The Secret To Avoiding Making Your Illness Worse
Managing chronic fatigue syndrome is all about balance. Having balance in your lifestyle, in your emotional head space, and within your relationships is important.
Healthy balance in your diet and daily habits is also crucial to avoiding the worst things for prolonging your illness.
Not only can the wrong way of thinking and habits prolong your illness, but they can also make your symptoms and suffering a lot worse.
Having some understanding of your illness and what factors make your symptoms worse will help you create the balance you need.
Be patient with yourself and take time to learn as much as you can about what you can and cannot do within the limits of your illness.
There are some things that can make your illness worse, and prolong any hope of recovery. Read on to learn what they are.
5 Worst Things You Can Do
Worst Thing #1 – Deny You Have An Illness
It’s important to acknowledge you have an illness, that you’re not simply a bit tired, that it’s not all in your head or that you just need a good holiday.
If you ‘feel’ there is something ‘not quite right’ you are probably correct, you know your body best.
If you need the reassurance of a diagnosis from your M.D. then go get one.
Be prepared though, it can take a while as the diagnosis method for chronic fatigue syndrome is arrived at by ruling out other illnesses first. Several tests will need to be completed to rule out other possible illnesses.
And some time needs to pass, because one of the diagnosis criteria is that you have had your fatigue symptom for at least 6 months.
If you deny you are ill and try to ignore your symptoms, you will gradually go downhill and get worse. The longer you have the illness, the longer it can take to get well as your body systems continue to deteriorate. It will then take a lengthy time to re-build your health again.
Coming to terms with the fact that you are ill, and getting in touch with a naturopath or functional medicine practitioner as soon as possible who can help you is very important. They will help you uncover the root cause(s) of your chronic fatigue syndrome.
Worst Thing #2 – Wait For A Cure
There is no available ‘cure’ from the allopathic medical community for chronic fatigue syndrome. So if you are hoping to hear about a magical drug that will be able to provide an instant cure, you’re in for a long wait.
Acceptance that you can’t just get a script from your doctor for a cure is key to understanding your illness. A doctor may be able to give you a script to help with your pain symptoms, but they’re not going to be able to cure you.
You have to take some responsibility for finding out the cause of your chronic fatigue syndrome yourself. Take time to make a list of your symptoms before you visit your alternative health practitioner, think about any one particular episode that might have happened in your life just before you started feeling bad.
This could be a number of things, catching a virus, and emotional event, an accident of some sort, or a prolonged stressful situation.
Make some notes so you can share as much helpful information as possible with your naturopath. You need to be an active partner with your health care provider to find out what is causing your illness.
Worst Thing #3 – Refuse To Change Your Lifestyle
Acceptance is needed to adapt your lifestyle to suit your current health state. It may be that you are no longer able to work full time, or at all.
Trying to push through on days when the fatigue is bad is not a good idea. You must stay within your personal ‘energy envelope’. For more information on energy envelopes click here.
It’s difficult to acknowledge you are no longer able to do things you used to do like working long hours.
You may need to change to working part-time. It may be that socializing completely exhausts you so you need to reduce the time spent with friends, no matter how enjoyable it is while you are with them.
Friends and family might find this difficult to understand, so try to explain to them that you have limited energy at the moment and you might need to go home early, or sometimes you might need to call off arrangements if you’re having a day when you feel particularly low in energy. Good friends will understand and support you.
If you are serious about supporting your body a change may also be necessary to a healthier way of eating. Your body is in need of nutrients to provide the energy it badly needs. A healthy and balanced diet is the only one that can provide this. Ditching any fast food habits is a must.
Worst Thing #4 – Continuing To Exercise
Well meaning friends and family might encourage you to keep exercising or increase your exercise regime. It’s true, when you are healthy, exercise does increase energy.
However when you have chronic fatigue syndrome exercise can completely rob you of the reduced amount of available energy your body can make in your weakened state.
A study found that chronic fatigue syndrome sufferers reported more pain and fatigue during exercise than healthy individuals. So it’s not just all in your head, you simply can’t do what you used to.
It’s understandable that you may want to exercise as it does give you a lift in energy for a short time. It makes you feel good as the endorphins circulate in your brain.
But, it is sure to be followed by a crash depleting your energy further and you’ll need to rest for a couple of days to regain enough energy to function even semi normally again.
Worst Thing #5 – Believe You Can’t Recover And Get Well
It saddens me to visit online forums and read comments from people who believe they cannot recover. If they are waiting for the cure mentioned in point 2 above, then by that definition, it’s probably true…… they can’t get well.
However, I think it is important to have the belief that you can recover and not give in to the illness.
I started this website as a former chronic fatigue syndrome sufferer myself who was sick for many years, about 7 years in total.
I then had the great good fortune to meet a naturopath who got me well. She was also a former sufferer herself so had great understanding of how debilitating the illness can be.
There’s no denying that getting well isn’t an easy path, it takes time, commitment to the process and perseverance, but it can be done. In my case it took two years to finally get to the point where my symptoms were gone and I could exercise fully again.
Throughout the many years I was ill I always remained positive that I could recover and never allowed the illness to define who I was. It is important to get the right help from a natural practitioner experienced in treating fatigue issues who will help you work out what is causing your particular and individual form of chronic fatigue syndrome.
Putting It All Together
Don’t make your chronic fatigue syndrome worse! Understand what you can and cannot do when you have chronic fatigue syndrome. Get to know your current energy limits and stay within your energy envelope. When you do experience a crash, make yourself as comfortable as possible and simply rest until you recover your energy.
Adapting to the changes in your lifestyle and making necessary adjustments will help you manage your illness. Seek out and work with a naturopathic practitioner experienced in treating chronic fatigue syndrome. BELIEVE you can recover.
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