Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a debilitating illness that affects several people globally. Over the years, this condition has been called different names, including myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) or systemic exertion intolerance disease (SEID). An estimated 400 to 2500 adults for every 1,00,000 people in the world are affected by this disease.1
Chronic fatigue syndrome is characterized by excessive tiredness or extreme fatigue that does not reduce even after sufficient rest. The fatigue is often persistent or comes and goes. But it lasts for months before a diagnosis is made. A myriad of physical and mental symptoms accompany fatigue.
CFS is a complex disease. Unfortunately, no one treatment works for all suffering with CFS. Due to this, people with chronic fatigue syndrome often depend on vitamin B12, ginseng, and L-carnitine. However, that doesn’t mean there is no cure for CFS. Homeopathic medicines for CFS are prescribed considering all the mental, physical, and emotional symptoms. Homeopathy, being a holistic science, can effectively manage the symptoms of CFS.
Role of homeopathy in chronic fatigue syndrome
Homeopathy can effectively treat all the myriad symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome. Prepared from natural substances, these homeopathic medicines increase your body’s stamina to tolerate fatigue. It increases your threshold to bear tiredness against a particular level of exertion.
Homeopathic medicines energize you to overcome extreme physical or mental exertion and help rejuvenate your body. The best part is homeopathy can treat all the symptoms of CFS, like sleep issues, exhaustion, weakness, muscle pains, joint pain, and headaches.
Top five homeopathic medicines for chronic fatigue syndrome
Kalium phosphoricum (Kali-p.)
Common name: Phosphate of potassium
Kalium phosphoricum is one of the best homeopathic medicines for chronic fatigue syndrome. This homeopathic medicine is suited for CFS with extreme fatigue after the slightest mental or physical exertion.
The person often feels weak and tired. There is great prostration arising from mental depression.
Post-exercise malaise can be treated effectively by Kali. phos. This remedy works well for sleep issues like sleeplessness and restlessness. Kali. phos. also treats other symptoms of CFS like weak memory, forgetfulness, sadness, and depression.
Arsenic album (Ars.)
Common name: Arsenious acid
CFS with extreme tiredness is treated with Arsenic album. This is indicated for people who feel like lying down all the time due to excessive prostration. Ars. alb. helps people who feel an extreme lack of strength and weakness even after the slightest exertion.
Even simple activities like standing and walking result in extreme fatigue. Irritability and anticipatory exhaustion are the characteristic symptoms of this remedy. Gradual weight loss, along with CFS, calls for an Arsenic. These people hesitate to do any work due to fear of fatigue and exertion.
Gelsemium sempervirens (Gels.)
Common name: Yellow jasmine
Dizziness, dullness, and drowsiness are the keynote symptoms of Gelsemium. This is one of the best homeopathic medicines for CFS symptoms like weakness, muscle pain, and poor concentration. Gelsemium treats extreme prostration with sleepiness throughout the day.
Gelsemium is used for treating CFS with head heaviness, and vertigo. These symptoms get worse while walking and from head movement. Muscle weakness and muscle pain are primarily felt in the neck, shoulders, back, hips, and legs.
Other indications of this remedy include experiencing trembling, weakness in limbs, poor concentration, lack of muscular coordination, and depression from heat.
Coffea cruda (Coff.)
Common name: Unroasted coffee
Coffea is used for CFS with sleep issues. This homeopathic medicine treats sleeplessness due to many thoughts and ideas in mind. These thoughts often keep them awake at night.
Coffea is prescribed for those unable to sleep until 3:00 a.m. Great nervous agitation and restlessness are keynote symptoms of Coffea.
Ignatia Amara (Ign.)
Common name: St. Ignatius bean
CFS with depression is treated effectively with Ignatia Amara. It is best suited when sadness and weeping spells in chronic fatigue syndrome exist. Consolation worsens the chronic fatigue syndrome issues.
This remedy is prescribed when there is a desire to be alone, an aversion to meeting people, and stepping out of the home. This remedy works well when CFS begins after emotional stress, grief, and sadness.
Causes of chronic fatigue syndrome
The exact cause of chronic fatigue syndrome is not known. However, some factors that can cause CFS include:
As per experts, it usually starts after another health issue like:2
- Stomach infection
- Mononucleosis due to Epstein-Barr virus
CFS is seen to run in some families.3 Some individuals are born with an increased risk of developing the condition.
