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Therapy for CFS Sufferers

Therapy for CFS Sufferers

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.

Got a health question for Dr. Brent? E-mail him at drbrent@care2.com.

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Dr. Brent

As an undergraduate, Dr. Brent Ridge majored in public health and environmental science, studying the way the state of the natural environment impacts our health choices. As a physician, he specializes in the field of aging. Send your health questions to Dr. Brent at drbrent@care2.com

25 comments

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9:19PM PDT on Jul 29, 2012

I was in bed 2 yrs. with CFS. Don't think it ever went away but have fibro and copd now. Started getting sick, they say, with allergys and turned to cfs. Then fibro. Then copd and cong. heart failure. Strange to think it all may have been my heart to begin but no one cared to look back then. Of course it was all in my head.

5:41PM PDT on May 18, 2012

Most insurance companies, including medicare don't believe that mental health issues with long term illness are important and only allow a small number of visits to a psychiatrist per year. I'd be happy to go for therapy if someone would pay for it..... my disability checks sure won't cover it.

7:16PM PDT on Apr 18, 2011

I have just done 3 days of being busy and now Im exhausted. No matter what I do whether its very little or a lot, this is what chronic fatigue does Youre right many think you are a bit dippy or making it up b/c they havent experienced what we have and of course if you havent experienced anything first hand, you cant really relate apart from empathizing. When you look okay its hard for people to ' get it' that you are just too tired/exhausted to do anything and that means concentrating on someone talking or even forming words for conversing. For me add too that i had a slight stroke in a car accident and Fibromyalgia too, then you have a wonderful NOT mix of horrendous health issues to deal with along with diabetes, BP problems, heart arrhythmia and more. TG my diabetes is well under control. I am constantly researching on my health issues and apply them but this CFS is one of the most debilitating syndrome one could experience. I have just read the 9 pages on hydration and I drink lots of water but with all my medications I was thinking a few days ago that they might be still the culprit in keeping me dehydrated. Its a good read anyway. I too have heard that CFS and Fibro come about from a shock to the system ie...a car accident, death in family or a close friend, to being abused, raped and the like. The bodies mechanism to cope changes its dynamics till you then get sick and dont know why or your muscles ache etc. I know people have it for around 3 years then it goes.

6:03AM PDT on Aug 23, 2010

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12:22PM PDT on Jun 15, 2009

Also check out the work of dr.Paul Cheney. He, and others following his work, are doing fantastic work on the idea that CFIDS is a heart condition. He, and many others believe that CFIDS is caused by a virus or other micro-organism in the heart which gives us 1/3 of the blood flow of a normal person. Dr. Cheney explains our symptoms by this lack of blood flow. (from our thinking problems, down to the simple ones such as skin problems because skin alone takes 1/3 blood flow of a normal person). Dr. Cheney began this work after having a heart transplant. He realized that only CFIDS, heart failure, and mono have this type of intense tiredness. The more I read on it the more it makes sense. He also calls CFIDS a mitochondrial disease. http://www.prohealth.com/library/showarticle.cfm?id=2966&t=CFIDS_FM
I try anything I can that won't harm me. I don't stick to just "natural" therapies because something may help or cure that is medication. Who cares where it comes from if it helps? I want to get well. Why limit my options? I'm desperate for a cure. I'm not going to pick and choose just because it's synthetic rather than natural. Cure me. I don't care how.

12:08PM PDT on Jun 15, 2009

I know it's frustrating, but you can't let ignorance make you mad. Remember they used to call MS the hysterical disease before they learned it was an autoimmune disease of the nervous system. They used to think syphilis was only due to over-sexuality. It was only years later that the micro-organism was discovered. Many still believe AIDS is God's punishment for homosexuality. Even though that doesn't explain why more heterosexuals have it. People want to blame disease on the people getting it because that makes them less afraid they themselves will get it. So know when someone denies you're sick, they are ignorant and afraid. We can't help them and they can't help us. Move on and ignore them. Takes practice, and they can still make me mad too, but they are a fact of life that will continue to resurface. Fear is rampant. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is something worth fearing!!!!!!!!!!!

12:09AM PDT on Jun 15, 2009

thanks...
Kabin
Konteyner

10:02PM PDT on Mar 10, 2009

The Kadir-Buxton Method is not a treatment and no sane or legitimate physician would even consider it.

8:02AM PDT on Mar 10, 2009

I would like Doctor Brent to try the Kadir-Buxton Method on CFS sufferers. It is cure or treatment for most brain abnormalities and only takes thirty minutes to master.

9:24PM PDT on Mar 9, 2009

What is the Lightning Process?

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