8 Tips to Manage Chronic Fatigue

Discover eight dietary approaches to manage symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. From staying hydrated to consuming healthy fats, these small changes help you in a bigway to live your best life.

By URLife Team
28 Apr 2023

Imagine waking up every day feeling tired, no matter how much rest you got the night before. You might experience headaches, muscle pain, joint pain, and even cognitive difficulties such as memory problems or difficulty concentrating. These symptoms can make it difficult to work, socialise, or run your daily errands.


If you’re dealing with these symptoms, chances are that you may want to see your doctor to rule out Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is a medical condition characterised by extreme fatigue, painful joints, aching body, and feeling lethargic. In CFS, the symptoms do not subside with rest and are persistent in nature.


People with CFS often face challenges in getting an accurate diagnosis because there are no diagnostic tests to confirm this condition. The symptoms and severity of symptoms differ from person to person. The symptoms get worse with physical activity and stress.


Also, CFS is a long-lasting condition which is more common in middle-aged women. It is four times more common in women than men. People with CFS can manage their symptoms by changing their lifestyle and diet because there is no specific line of treatment to cure CFS. So, dietary changes play a vital role in managing the symptoms.


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Relationship between Diet and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

The relationship between diet and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is complex. If you have CFS, you may have noticed that certain foods or eating patterns seem to make your symptoms better or worse. However, it can be hard to know exactly what to eat or avoid in order to feel your best.


Many people with CFS find that they are more sensitive to certain foods than others. For example, you may notice that eating a lot of sugar or processed foods leaves you feeling tired and sluggish, while eating more fresh fruits and vegetables makes you more energised.


Making dietary changes can be challenging, especially if you are already dealing with symptoms of CFS that make it unable for you to put effort towards your diet. But, this is something that is going to help in alleviating the symptoms and help you maintain a healthier life.


A healthy diet provides essential nutrients that are required by the body to function optimally. Those with CFS may be more vulnerable to nutrient deficiencies, which can exacerbate fatigue, muscle weakness, and cognitive impairments. Consuming a nutrient-rich diet that includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and healthy fats is essential for maintaining overall health.


Moreover, a healthy diet can also manage certain symptoms of CFS. Some people with CFS may experience digestive symptoms like bloating, constipation, or diarrhoea, which can worsen with the consumption of certain foods. By avoiding complex foods and relying on easily digestible foods like cooked vegetables and lean protein, it is possible to mitigate these symptoms and enhance your comfort.


Lastly, a balanced diet also supports good sleep, which is crucial for individuals with CFS. A heavy meal or consumption of caffeine or alcohol close to bedtime can impair sleep quality. Consuming a light meal that contains a blend of carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fats earlier in the evening helps to promote relaxation and better sleep quality, which will allow you ample rest.


Related Story: Ways To Banish Morning Fatigue


Symptoms of CFS

The symptoms of CFS may vary from day to day and from person to person. It can also resemble the symptoms of other illnesses. However, the most common symptom is persistent fatigue. Other symptoms include -

  • Muscle pain
  • Joint pain
  • Headache
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Dizziness
  • Sore throat
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Low-grade fever
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Cognitive impairment
  • Depression
  • Insomnia


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Treating Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Currently, there is no cure for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS). However, there are many treatment options available to manage and alleviate the symptoms and enhance your quality of life. It involves a combination of therapies that are tailored to individual needs and symptoms.


Some common treatment approaches for CFS are:


Cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT), graded exercise therapy (GET), medications, dietary changes, and complementary therapies such as acupuncture, massage, or yoga.


