What is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?

Chronic fatigue syndrome, CFS is a condition of extreme fatigue that does not go away even after sufficient rest. It is known by different names as myalgic encephalomyelitis, ME, or systemic exertion intolerance disease, SEID. It is a condition that affects the nervous system and is often termed a neurological illness. It can not only affect adults but can also happen to children as well. There are two types of chronic fatigue syndrome classical and atypical. In atypical CFS, the symptoms develop over many months or years. There is no known cause for both of these forms of CFS. 

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Symptoms

It is a feeling that is more than just tiredness. It has other symptoms that make it difficult to lead a normal life. The symptoms can last for more than 6 months or even years. There are three core symptoms of this condition, which are:

  1. Headaches, dizziness, and severe fatigue. There is decreased functioning both in terms of physical and mental activity.
  2. Usual daily activities are hard to accomplish.
  3. Getting quality sleep is hard, and even if the person gets to sleep, staying asleep is also a problem. It also impacts the thinking ability of a person.

Apart from the above, one of the below symptoms manifests itself to be diagnosed as CFS. It includes the worsening of symptoms like feeling dizzy or weak or unable to stand or sit. 

Who is at Risk?

The exact cause for this condition is not known but chronic fatigue syndrome risk factors are high in certain people, They are:

  1. When compared to men, women are 4 times more prone to have CFS.
  2. Though rare in children, girls are more likely to have it than boys.
  3. Adults in the age group of 30 to 50 and kids in their teens can have it.
  4. People with a genetic predisposition are likely to develop it. That means it can be inherited from one of the parents as it is a defect in the genes.
  5. People who have conditions like Irritable bowel syndrome, IBS, fibromyalgia, interstitial cystitis, etc are likely to have CFS.
  6. People with chronic stress are at risk of this condition.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Causes

The causes of chronic fatigue syndrome are not yet known. But it is thought to be caused by many factors like:

  1. A weakened immune system is thought to contribute to CFS though the exact reason for it is not known. Some studies show that a gene that is activating the immune system is turned off in people with CFS.
  2. CFS sometimes develops after an infection caused by Epstein Barr virus, rubella virus, or Ross River virus, or caused after infections from bacteria like Coxiella Burnetii and Mycoplasma.
  3. People with abnormal hormone levels have CFS.
  4. Genetic predisposition is likely to cause this disease.
  5. Stress is also known to be a contributing factor to CFS.

How Is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Diagnosed?

The diagnosis of chronic fatigue syndrome is not easy as the symptoms of this and other illnesses are similar. Moreover, there are no standard tests to diagnose CFS. A doctor for chronic fatigue syndrome may perform the following tests:

  1. An investigation of the medical and family history is followed by checking the physical and mental health.
  2. A physical examination is done after noting the symptoms.
  3. The mental health of the patient is determined.
  4. Urine and best tests are done to check if there is any other underlying cause.
  5. More specialized testing like autonomic nervous system testing is performed as a chronic fatigue syndrome test.

The final diagnosis takes a long time and hence it needs some amount of patience it is best to create a good rapport with your doctor as follow-up will be needed. 

How Is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Treated?

There is no chronic fatigue syndrome cure but the treatment can ease the symptoms. Since symptoms vary from one person to another the doctor treats what is interfering most in the patient's daily life. Commonly the chronic fatigue syndrome treatment involves:

  1. Addressing symptoms like sleep problems with over-the-counter medication or sleep aids that can help sleep through the night. If OTC medications do not help, the doctor may prescribe sleeping pills.
  2. Stimulants are chronic fatigue syndrome medicine that helps in providing relief from fatigue, memory, and concentration problems.
  3. Pain relievers are provided for joint pain.
  4. To ease dizziness prescription drugs are provided.
  5. Antidepressants are given if a person is suffering from depression.

Reach out to our team of experts at cult.fit to get relief from CFS. A psychiatrist can also be consulted if you are feeling depressed or out of sorts.

How can Chronic Fatigue Syndrome be Prevented?

Some of the chronic fatigue syndrome prevention tips include:

  1. Getting enough quality sleep
  2. Avoid overexertion of the body and mind by knowing your limits.
  3. Reduce stress by using various techniques like meditation and breathing.
  4. Have healthy meals and boost your energy.
  5. Exercise regularly but do not overexert.
  6. Know the physical and mental triggers and work towards preventing them.

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Posted 
July 22, 2022
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