Everyone experiences tiredness and fatigue at some point in their lives, including myself, and it is quite common to have one day every now and then where you think “I’m just too tired to function today”. But what if you had one of those days, every day? This is commonly the case for people who suffer from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS). CFS is characterised by persistent feelings of fatigue that cannot be relieved by rest, with a key feature of the condition being extreme exhaustion among other symptoms. There is no definitive cause of CFS, however, many cases begin with a viral infection (such as glandular fever) and can commonly last for months or even years without resolution.
Over the years many scientific studies have been completed on CFS to determine the best treatments, unfortunately no cure has been found, but the research has helped to determine the most efficient ways to manage the condition. The two most common treatment interventions include a combination of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and Graded Exercise therapy (GET). There is still some stigma surrounding these treatment options, however, with more research being conducted each year, it is becoming evident that this form of treatment is the most efficient in allowing sufferers to manage their symptoms and improve their quality of life.
As an exercise physiologist, we undertake specific training on the effective implementation of such therapies. CBT and GET therapies may not only be used in the management of CFS, but also in many other conditions that have an effect on a person’s energy levels and function, including but not limited to depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD), post-infectious fatigue syndrome (PIFS) and post-cancer fatigue (PCF). These therapies are targeted towards steadily improving a person’s ability to complete normal day-to-day activities, both cognitive and physical, without the repercussions of severe fatigue symptoms post-activity. If you are currently suffering from CFS or any of the other conditions listed above and would like more information on how myself or one of our other accredited exercise physiologists may be able to assist you, send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alixe Luckins (B.Sc. Exercise Physiology)
Accredited Exercise Physiologist (AEP) (ESSAM)
Price JR, Mitchell E, Tidy E, Hunot V. Cognitive behaviour therapy for chronic fatigue syndrome in adults. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2008, Issue 3. Art. No.: CD001027. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD001027.pub2.