Controlling the symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome is no longer restricted to changes in lifestyle, medications and behavioral therapies. There are in fact current treatment modalities that make use of Complementary and Alternative Medicine.
Since many conventional treatments do not guarantee absolute success, alternative medicine, for most people, prove to be very attractive treatment options. Below are some of the most common complementary and alternative treatments used in relieving patients from the symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
In Asia, ginseng is a popular herbal treatment for fatigue as well as in increasing energy which is basically what patients of CFS need. It turns out, the claims around this ancient energy booster herb hold water even when tested through contemporary research. Based on the study conducted by the University of Iowa, ginseng is among the more reliable and effective herbs for CFS. An independent study conducted in California further proved that ginseng is a powerful herb for treating CFS.
Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide (NADH)
In a pioneering study conducted among chronic fatigue patients, it was proven that Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide, more commonly known as NADH, helps in providing extra energy for CFS patients.
Carnitine, a substance found in almost all living cells, has the main function of transporting fatty acids to the powerhouse or the mitochondria of cells. This substance, in a way, is instrumental in the production of cellular energy. Carnitine supplements are helpful to CFS patients since it is found out that among these people, Carnitine levels are very low which is linked to some types of pain, muscle fatigue and decreased tolerance to physical exertion. Supplementation, therefore, can help fix low Carnitine levels.
Carnitine supplements, in general, work well with patients of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. However high dosage of these supplements may lead to side effects such as diarrhea, rashes, increased appetite and body odor.
Coenzyme Q10 or Co Q10
This is another compound that is found in the energy-producing organelle of the cells- the mitochondria. It is known to play roles in the production of ATP, a chemical compound which produces energy used during muscle contraction.
DHEA is a type of hormone that is released by the adrenal glands. Small quantities of DHEA are also found in the testes and the ovaries where it is converted into testosterone and estrogen. This hormone plays a great deal in the regulation of sleep, moods and memory. Among patients of chronic fatigue syndrome, this hormone is found in abnormally lower levels. Supplements are therefore needed to normalize these levels. However there are downsides to using DHEA supplements.
Since this hormone is converted into testosterone and estrogen, conditions that are controlled by these hormones may be affected. It is therefore very important that DHEA supplements are used only with doctor’s prescription and supervision.
The substances discussed above are potentially helpful in relieving the symptoms of CFS, especially fatigue. However, it should be remembered that although these come from natural sources, the “natural” factor does not guarantee that the substance is safe. These substances can potentially interfere with other medications and may pose serious danger to the health of individuals who are taking them without sufficient professional assistance.
Having said that, there are other options that are outright safe such as breathing therapy, relaxation therapies, movement therapies, acupuncture and ayurdeva.