Do you want to know how to choose the Best Treatment for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?
First, let’s look at CFS in a focused but general Overview.
Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a complicated disorder characterized by extreme fatigue that can’t be explained by any underlying medical condition. The fatigue may worsen with physical or mental activity but doesn’t improve with rest.
This condition is also known as systemic exertion intolerance disease (SEID) or myalgia encephalomyelitis (ME). Sometimes it’s abbreviated as ME/CFS.
The cause of chronic fatigue syndrome is unknown, although there are many theories — ranging from viral infections to psychological stress. Some experts believe chronic fatigue syndrome might be triggered by a combination of factors.
There’s no single test to confirm a diagnosis of chronic fatigue syndrome. You may need a variety of medical tests to rule out other health problems that have similar symptoms. Treatment for chronic fatigue syndrome focuses on symptom relief.
Given these sobering facts, one might conclude that there is little that can be done for those who are living with CFS. That is not true.
There are many things that you can do to improve your body condition and the pain and suffering that is the very fabric of CFS.
Signs and Symptoms may include:
- Loss of memory or concentration
- Sore throat
- Enlarged lymph nodes in your neck or armpits
- Unexplained muscle or joint pain
- Unrefreshing sleep
- Extreme exhaustion lasting more than 24 hours after physical or mental exercise
It’s important to note that fatigue can be a symptom of many illnesses, such as infections or psychological disorders. In general, see your doctor if you have persistent or excessive fatigue.
How to Diagnose Chronic Fatigue Syndrome:
There’s no single test to confirm a diagnosis of chronic fatigue syndrome. Because the symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome can mimic so many other health problems, you may need patience while waiting for a diagnosis.
Your doctor must rule out several other illnesses before diagnosing chronic fatigue syndrome. These may include:
Chronic fatigue can be caused by sleep disorders. A sleep study can determine if your rest is being disturbed by disorders such as obstructive sleep apnea, restless legs syndrome or insomnia.
Fatigue is a common symptom in several medical conditions, such as anemia, diabetes and underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism). Lab tests can check your blood for evidence of some of the top suspects.
Heart and lung impairments.
Problems with your heart or lungs can make you feel more fatigued. An exercise stress test can assess your heart and lung function.
Mental health issues.
Fatigue is also a symptom of a variety of mental health problems, such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. A counselor can help determine if one of these problems is causing your fatigue.
The Most Common Potential Triggers Associated with CFS:
People who have chronic fatigue syndrome appear to be hypersensitive to even normal amounts of exercise and activity.
Why this occurs in some people and not others are still unknown. Some people may be born with a predisposition for the disorder, which is then triggered by a combination of factors. Potential triggers include:
Because some people develop chronic fatigue syndrome after having a viral infection, researchers question whether some viruses might trigger the disorder. Suspicious viruses include Epstein-Barr virus, human herpes virus 6 and mouse leukemia viruses. No conclusive link has yet been found.
Immune system problems.
The immune systems of people who have chronic fatigue syndrome appear to be impaired slightly, but it’s unclear if this impairment is enough to cause the disorder
People who have chronic fatigue syndrome also sometimes experience abnormal blood levels of hormones produced in the hypothalamus, pituitary glands or adrenal glands. But the significance of these abnormalities is still unknown.
Factors that may increase your risk of chronic fatigue syndrome include:
Chronic fatigue syndrome can occur at any age, but it most commonly affects people in their 40s and 50s.
Women are diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome much more often than men, but it may be that women are simply more likely to report their symptoms to a doctor.
Difficulty managing stress may contribute to the development of chronic fatigue syndrome.
The Influence of Personality and Person History on understanding the Risk associated with CFS:
The key to understanding why you may get ill, is realizing that there is no one factor alone that causes us to get CFS. It is the combination of a number of these predisposing factors that results in a state of burnout in the body.
Toxins, bacteria and other pathogens can grow out of control in a gut that is filled daily with foods and liquids that feed the harmful bacteria.
This, in turn, reduces the number of healthy bacteria that assist your optimum gut function.
Here’s How CFS Affects Many of our Body Systems:
Our body is made up of several different systems and it is widely accepted that CFS does have a destructive impact on these systems.
Paradoxically, the health and efficiency of your various systems will affect the symptoms of CFS. This is why it becomes critical to make changes in your diet and lifestyle. These changes will ensure that weakened systems are not the root cause of the problems.
Diet changes, healthy blood pressure, exercise and Doctor supervised overhauls of your body systems will assure that your CFS symptoms are not caused by poorly functioning body systems.
The human body is comprised of 11 systems: integumentary (skin), muscular, skeletal, nervous, circulatory, lymphatic/immune, respiratory, endocrine, urinary/excretory, reproductive and digestive.
The overall approach is the idea that all systems are inextricably linked and that CFS conditions may affect multiple systems.
For example, the maladaptive stress response, which originates in the nervous system, can affect our endocrine system by generating excess cortisol and adrenaline. This can lead to poor absorption in our digestive system and can result in our immune system being oversensitive (food intolerances and chemical sensitivities).
Some examples of how individual systems can be affected are:
In CFS, we may find that the nervous system is in a state of over-stimulation (this is referred to as maladaptive stress response) which can result in a feeling of being “tired and wired” and that despite being exhausted, we can’t fully rest.
Many of those with CFS can report digestive symptoms. When our digestion is not working effectively, it can have a substantial effect on energy creation, brain fog/concentration and many other bodily systems.
Lymphatic and Immune System:
Those with CFS report a range of immune related issues, ranging from hyper sensitivities/intolerances to foods and chemicals, to a weakened immune system and seems to be “catching everything that goes around.”
A sub-group of those with CFS/ME can experience hypo-thyroidism and suboptimal adrenal function is a common result of ongoing stress (either leading up to getting ill, or as a consequence of) leading to poor absorption in our digestive system, and can result in our immune system being overly sensitive (food intolerances and chemical sensitivities).