Nothing fights the reality of becoming disabled after exertion, stress, etc., w/ CFS. Both muscle cells and neurons are affected. And other cell types. Anything putting out ATP in the mitochondria, and probably involving endorphins-for-pain, the need for new protein synthesis or cell regeneration, and the creation of lactic acid, all seem to be involved in the crippling pathology. One consequence is that there seems to be a virtual anoxia or starvation of cells, which in itself can cause physical pain, etc. Vascular changes, lactic cramping, hypersensitivity, can all cause pain. And, either as a cause or an effect, the body wages a war at some pathogen which is real or imaginary - we do not yet know. (CFS is not contagious. It may have a genetic component. CFS can cause genetic changes). There is a hyper-immune reaction against past viruses, etc., as well, even though they maybe be long gone. Well, this reaction not only causes a serious, constant "flu", but it releases immune chemicals into the brain, which results in a whole different source and dynamic of pain - very severe, what these chemicals can do to the brain, ergo the body. Simultaneous sub-acute inflammation and dehydration of the brain occur, also being sources of pain.
So, anyway, none of this can really be turned around. Once the exertion or stress has occurred, all this is going to happen, a day or two later. The painful "down-time" can last for days or weeks, depending on the intensity of the insult, and: these "relapses" can build cumulatively, meaning that each successive relapse is worse and longer-lasting. This cumulative effect occurs either when too many insults are hitting the subject along a specific span of time or, (another way of saying the same thing), when the subject fails to recover from each and all preceding relapses. The ability to "recover" is limitted, so there will always be some cumulative effect. Even if I, e.g., fail to rest enough after focusing on the computer/screen, I will incur "focusing headache" (migraine) the next time I do the same, more-so and more-so if failing to rest sufficiently, and requiring a geometrically increasing need for sleep, even as insomnia increases.
After insufficient recovery, just walking outside can result in the body cramping up the next day, trying to build up lactic acid, and causing more fatigue, shutting things down, etc.
There is no getting around this, however, once I am coming out of a "relapse" there are a few things that actually do help me...
- garlic* - (which mainly works against fungus/yeast and micobacteria, in this case)
- lysine - (an amino acid, in high does, helps push back herpes-type viruses. There seems to be a problem w/ HHV-6 in the brain's left hemisphere, which has some influence on the immune system. Co-factor Vitamin B6)
- turmeric - (reduces inflammation and anti-oxidants, has antiviral properties)
- zinc - (along w/ lysine, fights viruses and helps with many of the body's important enzymes - co-factor Vitamin C)
- magnesium - (always necessary to help muscles, heart, brain, enzymes - co-factor Vitamin C)
- melatonin - (in tiny amounts, encourages sleep. But, over a few days, can encourages own body's melatonin levels to decrease, intensifying insomnia, and handicapping pineal gland, and the brains daily "chemical rythm")
- benedryl - (1/3rd tab, helps lessen allergic component of hyper-immune state, which is not a lot, but it helps; and can so reduce stress and encourage sleep. Can cause brain/focusing/etc. problems if used too much / too often).
- fish oil - (helps brain, sleep)
- Vitamin E - (over time, this vitamin is very helpful, although observing the improvement may not be easy even scientifically)
- Completely avoiding sugars, gluten, and things associated with food allergies in some folks, also helps.
I have mainly been eating nuts lately, and they seem to be giving me a tiny belly. Nuts - who would have thought. But it's a nice belly. Good fats.
I may be taking my dog for a mile-walk to a new vet, who probably will be draining the embolism on his ear. Hopefully we are not too late, preventing permanent cauliflower ear. Walking my dog even a block is a challenge. If you knew him you would understand. But we have been having fun lately, now that I am a little better. I asked him to bite me and he did this weird biting face. It was funny.