Chronic fatigue: where to start?

You’ve been tired for too long. It’s too heavy and you want to fix it? Welcome to the club. Here is you’re fidelity card!

fidelity cfs - comic

A fidelity card, that sounds scary huh?! If you’re just a little tired, you do not have chronic fatigue. I’m talking about the real fatigue here, the sticky kind, that you can’t get rid of easily. You’ve tried everything and don’t know what to do…

It’s officially after 6 months of fatigue that you can be called CFS.

doctor cfs - comic

The Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CSF) is not a disease, it’s just a symptom

CFS - comic

You can’t find THE cure to CFS, because it is not a disease. Behind that symptom may lie various diseases or body troubles. They are either very hard to find, or not even know yet. In both cases, there might be no miracle. You will have to do your own digging, you’re own researches. We may all be tired for different reasons, so you must find yours.

On that blog, I build a list of all the possible causes and solutions that can be considered. I also deal with all the side subjects: what may help you feeling less tired, what will worsen your fatigue, or any related subject. But before checking that list, evaluate your fatigue.

How long will it take before I can get rid of that fatigue condition?

fatigue- how long - comic

I’m truly sorry, but no one can answer that question. Some may fix it within a few weeks. But you might need months of researches, or even years. Get ready to build your own ecosystem that will take into account both your fatigue and your investigations, but also your social life, your activities… well, basically, your life!

Years?! If that’s the price to pay, I’m ready to fight, and I hope you do too. Many people went through this path, and many of them learn to live with it, unable to find a remedy. Like most diseases, it’s not fair. But like most diseases also, there should be a cure. I think we should use both method and obstination. I will heal, I believe it. I just don’t know when.

You need to change your state of mind

At first, we tend to think that we will get rid of that fatigue pretty soon. Easy cheesy, fatigue squeezy. You just need to find what you have, then find the appropriate solution. You may eventually go to the doctor to get some quick tests and some meds. And voilà!

The first step is the hardest: get rid of that state of mind. Fatigue has been there for months now, even years, and few chances are that it will go away within a day. So you buckle up and be patient. Do not underestimate all the little things that may help, just because you pretend that it will be over soon.

Your fatigue is chronic, so learn to live with it. And keep on believing that you will find a solution, because you will. It’s just a matter of method and patience!

Start with an overall evaluation of your habits and your fatigue

First things first, you need to establish a picture of your fatigue. Knowing that you’re tired is not enough. There are different states of fatigue. They can vary and go with various symptoms. If you want to get rid of it, you must start observing what is happening to you. You also need to notice your habits: how do you eat? how well do you sleep? are you stressed or depressed?

Also, maybe you are relaxed, you eat well, you exercice and sleep well. That’s great but you still feel tired… You will have to dig deeper. In any situation, establishing a picture of your state and habits is always a good thing. I would recommend that you do that regularly, like I do. It’s not about going to the doctor or whatsoever. Just take 5 minutes, with yourself.

Can you describe  your fatigue ?

Can you quantify you level of fatigue? Which rating would you give it, between 1 (all is fine) and 10 (nope, can’t do that), to the following elements?

  • Sport
  • Walking
  • Conversation
  • Concentration
  • Memory

That should help you learn how to qualify your fatigue. Knowing if it’s more about the brain, or more physical, or both.

Likewise, is your fatigue already there when you wake up? Are you more tired in the morning or in the evening? That could give you an idea of how good your sleep is.

Consider what you eat

How many vegetables, how much meat, industrial food, sodas, sugar, alcohol, bread/gluten, milk, nuts… Some are worse than others, but start with just noticing, objectively, without judging.

Also ask yourself how many exciting products do you take? Tea, coffee, energy drinks? Those ones can particularly disrupt the quality of your sleep.

Once you’ve carefully noticed what you eat, you will then automatically stay more aware of what you intake. And you will be more likely to find links between what you eat or drink, and your state of fatigue.

How well do you sleep?

