Chronic fatigue syndrome is a debilitating condition where the patient suffers from extreme exhaustion that lasts for a prolonged period of time – usually more than 6 months – and comes with several other symptoms. Aside from suffering from unexplained fatigue even with minimal physical activity, chronic fatigue syndrome patient also exhibits the following symptoms: muscle pains, tenderness and swelling in the joints, recurring sore throat, impaired concentration and short term memory, severe headaches and un-refreshing sleep.
The cause of chronic fatigue syndrome or CFS is yet to be discovered. This makes CFS very difficult to manage, as there are no known cures for it yet. Some patients are able to relieve the symptoms of CFS by using prescription drugs as well as some over the counter medications. However, these medications have varying degrees of success. Sometimes, they have little positive effect at all. Still, there are several holistic and alternative treatments that provide CFS patients with options to combat this debilitating disorder.
Since symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome are also classic symptoms of many viral infections, doctors and specialists recommend treatments that strengthen the immune system. Receiving proper nutrition is an excellent way to boost the immune system, improve the body’s functions and increase the patient’s energy levels to overcome the malaise that comes with a CFS attack.
Here are the vitamins and minerals that help boost the immune system:
• B Vitamins – Vitamin B-12 is one of the most important vitamins. It helps in the production of red blood cells as well as DNA and the myelin sheath that surround nerve cells. Receiving the proper amounts of Vitamin B-12 helps in maintaining the body’s energy level as well as keeping the central nervous, gastrointestinal, immune and cardiovascular systems healthy. People with vitamin B-12 deficiency suffer from reduced energy levels, impaired memory and concentration, as well as several gastrointestinal problems. These are also symptoms that appear during an attack of chronic fatigue syndrome. The B Vitamins folic acid and pantothenic acid are known to help treat fatigue. Increasing the intake of these vitamins can have beneficial effects for chronic fatigue syndrome patients.
• Omega-3 Fatty Acids – These fatty acids are very essential to health. Unfortunately, the human body does not produce it naturally. Taking Omega-3 Fatty Acids can help reduce blood pressure, decrease triglyceride levels, reduce the occurrence of arrhythmias, and stem the growth of plaque in the walls of the arteries. Again, the symptoms of Omega-3 deficiency are closely related to symptoms of CFS: fatigue, poor memory, depression, heart problems and poor circulation.
• Sodium – This mineral is necessary to keep the body’s fluid balances. People suffering from CFS may actually have very low levels of sodium in their bodies. Having the right amount of sodium can have beneficial effects for patients with chronic fatigue syndrome. However, patients must consult their doctors first to have their sodium levels tested.
• Other Minerals – There are several minerals that are beneficial for people suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome. Chromium helps patients manage their blood sugar. Magnesium and potassium aspartates are known to help decrease fatigue in various clinical studies. Magnesium deficiency interferes with the Krebs cycle, which is responsible for transforming nutrients to energy. So ensuring the proper supply of magnesium in the body is a good way to combat the symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome.