3 Ways to Get Care for Chronic Fatigue

We all experience seasons of our lives that are marked by fatigue and exhaustion. But for people with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), sleep deprivation and difficulty with thinking and concentrating isn’t just a phase that lasts a couple weeks or months. Chronic fatigue syndrome is an illness that can have serious effects on many of the body’s systems for six months or more.

In patients with CFS, there is no primary illness or condition causing the fatigue. The fatigue is a force of its own, requiring, in some cases, a battery of medical tests as providers rule out other potential illnesses.

What Is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?

Many patients describe their experience as being akin to the flu. Symptoms of CFS may include:

  • Joint/muscle pain
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Memory loss
  • Headaches
  • Digestive problems
  • Chills
  • Night sweats

CFS can affect patients mentally, as well. Mood swings, anxiety, depression, and panic attacks are not uncommon among individuals with chronic fatigue syndrome.

If faced with CFS, what can you do? While there is no “cure” for CFS, there are some strategies you can discuss with your doctor about implementing into your daily routine.

#1 Improve Quality of Sleep

Avoiding caffeine and alcohol altogether can be a good first step toward improving your chances of getting quality sleep. Try to establish a regular nighttime routine that lets your body know it’s time to go to bed. Avoid screens for at least 90 minutes prior to bedtime.

#2 Get Vitamin D

Vitamin D deficiency is widespread, affecting patients with CFS, as well as the general population. This deficiency makes it difficult for your body to absorb calcium. The deficiency can be responsible for bone pain, muscle pain, fatigue, and difficulty thinking. While you can get vitamin D through sun exposure, talk to your doctor about taking a vitamin D supplement, which allows you to know the actual amount of Vitamin D that’s getting into your system.

#3 Graded Exercise Therapy

Graded exercise therapy has patients start exercising with slow stretching and gentle movements. Intensity and duration of exercise is increased gradually over time as the body becomes accustomed to the movements. Graded exercise therapy has been shown to reduce fatigue in patients with CFS.

See an Internal Medicine Doctor In Nashville

Meet our internal medicine providers at St. Thomas Medical Group. For scheduling information, please call +1 (615) 297-2700. You can also request an appointment online.

5 Great Places to Grab a Healthy Meal In Nashville

Summer is winding down and our attention is being pulled back in the direction of work and school. Shopping, errands, and busyness begin to take over our routines… leaving little time for meal prep and healthy eating. It’s easy to just order that pizza or pop a frozen meal into the microwave, right?!

When we get busy our bodies need healthy food more than ever. Extra stresses on the schedule can weaken the immune system and increase our risk for illness… just when illness is the last thing we have time for!

Eating Healthy Doesn’t Have to Be Hard

If you know you’re going out for a meal, consider one of these Nashville favorites, which serve up delicious healthy food that doesn’t taste like “health food.” These restaurants rely on whole foods, seasonal ingredients, and creative cooking techniques as they pioneer some of Nashville’s healthiest meals…

#1 Vui’s Kitchen

With locations in Germantown and Berry Hill, Vui’s Kitchen serve up delicious Vietnamese food that exclusively features whole food ingredients. Plenty of fresh herbs and no MSG makes Vui’s an easy choice. Try their signature bánh mì sandwich or a bowl of pho!

#2 Sunflower Cafe

Just a four-minute walk from Vui’s in Berry Hill, Sunflower Cafe is a Nashville classic known for its all-vegetarian menu, which includes gourmet veggie burgers and vegan barbecue. Gluten-free diners will find plenty of options at Sunflower Cafe, which focuses on fresh, local and organic ingredients. Dine in or grab a to-go order for the family. (Don’t miss their Thai Ginger Tofu, a daily chef special!)

#3 Epice

If you’re looking for something a little more upscale, pop into Epice in 12 South. Classic Lebanese dishes in a contemporary environment make Epice a treat for the body and senses.

#4 AVO

Less than three miles from our St. Thomas Medical Group offices, AVO prides itself in sourcing “the finest plant-based ingredients” around town. The restaurant specializes in both raw and cooked vegan meals that feature seasonal ingredients. The seasonal drink menu is built around local, gluten-free, and reduced gluten beers, and organic, biodynamic, and kosher wine.”

#5 The Wild Cow

From AVO, cut across town and over the river to East Nashville for some diverse vegan and vegetarian fare at The Wild Cow. Don’t miss their famous Buffalo Beans & Greens, featuring a sautéed garlicky kale with pinto beans!

Let’s Partner Together In Your Health. Find a Nashville Doctor Near You.

Primary care physicians at St. Thomas Medical Group partner with patients throughout Nashville in working toward better health. To learn more about how you can develop personal health goals and take charge of your health with a primary care doctor, schedule an appointment at St. Thomas Medical Group. You can schedule online or by calling +1 (615) 301-7040.

What Happens In a Metro Nashville Sports Physical Exam?

Can you believe summer vacation is already over? It’s back to school for kids throughout metro Nashville. As you check off back-to-school supplies and clothes, have you remembered those sports physicals?

Completion of Metro’s “Preparticipation Physical Evaluation” form is required for any students wishing to participate in school sports. The examination and form, which Metro Nashville Public Schools makes available here, is a fairly straightforward process. But, if you have any questions or concerns, we’ve put together this post to walk you through the exam step-by-step. Here’s how it works at St. Thomas Medical Group

Step 1: History Form

Prior to seeing your physician, you and your child will fill out the History Form. This is a basic pre-appointment form that asks questions about medicines and allergies, heart health, family history, bones and joints, and any potential medical issues. Questions, for example, range from “Have you ever had a stress fracture?” to “Do you have headaches with exercise?” etc.

The purpose of this form is to give the healthcare provider some basic background information about your student prior to the exam. This is an important time to list any events in one’s health history that could require further review or discussion with a healthcare provider.

If your student has special needs, there is a supplemental history form that will provide you with an opportunity to list these conditions.

Step 2: Physical Examination Form

Next up: the physical examination form. The physical examination will include a review of several health indicators, such as pulse, lung function, vision function, etc. Evaluations of the musculoskeletal system (from the neck down to the toes) will give the provider a chance to potentially detect any abnormalities in function.

In concluding the exam, the health care provider will (1) clear the student for all sports without restriction, (2) clear for sports without restriction but with recommendations for further evaluation or treatment, or (3) not provide immediate clearance.

Step 3: Clearance Form

Upon discharge, the student and parent will be provided with a clearance form that summarizes the exam findings. This form can be used in lieu of the physical exam form and health history form; it may be an appropriate alternative for any circumstances in which HIPAA concerns are an issue.

Step 4: Consent for Athletic Participation & Medical Care

Finally, the parent or legal guardian of the student athlete will fill out a form detailing allergies, medications, insurance information, and emergency contact information. This form acknowledges legal responsibilities and protocols in the event of injury.

Schedule a Student Athlete Sports Physical In Nashville

Don’t delay in scheduling your student’s sports physical. You can schedule an appointment in Nashville with a St. Thomas Medical Group provider by calling +1 (615) 301-7040. You can also make your appointment online (both new and returning patients).