Monday, February 21, 2011

New thinking on chronic fatigue

The largest study ever on this debilitating condition (600 participants), published in Lancet, suggests that “adapting” to diminished energy and strength by taking it easy may not be the best therapy.

Exercise seems to help, the researchers found. It might even reverse some of the symptoms.

You may not need to have CFS forever.

Up to 2% of people worldwide have this. The symptoms are persistent tiredness, muscle pain, insomnia, and memory problems.

The cause is unknown—although some viruses can set it off. The conventional wisdom now is to pace yourself—rest if you can’t do a lot.

The patients tested medical care, psychology to address fears of exercise, drugs for insomnia or pain, or the adaptive pacing strategy.

Behavior and exercise changes helped about 60%. How long improvements will last was not known.

I would say this is a start—not a breakthrough.

Still, if you heard exercise could be harmful, this seems to indicate that it isn't.

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