  • CBT is a form of therapy that helps individuals to identify negative thought patterns and behaviours, and to develop coping strategies to manage them. It has been shown to be effective in managing symptoms of CFS such as fatigue, pain, and depression.
  • Graded exercise therapy also known as GET involves gradually increasing physical activity over time to improve fitness and reduce symptoms. It should be tailored to individual abilities and limitations and should be supervised by a healthcare professional.
  • There are no specific medications for treating CFS, but some may be used to manage certain symptoms. For example, antidepressants may be prescribed to manage depression and pain, while sleeping aids may be used to manage sleep disturbances.
  • Eating a balanced and healthy diet that is rich in nutrients can help to manage symptoms of CFS. Avoiding trigger foods and focusing on easily digestible foods can also help to reduce digestive symptoms. It can also help in keeping energy levels high and give the stamina to cope with the pain.
  • Some people with CFS may benefit from complementary therapies like acupuncture, massage, or yoga, which can help to manage pain, improve sleep quality, and reduce stress.


It is important to note that treatment for CFS should be individualised, and what works for one person may not work for another. Working with a healthcare provider who is knowledgeable about CFS and can develop a personalised treatment plan is essential for managing symptoms and improving quality of life.


Related Story: 10 Instant Energy Foods To Tackle Afternoon Fatigue


Dietary Tips To Manage CFS

Dietary changes can be a helpful way to manage the symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS). CFS is a complex condition that can impact multiple systems of the body, and a tailored approach to dietary interventions is important. Here are some tips from experts that can help you to maintain a healthy diet with CFS:


Stay hydrated

Proper hydration is essential for optimal health, and even more so for people with CFS. Staying hydrated can help to improve cognitive function, regulate body temperature, and reduce fatigue. Aim to drink at least 8-10 glasses of water per day, and consider incorporating hydrating foods like watermelon and cucumber into your diet.


Incorporate protein-rich foods

Protein is essential for building and repairing tissues, and it also helps to keep you feeling full for longer periods of time. Good sources of protein include lean meats, fish, eggs, beans, and nuts. Amino acids such as tryptophan, tyrosine and phenylalanine can be helpful in promoting mental focus and energy levels.


Eat a balanced diet

Eating a balanced diet that includes a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins can help to provide the nutrients your body needs to function properly. Foods rich in vitamins and minerals like iron, B vitamins, and vitamin C can help to improve energy levels and reduce fatigue.


Eat healthy fats

Healthy fats, like those found in nuts, seeds, and avocados, can help reduce inflammation in the body and provide sustained energy. Omega-3 fatty acids, found in fatty fish such as salmon, are particularly important for reducing inflammation and improving cognitive function.


Include complex carbs

Complex carbohydrates, like those found in whole grains, vegetables, and legumes, can provide a steady source of energy throughout the day. These foods also tend to have a lower glycemic index, which can help to regulate blood sugar levels and reduce energy crashes.


Add anti-inflammatory foods

Eating foods that are rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds, like berries, leafy greens, and turmeric, can help to reduce inflammation in the body and improve symptoms of CFS. Additionally, probiotic-rich foods like fermented vegetables can help to support gut health and reduce inflammation.


Take supplements if necessary

Some people with CFS may benefit from taking supplements like calcium and magnesium. However, it is important to talk to a healthcare provider before starting any new supplements, as they can interfere with pre-existing medications and other treatments.


Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and processed foods

These substances can be dehydrating and may worsen symptoms of CFS. Limiting or avoiding these foods and drinks can be helpful in managing symptoms. Additionally, it may be helpful to limit or eliminate foods that you are sensitive or allergic to, as these can also contribute to inflammation and worsen symptoms.


Need all your wellness solutions in one place? A whole new world awaits just a click away.


Regular health checks are essential for everyone, but they are particularly important for individuals who are at risk of or already have chronic fatigue syndrome. Taking regular health checks can help detect chronic fatigue syndrome at an early stage when it is easier to manage and treat. With the UR.Life HRA, we help you to invest in your well-being through seamless interventions and targeted medical treatments. Our holistic wellness approach caters to all aspects of your well-being. We ensure that you can bring your whole self to work.

With our medical professionals by your side, routine health check-ups will never be an issue. Advanced laboratory technologies back UR.Life’s Occupational Health Centers (OHC), and with highly qualified experts/technicians, we’re committed to delivering trusted and quality recommendations, modifications and advice to you.



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