Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, also known as CFS, is a complex and often misunderstood condition. It is characterized by extreme fatigue that lasts for at least six months and cannot be explained by any other medical condition.
The exact cause of CFS is unknown, though there are many theories suggesting it is caused by a virus or bacteria. Even though it is a widespread ailment, we still do not fully understand its effects on the body. In this blog post, we will break down what CFS is and how to understand it better.
What Causes CFS?
CFS typically starts with what can be described as an unexpected episode, including indications that are fairly comparable to symptoms associated with influenza. It is theorized that CFS starts with contamination by a virus or similar pathogens that cause additional problems. For a few of those suffering from CFS, inception occurs following high degrees of stress over some time.
Other symptoms may also arise over time such as cognitive impairment (difficulty concentrating), sleep disturbances (feeling overly sleepy during the day or having difficulty falling asleep at night), digestive issues (gas and bloating), depression, and anxiety.
Even without specifically identifiable triggers for CFS, recognizable circumstances exist that can be linked to the occurrence of the ailment. An example would be the bacterium Chlamydia pneumonia which is the root of pneumonia and similar ailments.
Inexplicable recurring exhaustion occurs for a period greater than 6 months and those other ailments and maladies whose symptoms include continuing feelings of exhaustion have been researched and discounted as the cause by your physician. Since the cause is not extreme physical exertion, this exhaustion is not capable of being cured by just getting enough sleep.
Some of the following signs must be present:
· Diminished cognitive abilities or deterioration of short-term memory
· Exhaustion is not cured by sleep
· Lingering illness and fatigue
· Unusual lymph nodes which are noticeably tender
You can deal with CFS in a variety of different ways, however, there is no collective therapy advocated for every sufferer of CFS. Some sufferers merely need adjustments in diet and lifestyle, and some will need physiotherapy, medications, or painkillers, along with alternative and complementary medicine to alleviate their symptoms.
The common methods used are therapy systems and cognitive behavioral therapy, (CBT) as well as graded exercise therapy. Sufferers who receive no means of relief or cure but recover from the condition nonetheless are recorded at an average 5% of those struggling with CFS.
However, sufferers who participate in therapeutic solutions have a statistically average rate of recovery at around 40%. Because there are no tangible and specific factors for recognizing that someone has CFS, it is difficult to register the precise amount of sufferers who are dealing with this disorder.
It's approximated that there are anywhere from 75-420 people per 100,000 who suffer from this ailment. Women have a higher rate of contracting this ailment by 20%, but the popular theory is that this figure is inaccurate because it is suspected there are more cases of CFS among men that go unreported.
Anyone at any age can develop the disease, but more frequently sufferers are between the ages of 40 to 59 years old. There are sufferers from all genders cultures and walks of life. But there is some evidence that it could be hereditary.
Signs and Symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
There are different stages of severity with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. There are some who just don't sleep as well as they used to, have headaches every once in a while, and are extremely tired, while others have 4 to 30 symptoms that happen all at the same time.
Even though Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is known for a variety of different symptoms, a couple of them are reported more often by patients. These are just some of them:
Feeling extremely tired - Those who have this syndrome get up in the morning and feel like they have been run over, and will continue to be tired all day long. Some people, though, have times when they can go a couple of hours in a day and not be so tired. During this time, a lot of people will try to do everything they couldn't do while they were laying down in bed.
All that energy they are putting out to accomplish these things will make them feel tired again. If they attempt to exercise or do something physical, their energy is drained and they feel worse the following day.
Infections that keep coming back - A big symptom of CFS is recurrent infections that may present as recurrent sinusitis, sore throat, swollen glands, bladder infection, or any other infection of the respiratory system. Many may deal with a rash that keeps coming back despite taking antibiotics.
They may also complain of bloating, constipation, diarrhea, gas, and cramps with CFS, which might be the result of the yeast build-up in a person's bowel, a spastic colon, or a parasitic infection.
Brain Fog - Even though feeling tired all the time is the biggest and hardest to deal symptom of CFS, the symptom that is scariest is brain fog. Some people have this symptom and complain of difficulty remembering short-term things, difficulty concentrating and having a hard time remembering what words can be substituted for another. Some may also become disoriented for a short time, lasting for up to a whole minute.
Hurting all over - A lot of people with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome experience joint and muscle pains. This is said to be because they cannot get a good night's sleep, they continually contract yeast infections, have thyroid glands that are impaired, and do not have enough nutrients in their body.
