Q: Have you found any therapies that have successfully treated the debilitating disease of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome? I am a long-term sufferer and the only treatment that gives me any significant improvement is acupuncture. I do yoga and Qi Gong, take walks, eat well, and work at overcoming energy draining practices. I have had hands-on healers and been anointed. I pray and say healing affirmations. I try to think positively and overcome depression when it comes periodically. I would appreciate any suggestions you might offer.
A: The amount of treatment modalities that you utilize is a true testament to how much havoc a condition like CFS can cause in your daily life. It’s a frustrating condition for physicians, too, as often nothing we suggest seems to work.
There are several pharmaceutical regimens that have had limited success in managing CFS symptoms, but it seems from your question that you wisely avoid these types of interventions.
When suffering from a chronic condition, the sufferer may start to dwell on the plight and the symptoms. You alluded to the fact sometimes you have to confront your own depressive symptoms. If you haven’t already, I would suggest you investigate cognitive behavioral therapy with a psychologist who specializes in patients with chronic illnesses. Though this will not cure your CFS, it may provide additional coping skills. A more positive outlook will alleviate some symptoms.
Dr. Brent Ridge is the health expert for Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia. You can call and ask him a question live every Tuesday at 2 p.m. Eastern on Sirius Satellite Radio, Channel 112 (1.866.675.6675). You can also follow along as he learns to grow his own food and raise goats on his farm in upstate New York by visiting www.beekman1802.com.
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