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Seven Steps to Managing Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

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Updated: June 16, 2006

Develop your own exercise and nutrition plan.

Exercise and good nutrition are key components of any treatment plan. However, they need to be very individualized if they are to have any hope of working. Exercise, in particular, is very tricky –– especially for chronic fatigue syndrome patients. Too much or the wrong kind of exercise can cause symptoms to get worse and often recovery is very slow. However, no exercise at all can lead to deconditioned muscles and increased fatigue.

It is usually best for CFS patients to begin slowly and gradually increase the time spent exercising. If you have not been exercising at all, you may need to begin by only exercising for a couple of minutes a day. If you tolerate that well, then you can add another minute at a time. Gentle stretching and water exercise are two good methods that put minimal strain on the body. Of course, do not begin any exercise program until you have talked with your doctor about it.

You may also want to talk with your doctor about a nutrition plan. Many CFS patients have food allergies and are hypersensitive to some food additives. It is important to determine which foods bother you before you can develop a good nutrition plan. Your doctor may be able to recommend a nutritionist who would work with you to develop a healthy menu that works best for you.

  1. Research your illness.
  2. Take charge of your own healthcare.
  3. Develop your own exercise and nutrition plan.
  4. Re-evaluate your priorities.
  5. Take one day at a time.
  6. Keep a positive attitude.
  7. Laugh.

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