Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)
What is chronic fatigue syndrome?
Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is characterized by profound tiredness, regardless of bed rest. Its symptoms may worsen with physical or mental activity. CFS can happen suddenly and last for years. The condition affects more females than males.
What causes chronic fatigue syndrome?
The cause of CFS is not known.
Who is at risk for chronic fatigue syndrome?
Because the cause of CFS is not known, it’s hard to know what might put someone at risk for getting the condition. However, certain factors are seen more often in people with CFS. These factors include: Gender – CFS happens up to 2 to 4 times more often in women than in men; Age – CFS commonly affects middle-aged people, but people of any age can get it.
What are the symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome?
Symptoms of CFS often mimic the flu. These are the most common symptoms. But symptoms may occur a bit different in each person. Additional symptoms include sensitivity to light, headaches, tender lymph nodes, fatigue and weakness, muscle and joint pain, inability to concentrate, insomnia, forgetfulness, mood swings, confusion, low-grade fever, and depression. The symptoms of CFS may look like other medical conditions. It is essential to speak with your healthcare provider for a diagnosis.
How is chronic fatigue syndrome diagnosed?
CFS diagnosis requires ruling out other possible conditions. According to the Institute of Medicine, a CFS diagnosis requires all 3 of the following symptoms:
- Having to cut back greatly on activities you did before the illness. Severe and chronic tiredness must have lasted for more than 6 months, and other health conditions have been ruled out. Rest does not ease these symptoms.
- Severe tiredness after physical activity. The fatigue gets worsen after physical or mental stress that you could handle before the illness started.
- Sleep that doesn’t refresh you.
In addition, one of the following symptoms must be present:
- Difficulty thinking that gets worsen under pressure.
- Orthostatic intolerance. This means standing upright makes symptoms worse. Lying back down or elevating your feet may ease the symptoms but does not fully get rid of them.
How is chronic fatigue syndrome treated?
Treatment is generally aimed at easing symptoms.
Treatments may include: Medicine, including corticosteroids, and antidepressants; Light-intensity aerobic exercise, but not moderate to vigorously intense physical activity; Dietary supplements and herbal products; Psychotherapy and supportive counseling; Living with chronic fatigue syndrome
There is currently no cure for CFS. Dealing with the severe fatigue can be very challenging. At Suburban Wellness Group, we will work with you to find treatments that are customized for you.
Key points about chronic fatigue syndrome
- Chronic fatigue syndrome is marked by profound tiredness.
- Symptoms often get worse with physical or mental activity.
In addition to severe tiredness, symptoms include light sensitivity, headache, muscle and joint pain, trouble concentrating, mood swings, and depression.
Source: University of California – https://www.ucihealth.org/health-library/content?contentTypeID=85&contentID=P00618
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