Peter Hibberd, M.D., is a doctor whose advice is based on more than 28 years of hospital outpatient and inpatient experience. He is an experienced emergency medicine physician, surgeon, and consultant. Dr. Hibberd is certified by the American Board of Emergency Medicine. He is also a fellow and active member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, an active member of the American College of Emergency Physicians, and a member and fellow of the American Academy of Emergency Medicine. Dr. Hibberd has earned numerous national and international professional certifications, memberships, and awards.
Tags: chronic | fatigue | sydrome | causes | treatments

What Can Relieve Chronic Fatigue?

Thursday, 11 October 2012 03:20 PM

Question: Dr. Hibberd, I’m a big fan. Thank you for your excellent advice. My sister was diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome. What treatments can help her?

Dr. Hibberd's answer:
Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a rather broad collection of a disorders characterized by fatigue whose cause has not a specific corrective or replacement therapy that has been yet detected. Be sure your sister follows her doctor's advice, and returns for periodic re-evaluation as advised because often chronic fatigue actually may herald the onset of physical and emotional disorders. Sometimes viral infections are followed by extended periods of fatigue, and in these cases a tincture of time is all that is needed.
Depending on her age and health appraisal, various investigations are usual for evaluation of CFS. If she has not already done so, she should consider getting a second opinion, especially if causes have not been adequately evaluated or if she does not yet have a treatment plan. Full evaluation of risk factors, medications, underlying diseases, and conditions are very important in conjunction with a full and complete physical evaluation, with appropriate supporting studies.
Remember that electrolyte disorder, heart disease, sleep apnea, neurologic disorder, malignancy, diabetes, thyroid or endocrine disease, to mention just a few, are common physical causes of fatigue. Dietary, environmental, occupational, emotional, and psychiatric disorders can also cause fatigue. In the absence of measurable deficiency, self medicating with vitamin, stimulant, and supplement use is a waste of time and money. Most CFS patients will endure depression and may have some relief in symptoms with judicious use of an antidepressants. I also encourage group and family involvement together with regular physical activity and do not underestimate the importance of regular sunlight exposure.

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Chronic fatigue syndrome or CFS can have many causes.
Thursday, 11 October 2012 03:20 PM
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