines to help with the symptoms, depression, or pain. Being a part of a group or learning how to manage stress can be beneficial.
People with CFS can also try some natural CFS remedies, like vitamin B12, ginseng, or L-carnitine, to help them. But remember that every person is different, and what helps one person might not help another. It’s often best to try different remedies for CFS to see what works best for you. Here are some natural remedies for chronic fatigue syndromes that you can try:
Essential Fatty Acids
Studies suggest that people with CFS might have uneven levels of essential fatty acids. These fatty acids, like omega-3s and omega-6s, could play a role in common symptoms such as tiredness and body pain. Since your body can’t make these on its own, you need to get them from your diet.
Some research hints that using essential fatty acids from sources like evening primrose oil and fish oil might help with CFS symptoms. Even if they aren’t a direct remedy for CFS, diets with more omega-3s are generally good for overall health. To add more omega-3s to your diet, you might think of foods like fatty fish, flaxseed, walnuts, and some oils.
Vitamin B12 and Folic Acid
Research has found vitamin B12 and folic acid as potential CFS remedies. A possible reason for their benefit is that people with CFS often have lower methylation levels, affecting various body systems. Vitamin B12 and folic acid can promote healthier methylation.
Some studies have shown positive results with B12 injections and folic acid for CFS. For instance, certain individuals with CFS saw benefits from B12 shots coupled with folic acid pills, while others saw minimal change. One research even checked if B12 nasal drops could be an option. Many participants saw benefits, especially those with higher B12 levels who were more active.
Coenzyme Q10, or CoQ10, is a natural part of your cells that helps produce energy. Some people with chronic fatigue syndrome might not have enough CoQ10. Having less CoQ10 could make their CFS symptoms worse. Some studies also say CoQ10 might work better when combined with nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NADH).
Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide- NADH
NADH is a molecule that your body makes from vitamin B3. It’s crucial for producing energy in your cells. Some studies say it could help people with chronic fatigue syndrome feel less tired. A 2017 research review even found that NADH might boost energy for patients diagnosed with CFS. Using NADH with CoQ10 might be even more effective as a remedy for CFS.
DHEA is a hormone produced in the body that can change into other hormones like estrogen and testosterone. DHEA is involved in things like mood, memory, and sleep. People usually have the most DHEA in their mid-20s, but it decreases as they age. Some research says people with chronic fatigue syndrome might not have normal DHEA levels. However, it’s still uncertain whether DHEA can help with CFS symptoms.
If someone thinks about using DHEA as one of the remedies for chronic fatigue syndrome, they should be careful and check if there’s a real need for it through lab tests. Always consult with a health expert before trying DHEA.
L-carnitine is in almost all your cells. It moves fatty acids to where your cells make energy. Some people with chronic fatigue syndrome might have low L-Carnitine, which could lead to lethargy and muscle pain. If you think about trying L-carnitine as one of the remedies for CFS, just remember that too much can upset your stomach, make you hungry, or cause a rash. Very rarely, it can cause seizures in people with epilepsy as an underlying health condition.
D-ribose is a sugar produced in the body that helps you get energy and is also a part of your RNA genes. Some studies suggest it might be helpful for people with chronic fatigue syndrome, but this idea comes from a single, older study.
Traditional Chinese Medicines
In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), they think chronic fatigue syndrome might be because of different problems like spleen or kidney issues. Some studies believe TCM methods, like herbs or acupuncture, might help with CFS. But, these studies might be biased.
TCM methods include-
- Ginseng: Ginseng is an old remedy people in Asia use to relieve fatigue and stress. One old study thought it might help people with chronic fatigue syndrome.
- Acupuncture: Acupuncture is a method where they put tiny needles in your skin. It’s one way to treat CFS in traditional Chinese medicine. The CDC thinks it might help with CFS pain if a professional expert does it.
Those with chronic fatigue syndrome sometimes deal with stress, anxiety, and sadness. However, using medicines for these problems can sometimes make CFS symptoms stronger. So, non-medication self-help methods like deep breathing, muscle relaxation, massage, yoga, tai chi, and simple stretches might be better choices. The CDC supports these suggestions for treating CFS.
Understanding What These Alternative Options for CFS Can Do for You
While many people with chronic fatigue syndrome turn to alternative remedies, scientific evidence supporting these treatments isn’t strong yet. Research is still ongoing. Understanding that just because something is labeled “natural” doesn’t guarantee it will work for you, especially if you’re also taking other medicines.