Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is a condition of long-termed fatigue and tiredness. This fatigue is not due to other illness that may cause tiredness, but it’s a complex and serious condition on its own. A person that suffers from chronic fatigue syndrome is always tired, exhausted and usually finds it hard to complete some simple tasks, such as taking a shower or dressing or even taking a walk. Many experts share the opinion that more than 1 million Americans suffer from this syndrome, but few of them are actually diagnosed.
Who is most likely to suffer?
Researches show that women are four times more likely to develop this syndrome than men. When it comes to age, experts say that chronic fatigue syndrome is more likely to happen somewhere between the ages of 40 and 60. However, this isn’t a rule, because people from all ages can develop this syndrome. Adults are more likely to suffer from this syndrome than children are.
There have been some notes that there are cases where people from the same family suffer from chronic fatigue syndrome. However, this does not mean that it is contagious, but it suggests that there might be some genetic connection.
What are the symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?
- Extreme feeling of tiredness and/or weakness.
- Feeling tired for more than 24 hours.
- A feeling of tiredness even after you sleep.
- Pain or aches in the muscles.
- Often forgetting things.
- Having hard time focusing on something or concentrating.
- Pain or aches in the joints, but there is no redness or swelling.
- Common headaches or headaches from a different type than the ones you usually have.
- Sore throat.
- Visual and eye problems (sensitivity to light, eye pain etc.).
- Some psychological problems like mood swings or anxiety.
- Night sweats or chills.
- Low fever or low body temperature.
- Bowel irritation.
- Feeling dizzy, problems with balance or problems standing up or sitting straight.
What causes Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?
Unfortunately, the exact cause of this syndrome remains unknown. People that suffer from it, claim that it started after some infection like a cold or stomach problems. Others say that they developed chronic fatigue syndrome after a period of dealing with a lot of stress or some extremely stressful situation. Sometimes it’s really hard to figure out whether a person has a chronic fatigue syndrome or not, especially if there is a presence of another illness that might cause the same symptoms.
Getting diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
The diagnosis process of this condition can be as complex as the syndrome itself, because there is no single and reliable lab test for it. That’s why you’ll probably need not just one, but several different specialists in order to be diagnosed in the right way. There are many different tests and examinations that you have to complete before concluding a diagnosis:
- Tell your doctor if you are feeling fatigue and tired for more than 6 months without any specific reason;
- Your doctor will have to see your complete and detailed medical history;
- Tell your doctor how many of the above mentioned symptoms you have (you need to have more than 4 symptoms to be diagnosed with this syndrome);
- Laboratory blood and urine tests to see if the symptoms are caused by some other disease;
- Exclude the presence of other illness that has similar symptoms;
- Physical exam;
- Tell your doctor about your mental health;
- Tell your doctor everything else relevant or linked to this disease.
Treatment for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
The treatment for this disease is also a complex and long process because there is no single cure for it. You will have to incorporate many small changes in order to find relief from this condition. Although there is no single and exact cure, there are many other solutions to help you improve.
- Medications: Some over-the-counter pain killers might help you decrease muscle and joint pain or the headaches. If you have troubles with sleeping, ask your doctor to prescribe some medications that can help you. Medications can also help you if you have painful or itchy eyes. Whatever medicine you plan on taking, consult your doctor first.
- Alternative solutions: Many people have seen improvement with some alternative solutions, such as relaxing massages, acupuncture or yoga. Professional counseling is also an important thing you must do, because this condition can be difficult to overcome and you will need all the support you can get.