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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Diseases and Conditions > Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Treatment & Monitoring
      Category : Health Centers > Immune System

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Alternate Names : CFS, Chronic Fatigue and Immune Dysfunction Syndrome, Myalgic Encephalomyelitis

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

What are the treatments for the condition?

Treatment must be tailored to fit each person with chronic fatigue syndrome, depending on symptoms and response to different therapies. There are two types of therapy: behavior therapy and drug therapy.

Behavior therapy may include:

  • attending support group meetings
  • avoiding caffeine and alcohol
  • cognitive behavioral therapy, to help the person change perceptions and beliefs about his or her health status
  • eating a balanced diet
  • moderate exercise, being careful to avoid overexertion
  • receiving regular, individual counseling
  • relaxation methods, such as meditation, biofeedback, and hypnosis
  • Drug therapy may include:

  • antidepressants, such as fluoxetine, sertraline, paroxetine, venlafaxine, and bupropion
  • antihistamines, such as astemizole and loratidine
  • blood pressure medications, such as fludrocortisone and atenolol
  • decongestants for nasal or sinus congestion
  • muscle relaxing medications to relieve muscle spasms
  • nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, also called NSAIDs, such as naproxen, ibuprofen, and piroxicam
  • tricyclic medications to relieve pain and promote sleep, including doxepin, amitriptyline, desipramine, and nortriptyline
  • Because chronic fatigue syndrome is difficult to treat and the course of the disease is unpredictable, many people with CFS use alternative therapies to relieve or reduce symptoms. Some of these therapies include:

  • acupuncture
  • chiropractic treatment
  • craniosacral therapy, which addresses the flow of cerebrospinal fluid within the body
  • hydrotherapy, which is also called water therapy
  • massage therapy
  • tai chi, which combines exercise and balance
  • therapeutic touch
  • yoga
  • What are the side effects of the treatments?

    NSAIDs can cause stomach upset and allergic reactions. Antidepressants may cause problems sleeping, headaches, or stomach upset.

    What happens after treatment for the condition?

    The course of CFS is very difficult to predict. Fortunately, most people eventually get better with or without treatment, though a cure is often not possible. People may return to normal activities whenever they feel able.

    How is the condition monitored?

    Affected people are in the best position to monitor the condition. Any new or worsening symptoms should be reported to the healthcare provider.

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    Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Prevention & Expectations


    Author: Ann Reyes, Ph.D.
    Reviewer: Barbara Mallari, RN, BSN, PHN
    Date Reviewed: 03/01/01

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