While there is no cure, ME/CFS is managed to improve health outcomes, and to reduce disability.
The best outcomes are achieved by a combination of pharmacological and non-pharmacological approaches. Management is patient-centred, individually tailored, and involves a multi-disciplinary care team. In Australian General Practice settings, care is coordinated using management programs, care plans and referrals to a health care team that may include:
- Case coordinator
- Exercise physiologist
- Dietitian / Nutritionist
- Health coach / Lifestyle educator
Management focusses on wellness, rather than searching for miracle cures. A key to good outcomes is to:
‘slow down and keep out of the push/crash cycle’
Start all treatments / interventions using a one-at-a-time, ‘start-low, go-slow’, and keep your records of symptom changes.
Some basic steps to help you stabilise and manage your condition include:
- Improving sleep
- Reducing stress
- Pacing your activity and rest levels
- Managing energy levels
- Gentle movement
- Maintaining good nutrition
It is surprising what can be achieved with good lifestyle management.
- Don’t forget to stabilise your condition as a first step to management i.e. be patient and work out your current energy and symptom levels. Once you’ve achieved this, take small steps and build up gradually.
- Monitoring – Keep good records using a diary, logs, and charts. While this can be time consuming, it is worth it, and nowadays there are new Apps and wearables to help you keep the records. Use these records to provide feedback to your case manager / health care team, as you work towards an optimal treatment program.
For more information on Australia-appropriate ME/CFS management programs, health coaching and care plans, contact email@example.com