Suggest treatment for chronic fatigue syndrome

Posted on Thu, 16 Feb 2017 in General Health
Question: Hi,
I was diagnosed with M.E. four years ago. I had to stop working for three months but had to go back, for financial reasons. I have since then managed my condition and work has been reduced, to a degree.
I push through day by day but lately it has become worse again. I got married in XXXXXXX which was lovely and bought a house, all good but draining. I am finding my good days are becoming fewer and the "crashes and flairs" are harder to deal with.
What is the physical affect on my body be, if I carry on doing this. I have put on weight and can't seem to get it or anything under control. The pains are getting worse and it feels like my blood hurts as it goes round my body. Voodoo (random) shooting pains through my head to my chest, anywhere. Am I doing irreparable damage? Please help!
I am a 60 year old woman.
Answered by Dr. Antoneta Zotaj 52 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Cognitive therapy, graded exercise, the medications you are using and other

Detailed Answer:
Thank you for asking at HCM. First I would like to congratulate you on the recent marriage and new house purchase.

I carefully read your question and understand your concern.

M.E or the so called chronic fatigue syndrome is a chronic condition that can cause much discomfort to the patient and because the cause is still not exactly determined there is no certain therapy that heals it. There are few things that might make you feel better though.

The most used techniques are cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) where you are helped to deal with the thoughts and way you approach your situation and the other one is called graded exercise where you have an exercise program where you would be doing controlled exercises and increase the timing and frequency till you reach 30 minutes a day for 5 days a week.

These two are found in most studies to make the patients feel much better and improve their symptoms. You will need to find someone specialized in this and can specifically help you in these two directions.
You are already using Amytriptiline and Fluoxetine that might also help with mood disorders and help with CFS also.

M.E is generally distressing to the patients but does not generally hurt them; this means that you are very likely not causing damage to your self but for sure it does affect the quality of life.

Chest pains might be related to this but it might also be a sign of a heart or chest problem so please see a doctor that might visit you and rule out more serious conditions of the chest. M.E can cause a lot of pain and it might confuse us and not pay much attention to other important causes of pain.

I hope this is helpful to you and answers to your question but please feel free to ask me if anymore clarifications are needed.

Kind regards

Dr Antoneta Zotaj
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Raju A.T
Follow up: Dr. Antoneta Zotaj 16 hours later
Thank you for your reply. I have been having therapy and 'GET' and had to stop as the excersize made me worse. I was hoping for a slightly more in depth reply. I have found that this advice is the general advice I have already had from NHS. I am not alone on saying that it is not Helpful. I can barely set to work and back, so GET, I found, exacerbated my symptoms.
Thank you for your reply, XXXXXXX
Answered by Dr. Antoneta Zotaj 5 hours later
Brief Answer:
It is true that few patients have minimal or no benefit from the treatment

Detailed Answer:
Thank you for the reply and sharing your concerns with me.

I understand that having CFS can really be frustrating and affect the quality of life as it affects your capacity to handle daily activities. As I explained above the exact cause of it is not yet well understood so the treatments that are generally recommended do not cure it but help with the symptoms in the majority of the patients. Unfortunately few of them do not see an effect with those treatments.

Have you tried counselling (cognitive behavioral therapy)?

These, healthy lifestyle and some medications that might help with the mood is what is the treatment options that are recommended.

As for your chest pain it might be related to CFS but if you have not spoken to a doctor recently on that and not been examined, it might be a good idea to have a check and rule out other causes of chest pain.

I wish you quick improvement.

Kind regards

Dr Antoneta

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Raju A.T
Answered by
Dr. Antoneta Zotaj

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2004

Answered : 4270 Questions


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