Chronic fatigue syndrome treatment

Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is also known as myalgic encephalitis (ME). The extreme fatigue brought about by this condition is persistent, often overwhelming, and is associated with other symptoms, such as aching muscles, sore throats, deteriorated short-term memory and an increased sensitivity to noise and light. 

Why do fatigue symptoms persist?

We do not know the cause of CFS/ME, but the Royal Free London fatigue service can address the factors that cause fatigue symptoms to persist, and reduce their impact on everyday life.

Some of the factors that might make fatigue symptoms feel worse are:

  • relapse brought about by excessive activity, aka ‘boom-bust’
  • a disturbed sleep pattern
  • difficult emotions, such as stress, anxiety and depression
  • ME/CFS can itself cause frustration, a sense of being isolated or feeling misunderstood, difficulty in relationships and an experience of stigma.

What chronic fatigue treatment does the Royal Free London provide?

Our specialist fatigue team provides a range of treatment options for ME/CFS. We offer face-to-face, virtual and telephone contact options to improve the access to our service for all.

Fatigue Specialist Psychology

Our clinical and counselling psychologists use various techniques (such as mindfulness, cognitive behavioural therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy and compassion focussed therapy) to help you better align with your personal values and live a meaningful life, in spite of fatigue’s challenges. They can also help you:

  • set and achieve goals
  • manage sleep difficulties
  • unhook from difficult thoughts and emotions
  • improve relationships
  • overcome the experience of stigma.

Fatigue Specialist Physiotherapy

Our specialist physiotherapists have extensive experience in helping people overcome the challenges of living with ME/CFS. They can help you:

  • improve your energy management skills
  • better manage pain (which is a commonly associated symptom of ME/CFS)
  • assist with re-engaging with your values and goals
  • prepare/adjust for the physical challenges of employment and activities of daily living.

Royal Free London medical care for chronic fatigue symptoms

The Royal Free London fatigue team may provide medical care reviews to discuss new or altered fatigue symptoms, and the impact of other conditions you may have with your CFS/ME. 

All therapies offered are dependent on funding from your local clinical commissioning group - find out more.