How I Overcame Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS)

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Daniel Blake-Akpom

What is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?

Chronic fatigue syndrome(CFS) is an underlying medical condition whereby a person constantly feels extreme mental and physical fatigue on a daily basis. It was once believed that chronic fatigue syndrome was a psychological disorder tied to depression since both (CFS) and depression seemed very similar in symptoms. Fortunately, a lot of research has gone into understanding the complexities and underlying causes behind the condition as well as providing treatment to all sufferers experiencing chronic fatigue syndrome on a daily basis.

My Personal Struggles Living With Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS)

For many years of my life, I have always suffered from very debilitating levels of fatigue, from feeling extremely tired to even exercise right through to struggling to sit at my desk to work and study. 

Having had first-hand experience dealing with chronic fatigue syndrome, I can honestly say that as an illness, it is undoubtedly very different from fatigue that everyday people occasionally experience throughout their life. When you have chronic fatigue syndrome, you feel like any physical or mental exertion you make will cause the fatigue to become ten times worse, whether that be going for a walk or studying at your desk; any exertion you make causes you to feel very exhausted and tired.

Secondary Symptoms 

The primary symptom of chronic fatigue syndrome is obviously fatigue; still, secondary symptoms often come with the illness, such as brain fogpost-exertional malaise, and non-restorative sleep.

As an illness, the secondary symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome can sometimes be as bad or even worse than the primary symptom of fatigue. For instance, the brain fog often experienced when you have chronic fatigue syndrome can be so terrible that you can often struggle to gather your thoughts or even concentrate when sat at a desk having to work.

Other Secondary Symptoms Of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Include:

  • Non-Restorative Sleep – Person waking up feeling un-refreshed as if they hadn’t sleep’t
  • Post-Exertional Malaise – Feeling extremely tired and fatigued after physical or mental exertion
  • Aches and pains – Joints, muscles and back tend feel tender and ache.

How I Overcame Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

June 6th 2020, was the date when I decided I had enough and wanted to get to the bottom of what was causing me to feel extremely exhausted each day. I remember watching countless YouTube videos on chronic fatigue syndrome and reading endless books detailing the complexities surrounding the illness. After hours of researching and trying to get to the root cause of the illness, I realised that chronic fatigue syndrome was considered a multi-factorial illness. For those who don’t know, a multi-factorial illness is an illness that has multiple factors causing it; there is no one direct cause to the illness. 

In the case of chronic fatigue syndrome, various problems/factors such as issues with the autonomic nervous system (ANS), problems with the immune system, etc.. .all contribute to the illness we see as chronic fatigue syndrome. Chronic fatigue syndrome and other multi-factorial illnesses can be seen as a group or cluster of separate problems/illnesses combined to create one generic global illness (ME/CFS).

My Recovery Plan

After spending months learning more about chronic fatigue syndrome as an illness, I decided to adopt a holistic health and wellness strategy that would encompass everything from eating certain foods to taking certain supplements and so on. The goal behind this holistic health strategy was to address each underlying factor/cause behind chronic fatigue syndrome, from problems with my immune system to issues when it came to sleep and so on.

As part of my holistic health and wellness strategy, I remember creating a supplement schedule where I would take a specific combination of supplements to treat different aspects of my health. For example, on one day I would take a certain combination of supplements for my gut since I used to have gut-related issues; on another day I would take certain supplements for my immune system and so on. In conjunction with taking supplements, changing my dietgoing for walks, doing meditation, etc… also had a positive and massive impact on my overall health and recovery from the illness.

Transitioning From Recovering To Fully Cured

The path to recovering from chronic fatigue syndrome wasn’t an easy, straightforward journey since I often found myself experiencing occasional relapse in symptoms. After consistently making changes to my everyday routine, i.e. adopting a holistically healthy lifestyle, I started to notice fewer and fewer relapses to the point where I eventually began to notice that I wasn’t getting any relapse in symptoms anymore i.e. fatigue, brain fog, achy joints etc… 

Overcoming chronic fatigue syndrome was certainly not an overnight process. It took a lot of dedication, patience, and consistent long-term effort in order to fully overcome the illness. Some days I would feel like I had all the energy in the world, and then the next thing I know, I would experience a relapse and feel completely awful and tired!

Fortunately, as of now, I am 100% fully cured of having chronic fatigue syndrome, and life is so much easier not having the illness! I have more energy, am more productive throughout the day, and wake up feeling a lot more refreshed and rested than I ever did having the condition. 

In addition I have recently completed a 74-hour water fast, while simultaneously exercising intensely on average for 4 hours each day of the three-day water fast! Did I also mention that I was taking cold showers on the days that I was doing the three-day water fast! I say these things not to brag, but to impress upon you the things you can achieve when you devote time and effort towards adopting a healthy lifestyle in the long run

Throughout my health and wellness journey I didn’t see overnight success, i.e., rapid improvement in my overall health and recovery from chronic fatigue syndrome. It took a lot of time, dedication, and consistent effort, in the long run, to eventually get to a point where I was completely cured from having the illness, i.e. no occasional relapse in symptoms whatsoever. Looking back, I still to this day can’t believe just how far I have come, from barely having any energy to get out of bed to being at a point in my life where I can exercise intensely while in a fasted state, and still have a ton of energy to things done throughout the day. I haven’t had a relapse in almost a year as of now!

To wrap things up, I wish I could say there was a magic pill or single cure for any suffers experiencing chronic fatigue syndrome, but unfortunately no magic pill or single cure exists. As mentioned earlier, chronic fatigue syndrome is a multi-factorial illness whereby multiple problems in the body, i.e., problems with the ANS, sleepimmune systemgut, and so on, all contribute to the development of the illness as a whole. The best way to overcome chronic fatigue syndrome would be to adopt a holistically healthy lifestyle, addressing all the different pillars/factors that contribute to your health.

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