Extreme Fatigue

People with CFS and fibromyalgia have less energy than before becoming ill, plus other limits created by symptoms such as pain and poor sleep.

The limitations range from relatively small disruptions of life to severe restrictions that render people housebound. Living successfully with these illnesses requires understanding your body’s new requirements and then adjusting to them. The process of accepting limits and learning to live a different kind of life usually takes several years. During this time, many patients find themselves caught in a vicious cycle of push and crash, swinging between overactivity and rest. Their symptoms and their reactions to them interact to keep them caught in a frustrating loop. (See diagram.) When their symptoms are low, they push to get as much done as they can. But doing too much intensifies their symptoms and so they crash. The high level of symptoms leads them to rest in order to reduce discomfort. […]

9: The Energy Envelope