How is your sleep? Can you easily sleep? Do you wake up several times at night? Do you have insomnia? Do you snore? Have you been told that you do apneas?

Consider all those questions and try to answer them. If you don’t sleep tight, try to figure out why. Do you intake exciting beverages, like coffee or energy drinks? If you think you know what could be the problem, and if you can, try to fix it (like reducing or suppressing coffee). If you think you snore or do apneas, go see a doctor.

How do you feel psychically?

doctor - depression - comic

You might be depressed without even being aware of it. An extended period of stress is very harmful to the body and the brain. Do you undergo to much pressure? Stress and depression are both possible causes of extended fatigue (CFS = extended fatigue, excluding depression). Try do establish a picture.

As for me, it’s been at least 10 years that I’ve been tired, and the depression topic always comes back at some point. I know for sure that I am everything but depressed. I’m truly very happy. Nothing irritates me more than hearing a doctor suggesting that I’m depressed! Grrrr.

Consider all the possible sources of pollution

Do you live in a big polluted city? Or do you undergo pesticides in the countryside? Are there any source of pollution in your home or work place? (trichol

Es-tu soumis à la pollution des grandes villes ? Aux pesticides de la campagne ? Y-a-t-il des sources de pollution dans ton habitation ou sur ton lieu de travail ? (Trichlorethylene, benzene, radon…)

Do you have any dental fillings that contain mercury? If yes, you may consider replacing them.

Are you overwhelmed by electromagnetic signals? Wi-Fi, phone antennas (3G/4G)?

Do you exercise enough?

This one may not be the reason for chronique fatigue alone, but it remains important to consider it. Do you do sport? do you at least walk every day? or do you spend the day on a chair? Indeed, sedentarity, the lack of exercice, may worsen your fatigue syndrome.

Likewise, spending your your time in front of a screen may trigger an eye related fatigue.

List all the other symptoms that go with your fatigue

Do you undergo any other symptom? Muscles or bones aches, digestion issues, yellow skin, memory or concentration issues, emotivity, irritations, low sex activity…? Acknowledge them and monitor their evolution over time. You must keep on listening to your body.

It is possible to cure fatigue without even finding the root cause

This is not scientific at all, but still the web is full of people claiming that they could cure their fatigue with this or that. Fasting, probiotics, massive vitamin C intake, urine therapy, enemas, etc. Many pretend that they fixed their fatigue thanks to those, without even finding where the problem came from.

These so-called remedies might be extremely efficient and you may try them right away. Don’t go for it if there is any potential danger though, or do it under surveillance. Do they help lowering your fatigue? As far as it it not dangerous, I would say go for it! Be curious!

You should also consider the power of the brain. The placebo effect is well known nowadays. A patient convinced that he will heal for sure is worth all the treatments (or most). So make sure that you at least keep a positive mindset and a healthy brain (with exercising and meditating for example).

 Do an organized research

Using my list,  that you can fill up/modify at will, start a methodical research. Eliminate the causes one by one. You can also try some solutions randomly: probiotics, fasting, cleanses. The most important is not to do everything at once. You really need to investigate things one by one. Otherwise you won’t be able to do any conclusion and you will have to start over. In order to be efficient, you have to use method. Go scientific.

Enjoy it when you can

During your researches, you will probably try new things. This approach will make you discover yourself. Alimentation, probiotics, meditation, fasting, etc. Try to enjoy it, by discovering pleasure in those necessary things. For instance, I loved doing my own kefir and my own kombuch, and they are still part of my daily routine now. It can be a delightful replacement to alcohol sometimes. (even if for me nothing is worth a good beer)

And most of all, don’t hesitate to share your results so that others can take advantage of it!

2 thoughts on “Chronic fatigue: where to start?”

  1. Great tips!

    Good habits are the foundation of a happy and successful life. They form the foundation under everything that you achieve.
    Examples include improving your sleep, regular exercise, healthy eating, positive thinking, enjoy every day, keep your life in order and so on.

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