Richard S. Dunlap is the last person you would expect to get sick. “I used to be a bomb-proof young hero,” says Dunlap, an architect who lives in Sausalito, California. At the age of 23, he skateboarded and snowboarded professionally, bicycled avidly, and practiced yoga for at least one hour a day. “I was a very active, very motivated person,” he says. “In fact, I had just come off a wonderful period of my life. I was doing some professional work in films, and I had traveled the world.” Then, quite suddenly, Dunlap, who is now 35, crashed.

Ellen Klein, a new mother who lives in Sea Cliff, New York, tells a similar story. Ten years ago, at the age of 27, Klein lived a dynamic, no-holds-barred life in New York City. Klein, who managed a clothing store in Manhattan’s Soho District, pushed herself in every part of her life. “I was working hard, working out hard, going out hard—that whole New York lifestyle,” says Klein. “I always did a lot and always tried to fit too much into the day.” Then, also quite suddenly, she crashed.

The force of the crash, for both Dunlap and Klein, came from several directions. Dunlap was hit with unexplained dizziness, abdominal discomfort, chills, night sweats, fever, and nausea. Klein was ambushed by headaches, muscle pain, and panic attacks.

And then there was the fatigue—devastating fatigue. With little warning, both Dunlap and Klein catapulted into a world of overpowering exhaustion and lethargy. “I spent a good 10 months doing nothing,” says Klein. “Even getting out of bed and going to the bathroom was an issue.” The same was true for Dunlap. “I went from being Superman to being in bed. It was crushing.”

Although their symptoms differed somewhat, Dunlap and Klein had two things in common: They were both diagnosed—eventually—with chronic fatigue syndrome. And each discovered, after trying numerous conventional and alternative therapies, that what significantly relieved their fatigue, strengthened their spirits, brought them peace, and ultimately restored their health was yoga.

CoQ10, or coenzyme Q10, is a powerful antioxidant that is in most of the tissues in your body. A fair amount of research suggests that people with fibromyalgia (FMS) and chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) have low levels of CoQ10.

The role of coenzymes is to help convert molecules from your food into energy in the form of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which studies show is also sometimes deficient in FMS and ME/CFS.
Low CoQ10 levels also have been linked to several neurodegenerative disorders, diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular disease.

CoQ10 has become a common supplement for FMS and ME/CFS and has received a fair amount of attention from researchers.

Bad science misled millions with chronic fatigue syndrome.

If your doctor diagnoses you with chronic fatigue syndrome, you’ll probably get two pieces of advice: Go to a psychotherapist and get some exercise. Your doctor might tell you that either of those treatments will give you a 60 percent chance of getting better and a 20 percent chance of recovering outright. After all, that’s what researchers concluded in a 2011 study published in the prestigious medical journal the Lancet, along with later analyses.

Problem is, the study was bad science.

And we’re now finding out exactly how bad.

Millions of people experience fatigue, and it often arrives with little to no warning.

Fatigue shows up in a range of ways, and while many sufferers are able to push through it, others struggle to find the motivation and strength to go through daily life. Fatigue is different from the normal tiredness that comes after nights with too little sleep because it actually causes physical and mental symptoms like inattentiveness, sullen mood, and slow reaction times.

The manifestations of fatigue can also include a sore throat, headaches, body aches and pains, dermatological symptoms, and weight gain. A body that is overly tired also has a higher risk of contracting illnesses and diseases like digestive disorders, high blood pressure, and heart disease.

If you’re getting an appropriate amount of sleep and exercising regularly but still finding it exhausting to perform everyday activities, concentrate on tasks at hand, and become motivated to move, chronic fatigue may be to blame.

Here’s what happens when you go from simply tired to chronically fatigued:

  • You have trouble waking up in the morning
  • You sleep a lot and still feel tired
  • You feel depressed, anxious, or overly critical of yourself
  • Your energy crashes in the middle of the day
  • You have trouble focusing

If this sounds like you, it’s time for some foundational work. You may think you’re getting more done by skipping sleep, but relaxation and quality sleep will actually make you more productive in the long run.