Physical and mental trauma
Severe stress like childhood trauma can be a cause for CFS.4 Other traumatic factors triggering CFS include post-surgery, accident, or substantial stress.
Problems related to energy use
Some CFS sufferers have trouble converting carbohydrates and fats into energy.
An altered immune function is believed to be one of the causative factors for chronic fatigue syndrome.5
Women are two to four times more likely to get affected by CFS than men.6 Children can also develop CFS. However, this is less prevalent.
Symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome
Signs and symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome differ from person to person and are based on the severity of the condition. However, the most common symptoms include:
- Fatigue and tiredness that interfere with daily activities.
- Extreme fatigue after every physical or mental activity.
- Fatigue that lasts for weeks or months.
- Fatigue doesn’t go away even after rest or even after a night’s sleep.
- Sleeplessness for weeks or months.
- Loss of memory.
- Reduced concentration.
- Fainting or feeling dizzy while standing from sitting or lying position.
- Muscular pains.
- Repetitive headaches.
- Joint pains in multiple joints without inflammation.
- Tender and swollen lymph nodes.
Treatment of chronic fatigue syndrome
There is no known cure for CFS. As each person’s symptoms are unique and various treatments are needed to manage their disease and reduce symptoms of CFS.
Usually, there isn’t a single medicine that can address all of your symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome. In addition, your symptoms evolve and change over time, and your medicines may also need to change.
- CFS often contributes to or is a symptom of depression. In that case, the person will be given a low-dose antidepressant and counseling.
- Sleep medications are given to those who have insomnia or disturbed sleep.
- Painkillers are given to those with muscle aches, headaches, joint pain and other pains.
- Some persons with this illness experience dizziness when standing or sitting upright. Drugs that control cardiac rhythm or blood pressure may be beneficial.
Pacing for post-exertional malaise
CFS symptoms worsen after physical exertion, like exercise, even after mental or emotional exertion. It usually starts after 12 to 24 hours after exercise and lasts for days or weeks. Finding a healthy balance between exercise and rest can be difficult for those who suffer from post-exertional malaise. Pacing helps to lessen post-exertional malaise. You can safely perform more exercise as you get better without developing post-exertional malaise.
Diet and lifestyle modification for chronic fatigue syndrome
Even an ordinary morning routine, like showering, may be challenging when you have CFS. For things that are challenging for you, allow yourself more time.
You might want to strive to accomplish as much as possible while feeling better. Avoid trying it. If you exert too much effort, you might crash later.
You can manage your symptoms by consuming a healthy diet. Avoid any food you are sensitive to or are triggered by.
Many persons with CFS have experienced a diet high in polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, while avoiding saturated fats and processed carbohydrates is beneficial. Stay away from sugar, alcohol, and caffeine to manage energy levels.
Chronic fatigue syndrome can be a life-changing condition affecting every aspect of a person’s routine life. The diagnosis may get delayed, as the symptoms are not specific and mimic symptoms of other conditions. Instead of popping tablets aimlessly, try homeopathy. Homeopathic constitutional medicines can play a key role in managing chronic fatigue syndrome.
- Dinos S, Khoshaba B, Ashby D, White PD, Nazroo J, Wessely S, et al. A systematic review of chronic fatigue, its syndromes and ethnicity: prevalence, severity, co-morbidity and coping. Int J Epidemiol [Internet]. 2009 [cited 2023 Aug 30];38(6):1554–70. Available from: https://academic.oup.com/ije/article/38/6/1554/668115
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- Sepúlveda N, Carneiro J, Lacerda E, Nacul L. Myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome as a hyper-regulated immune system driven by an interplay between regulatory T cells and chronic human Herpesvirus infections. Front Immunol [Internet]. 2019 [cited 2023 Aug 27];10. Available from: http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2019.02684
- Chronic fatigue syndrome [Internet]. Womenshealth.gov. [cited 2023 Aug 27]. Available from: https://www.womenshealth.gov/a-z-topics/chronic-fatigue-syndrome
- Castro-Marrero J, Sáez-Francàs N, Santillo D, Alegre J. Treatment and management of chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis: all roads lead to Rome: Therapy and management in CFS/ME. Br J Pharmacol [Internet]. 2017 [cited 2023 Aug 27];174(5):345–69. Available from: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bph.13702
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