Can I Prevent Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome has no specific cause nor cure, so unfortunately there is no known factor that will prevent the onset of CFS. However, there are steps you can take to lead a healthy lifestyle which may in turn help you avoid the illness.
Reduce or Eliminate Stress
We know that stress contributes to a multitude of health problems, and many patients report first noticing CFS symptoms after a stressful life event. Try to cut unnecessary stress out of your life, and apply stress reduction techniques when you find yourself on the edge. Remember that stress does not necessarily have a negative origin; positive situations like weddings can also be stressors.
Respond to Illnesses
No matter how small or inconsequential they may seem, address illnesses timely and thoroughly. While there is no exact link between Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and bacterial and viral infections, many patients report the onset of their symptoms after a bout of respiratory ailments including the common cold. Mononucleosis is another prior illness many CFS patients have experienced, and is especially important to treat immediately. Dental abscesses and chronic sinus infections may also be a contributing factor to CFS, so be sure to maintain good dental and sinus health.
Food is Fuel
It is common knowledge that eating a healthy balanced diet goes a long way toward good health. Incorporate antioxidant and fiber rich foods into your diet and be sure to drink plenty of water. Conversely, toxins like alcohol, cigarettes, caffeine, and refined sugars should be avoided.
All Things in Moderation
Remember that there can be too much of a good thing. Work, exercise, and eat in moderation. Do not push yourself to the point of exhaustion, and remember to stick to an eating plan that focuses on healthy nourishment rather than gluttony. Develop good sleeping habits that will allow you to sleep a full eight hours and wake up feeling rested.
Keep Away from Chemicals
Avoid or limit your contact with chemical contaminants. Wear a mask if you are painting your home, or leave altogether if the work is being done for you. Do not inhale or touch other chemicals.
Understand the Risks
Be aware that there are two factors that may play a greater role in your chances of developing Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: your immune system and your genetics. If your immune system is weakened due to an illness; or if your weakened immune system causes an illness, your risk of developing CFS may be greater. Additionally, a medically suppressed immune system may also increase your risk. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has recognized a genetic link to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. There also seems to be a correlation between CFS and a person's inability to adapt to change.
Communication with your doctor is essential. Avoid trying to diagnose yourself and do not agonize about how to prevent Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, as this may only contribute to the stress that sparks the onset of CFS. Do not over medicate yourself, as recurrent courses of antibiotics and other medicines may increase your risk of developing CFS.
Photo Credit: K. Denman