Jannah Theme License is not validated, Go to the theme options page to validate the license, You need a single license for each domain name.

All about Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)

What is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)?

Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) also known as myalgic encephalomyelitis is a complicated health condition where the patient suffers from severe fatigue that may last for at least six months and researchers are not yet able to decipher the exact reason for it. With physical or mental activity the disorder worsens and it doesn’t improve with rest. People living with this condition frequently experience symptoms, such as unrefreshing sleep, waking up a lot at night, for no apparent reason, having trouble concentrating, and multi-tasking along with muscle aches. This condition is often abbreviated as ME/CFS.

What are the Types of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)?

The types of chronic fatigue syndrome include:

  • Post-Exertional Fatigue: In post- exertional fatigue, the symptoms worsen after even a minor physical or mental effort, with symptoms usually deteriorating 12 to 48 hours after activity and may last for days or even weeks.
  • Wired Fatigue: The body’s energy resources get taxed harder and quicker than usual because of stress, which can result in fatigue. You may feel stirred while the stress response is active and then fatigued when the stress response finishes.
  • Brain Fog: Brain fog is categorized by confusion, amnesia, and a lack of concentration and mental clearness. It may be caused because of overtasking, lack of sleep, stress, and spending lots of time on the computer.
  • Energy Fatigue: Energy fatigue may cause tiredness because of stress, poor sleeping pattern, and diet along with an unhealthy lifestyle.
  • Flu-Like Fatigue: Flu-like Fatigue usually occurs after the flu. It usually happens because of the amount of energy the immune system uses to fight the virus, and you may feel exhausted or lose strength in your muscles.

What are the Symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)?

  • Easily getting tired and for a long period of time
  • Difficulty in memorizing and concentrating
  • Sore throat
  • Constant Headaches
  • Inflamed lymph nodes in your neck or armpits
  • Inexplicable muscle or joint pain
  • Wooziness that deteriorates with moving from lying down or sitting to standing
  • Unrefreshing sleep
  • Severe fatigue after physical or mental exercise

What are the Causes of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)?

Though the exact causes of chronic fatigue syndrome are still unknown some potential causes include:

  • Viral infections: Some researchers believe that some viruses may trigger this condition because some people develop chronic fatigue syndrome after having a viral infection.
  • Immune System Problems: People with weak immune systems seem to develop chronic fatigue syndrome as compared to those who have a strong immune system. Though, it’s uncertain if this impairment is enough to actually cause the disorder.
  • Hormonal Imbalances: People with chronic fatigue syndrome may experience abnormal blood levels of hormones produced in the pituitary glands, hypothalamus, or adrenal glands.
  • Physical or Emotional Trauma: People who suffered an injury, surgery, or significant emotional stress seem to develop chronic fatigue syndrome.

What are the Risk Factors of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)?

The risk factors of chronic fatigue syndrome include:

  • Age: Even though people of any age group may develop chronic fatigue syndrome but it most usually affects young to middle-aged adults.
  • Sex: Women have more risk of getting affected by chronic fatigue syndrome as compared to men.

What are the Complications of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)?

Complications of chronic fatigue syndrome include:

  • Restriction in the way you live
  • Job and study may get affected
  • Getting socially isolated
  • Depression and other mental disorders

How is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) Diagnosed?

There are no particular tests to diagnose chronic fatigue syndrome but your doctor may diagnose this condition through a mental and physical examination. They may ask you about your medical history and prescribe blood and urine tests to check if you have any infection. In some instances, doctors refer people with suspected chronic fatigue syndrome to specialists to rule out other diseases that could be causing symptoms of CFS.

You must have these 3 symptoms to diagnose CFS

  • Experiencing intense fatigue for last 6 months or more and it’s not improving with adequate rest or sleep
  • Finding it difficult to sleep
  • Tiredness that gets poorer after mental or physical exercise

Additionally, if you have at least 1 of the following symptoms, then you may be suffering from CFS:

  • Orthostatic intolerance
  • Cognitive difficulties

Symptoms can mimic those of many other health disorders, such as:

  • Medical Problems: Fatigue is a common symptom in numerous medical conditions, including anemia, diabetes, and underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism). Laboratory tests can check your blood to diagnose the problem you may be suffering from.
  • Mental Health Issues: Fatigue is also a symptom of an assortment of mental health disorders like depression and anxiety. A counselor or psychiatrist can help to check if one of these disorders is causing your fatigue.

What are the Treatment Options Available for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)?

At present, there is no cure available for chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), but treatments are available to ease the symptoms such as:

  • Medications

Some symptoms linked with chronic fatigue syndrome can be amended with one or the other prescription or over-the-counter medicines. Examples of medications include:

Depression: People who are suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome usually suffer from depression also. Medications to treat your depression can make it easier for you to live a comparatively normal life. Small doses of antidepressants can help to improve your sleep along with relieving pain.

Orthostatic intolerance: Chronic fatigue syndrome may make you faint or nauseated when you stand or sit straight. Medications to normalize blood pressure or heart rhythms can be useful.

Pain: If you feel constant body pain or headache then medicines such as pregabalin (Lyrica), duloxetine (Cymbalta), amitriptyline, or gabapentin (Neurontin) can be helpful to ease the pain.

  • Therapy 

Along with medications, some therapies can also be helpful to lessen the symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) such as:

Counseling: Visiting and discussing your problems with a counselor can help you to deal with chronic illness, and deal with problems you are facing with your work or studies along with improving family dynamics. It can also be helpful to cope with depression.

Addressing sleep problems: Problems in sleeping can worsen other symptoms. Your doctor may ask you to avoid caffeine, smoking, drinking alcohol, or changing your bedtime routine. Sleep apnea can be treated through a machine that delivers air pressure through a mask whilst you are sleeping.

Exercise: Some light physical exercise may help you to ease the symptoms and make you feel refreshed though hard physical exercise should be avoided. A physiotherapist may prescribe you some particular physical activities which can be beneficial to you.

Living with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)

The experience of chronic fatigue syndrome differs from person to person. Emotional support from family and friends can be helpful for you to deal with the situation. Also going for counseling may benefit you cope with the uncertainties and restrictions of this condition. Joining a support group and meeting other people with chronic fatigue syndrome may also help you. 

Whom to Consult?

If you experience symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), particularly if it last 6 months or longer, consult with your doctor. Your doctor will assess you and develop a treatment plan based on the symptoms you are experiencing.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button