Drinking more - People who have CFX drink a lot more water than people who do not have it. The increase in fluid intake is because of problems with hormones, leading to more urine output.
Allergies - As a result of many of the conditions happening in CFS people and the abundance of yeast, many of them are sensitive to food and have allergies. They can get rid of their allergies by getting rid of the cause of the allergies. But normally these people do not respond well to medicines for allergies.
Increase in weight - even without changing what they are eating, some people gain up to 50 pounds of weight. Along with lack of exercise, the added weight is also because of changes in the person's hormones.
Anxiety and depression - These mental health issues make doctors think a lot about the old chicken or the egg question: is the CFS responsible for depression and anxiety or do the depression and anxiety cause the CFS? Right now, no one knows. It is thought that a few of the factors with this illness are a big part of its cause, like bad nutrition and feeling sick all the time.
Lower libido - Because of changes in hormones, feeling sick all the time, and being in pain, people who have CFS may have a lower libido. Luckily, a person's libido can increase with the right medicines and the right therapy. These symptoms may have hit a little close to home for you. If you think that you might have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, I would advise you to contact a doctor that specializes in treating Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
How to Deal with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Chronic fatigue can affect anyone - from people who maintain improper lifestyle habits to those who get the required amount of sleep every night. Therefore, if you realize that you are exhibiting the symptoms of CFS, maybe an examination of your health and lifestyle habits is in order. There are easy ways to deal with the ailment that has been tested and confirmed.
Drowsiness and exhaustion resulting from a long bout of influenza is among the typical causes of chronic fatigue. A diminished immune system due to malnutrition makes your body fragile and more vulnerable to illness. Adding Vitamin C, healthy food, and plenty of rest to your daily routine can increase your immune system.
Nobody's health is safe when stress is in abundance in your life, considering stress exhausts both the mind and body quickly. Some of the causes of elevated stress include issues at work, conflicts with others that get you mad or upset you more than usual, or having intense disagreements with others. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is easy to develop when you can't keep your stress levels down.
However, getting rid of your stress is just as easy. Exercising is a great stress reducer, and can be accomplished by simply taking walks in the local park or adopting an exercise routine that unwinds and rejuvenates your body. The after-hours lifestyle is quite enticing.
Trying new restaurants with varied cuisine, spending time with friends, and visiting the local nightclubs is quite enjoyable. Of course, this is a fine lifestyle as long as you can sleep in the next day. If you have to get up early in the morning after living the nightlife, your body will be depleted of rest.
For those who must wake up mid-day or at night, coffee is their best friend. However, coffee is only a temporary energy booster and constant use as such can cause other health issues such as chronic fatigue syndrome. Research being conducted is indicating that drinking or eating items with large amounts of cocoa (such as dark chocolate) have proven useful for fighting chronic fatigue syndrome. The theory is that serotonin, a chemical found in cocoa, is a natural brain booster.
Additionally, another chemical in dark chocolate, polyphenol, can greatly reduce blood pressure. This also alleviates chronic fatigue symptoms. So, before you reach for that next cup of coffee, perhaps you will stop and remember that it's more beneficial to eat a couple of squares of dark chocolate.
Ignoring chronic fatigue syndrome is hazardous to your health because it can cause further issues with your body. You can significantly decrease your chances of developing CFS by simply following some of the examples suggested in this article.
Changing your lifestyle to a simpler routine is a very effective way to stay healthy and avoid the costs associated with being ill.
How to Manage Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?
Managing CFS can be a difficult task but there are strategies you can use to help manage your symptoms. First and foremost, it is important to get plenty of rest; try to establish a consistent sleep schedule where you go to bed at the same time each night and wake up at the same time each morning.
Additionally, engaging in light exercise can help reduce fatigue; however, make sure not to overdo it as this could lead to more exhaustion. Eating a balanced diet is also important in order for your body to have enough energy throughout the day; be sure to consume plenty of fruits and vegetables as well as lean proteins like chicken or fish.
Finally, make sure you are getting enough social support; connect with friends who understand what you’re going through, and don’t hesitate to reach out for professional help if needed.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is an ailment that affects millions worldwide but there are strategies available for managing its symptoms. Recognizing the signs and understanding how CFS works can help you better manage its effects on your everyday life so you can continue living life to the fullest despite any obstacles you may face along the way.
If you think you may be suffering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome please consult with your doctors so they can properly diagnose your condition and provide treatment recommendations tailored specifically to your needs.