There is a Connection between ADD ADHD and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
It’s hard to imagine that ADD/ADHD (an attention disorder) could have anything to do with chronic fatigue syndrome (a chronic disorder involving persistent fatigue), but according to recent research, there may very well be a connection!
Read on to find out everything you need to know about the two disorders and how they are linked…
What is Chronic Fatigue?
Chronic fatigue syndrome is a disorder characterized by long term fatigue, along with symptoms like headaches, loss of concentration, joint pain, and cognitive difficulties.
The interesting thing about CFS is that there is no underlying medical reason for the fatigue and exhaustion, yet it persists for months at a time. Even the slightest exertion can lead to total wipeout, making it a debilitating disorder.
What is ADD/ADHD?
ADHD stands for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Once known as simply ADD, ADHD is a disorder characterized by inattention, lack of concentration, hesitation, forgetfulness, and procrastination. (1)
Some people with ADHD suffer from fatigue and lethargy, but it’s not as common as hyperactivity and impulsive behavior.
What’s the Connection?
These two disorders may sound like two completely opposite ends of the health spectrum, but recent studies have suggested that there is a link between the two.
Recent studies have suggested that there is a link between ADHD and Chronic Fatigue. #CFS #ADHD
An Australian study examined the connection between CFS and ADHD, and found that those suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome also met the criteria for being diagnosed with ADHD. How is this possible?
It is believed that the two disorders share the underlying mechanism. Over time of suffering from ADHD, the disorder transformed into chronic fatigue and pain. Both disorders involve an inability of the brain to regulate dopamine, serotonin, and/or norepinephrine.
Thanks to this dysregulation of neurotransmitters, the brain is unable to focus on the tasks at hand, and thus ADHD is a problem. However, if the problem goes unchecked, the Australian researchers discovered that it could eventually transform into some form of CFS.
Interestingly enough, the two share some of the same symptoms. For example, both ADHD and CFS sufferers have a hard time concentrating on tasks, and their memory is spotty. They have trouble staying focused when trying to run errands or complete jobs. This indicates that the link between the two is more concrete than science currently realizes, and more research is being done into the matter.
But for now, it’s enough to give doctors a bright idea: perhaps treating ADHD and CFS with the same drugs will work…
ADHD Drugs for Chronic Fatigue
Thanks to the fact that the symptoms of Chronic Fatigue and ADHD are fairly similar, medications used to treat ADHD have proven fairly effective at treating CFS–or at least some of the symptoms. (2)
Though the fatigue symptoms of CFS are usually treated by fatigue management medications, the mental effects of CFS are often treated using ADHD drugs. Patients taking ADHD drugs have reported improvements in their cognitive dysfunction, as well as their fatigue and pain. The CFS patients who took ADHD drugs responded well to the treatment, indicating that ADHD medications may be a useful treatment for Chronic Fatigue.
But the true value of this discovery lies in the link between ADHD and CFS. Knowing that there is a link between the two disorders will help researchers to narrow down the underlying causes in both disorders, potentially making it easier to find the real cause of this disorder. Considering that both CFS and ADHD have no known cause, this is a huge discovery!
Other Ways to Deal with Chronic Fatigue
ADHD drugs may be a wonderful new way to deal with CFS, but they’re not the only way for you to manage the disorder. Here are a few more things you can do:
- Reduce stress — Stress is a known trigger for Chronic Fatigue, and it can cause your current problem to grow worse. In order to ensure that you stay healthy and energized, get rid of the things in your life that are causing you stress. Avoid both physical and emotional overexertions, and take time to relax every day. It’s the only way to manage your condition properly! (source)
- Take it easy — It’s vital that you spend enough time resting every day, and make sure that you get plenty of time to relax after long work days. It will help you to combat the emotional and physical stressors in your life! Make sure to sleep well every night. (source)
- Don’t overdo it — There will be days when you will feel good, but don’t give in to the temptation to over-exert yourself. Take it easy on your good days, as pushing yourself too hard can cause a relapse. Don’t overdo the exercise, but make sure that you do walk and work out a little bit every day.
- Sleep well — Make it a point to sleep a solid seven to eight hours per night, and allow yourself to take a midday nap or two if you need it. You need to combat the insomnia that often sets in with CFS, and keeping yourself on a regular sleep schedule can do wonder. (source)
- Eat well — Eating the right foods can make all the difference in your life! Protein, iron, calcium, and Vitamin C are all needed for a healthy body, and you’ll find that they will help to keep your immune system balanced.
- Take the right supplements — Bee pollen has an awesome balance of nutrients that will help you combat CFS effectively, and you’ll find that a B-complex vitamin will be a good addition to your daily meals.
Did you know that whey protein is one of the best supplements to reduce the symptoms of CFS? Well Wisdom offers a whey protein formulated specifically to help you deal with your chronic fatigue syndrome.
This protein powder is all-natural, offers all the amino acids you need, and even packs an antioxidant punch to keep your immune system firing on all cylinders. Definitely worth a try to get your CFS under control!