For some people chronic fatigue and chronic pain can be a constant everyday occurrence, interfering with living a productive and goal-achieving life.
For chronic fatigue sufferers, life can be completely consumed by their illness.
Many suffer pain and fatigue in silence, as others often do not understand the true extent of how much they suffer.
Chronic fatigue, chronic pain and fibromyalgia are conditions that are not caused by one particular thing and are seen as generalised illnesses that are often difficult to treat.
Therefore those who suffer with such conditions can really struggle long-term from one day to the next.
We can all understand what feeling really tired for a few days can feel like until we have time to rest and re-charge, but for chronic fatigue sufferers it is a non-relenting condition that hangs over them like a black cloud day after day and often with pain to go with their tiredness.
Some may struggle to even get out of bed in the morning to try and get through the daily basic tasks that many of us take for granted. Others can have good days and bad days, never really knowing how they are going to feel from one day to the next. These people crave to feel normal again with boundless energy that they once had.
Fibromyalgia is characterised as an illness of a combination of chronic and varying symptoms of musculoskeletal pain, tenderness, sleep disturbance, stiffness fatigue, mental distress, headaches, IBS, anxiety and depression.
Chronic fatigue syndrome is characterised by persistent and relapsing fatigue, with occurring symptoms such as parasthesia, gut disturbances, headaches, joint pain and sometimes mental and visual dysfunction. Chronic fatigue often has some of the following physical symptoms: tender lymph nodes, unrefreshing sleep, sore throat, muscle pain, impaired memory and concentration and postexertional malaise.
The two conditions mentioned are similar but different, with fibromyalgia being a pain-based condition with varying degrees of fatigue and mood disturbances, while chronic fatigue is where fatigue is the key symptom, alongside pain, immune disturbances and brain fog being a secondary concern to the condition.
Many people are desperate for a fast cure, but it is often a slow and winding road to recovery.
Both these conditions may take years to recover from and often with relapses that can occur along the way.
There are many ways to treat these conditions, but for each individual there is often not one particular treatment, as a different treatment may be required for each individual.
Often a range of treatment options will be recommended or prescribed, and a figuring-out process of what is working best for the individual being treated at the time. A combination of suggestions is often provided for a better long-term wellness outcome.
A variety of remedies may involve looking at daily lifestyle options, herbal and mineral remedies and dietary advice, all to enhance the health of the individual concerned.
It has taken the patient a while to get to this state, so it will take time to get better.
Patience and support are the two key elements for individuals suffering with these such conditions. Trial and error are also part of the equation to try and get the patient back to health.
As there is not one cure for those who suffer from chronic fatigue and chronic pain, it is often easier to start with the basics and then move forward from there.
Starting with the basics is a great way to start the recovery process, as most people who suffer with chronic fatigue and chronic pain are too exhausted or in pain to implement the basics of good health, often looking for a quick fix of sugar or caffeine, or not exercising.
You may know of someone who is constantly suffering and in a state of unwellness, maybe a little help or a little understanding for how that person is suffering might go a long way in helping that person to recover in their own time and at their own pace.
For more information on treatment of these conditions it is advisable to seek professional help for those concerned.Jane Logie is a medicinal herbalist, clinical nutritionist and chef from Methven.
Pave the way to a better you
*Trying to eat as healthily as possible and starting a gentle exercise regime are two great starting points.
*Start with getting a minimum of eight to 10 hours' sleep a night and trying to remove sugar and stimulants like caffeine from your diet.
*Take deeper, slower breaths and include more relaxing/time-out options in your life.
*Rehydrate your cells by drinking plenty of water. Easily digestable fruit and vegetable juice combinations can also be hugely beneficial.
*Utilising nutrients such as magnesium, vitamin B and C and, sometimes, zinc and CoQ10 can be of help. Fish oils and a variety of herbs such as rhodiola, St John's wort, valerian, passionflower and licorice can also be of help, on their own or in combination.