Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) Treatment Recommendations

Sleep Improvements

Good sleep habits are important for all people, especially people with ME/CFS.

For more information about methods to improve sleeping, please see the following pages:

Stress Reduction

Many patients with ME/CFS suffer from depression, stress and anxiety. Some people with ME/CFS may benefit from relaxation techniques to reduce their stress and anxiety. For more information about methods to improve stress, see the Stress Reduction (PDF) information sheet.

Memory Improvements

Memory and concentration problems are associated with ME/CFS. There are many helpful tools you can use to combat this, like organizers and calendars. For more information about methods to enhance your memory, see the Memory Improvement (PDF) information sheet.

Gradual Exercise

Exercise recommendations for people with ME/CFS differ from general guidelines. Exercise is important, but it needs to be performed with caution as overexertion can trigger relapses in some people with ME/CFS. Graded exercise, or a slow gradual increase in activity is often recommended for patients with ME/CFS. Exercise can be broken up into several brief sessions a day to help you stay active. Before beginning any new exercise routine, you should consult with your doctor.

Diet Recommendations

Current recommendations for individuals with ME/CFS are to eat a balanced diet and a variety of nutritious foods. Eating a balanced diet is important for all people (even those without ME/CFS), but it can be especially challenging to do when you’re struggling with fatigue. Many individuals with ME/CFS report that several smaller meals throughout the day help keep their energy levels up and help them avoid nausea. Caffeine may seem helpful, but research has shown that it’s best to avoid it whenever possible. For more information on how to build a healthier eating style, visit MyPlate.