What Is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?
Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), otherwise called systemic exertion intolerance disease (SEID) or myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), is when a person feels extremely tired without any explainable cause or underlying medical condition. This condition worsens with physical or mental activity and does not get better with rest.
The cause of this condition is still not known, but it is believed to be caused by viral infections or too much mental stress. This condition can be triggered by many factors. There is also no specific diagnostic test for this condition, and tests are done to rule out all other possible causes before making a diagnosis. Treatment aims at providing symptomatic relief. CFS is primarily a disorder of young to middle-aged adults. It is about twice as common in women than in men.
What Are the Symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?
The signs and symptoms of CFS are different based on the person affected and the severity of the condition. CFS is characterized by symptoms of at least six months' duration that often starts suddenly (typically with an infectious-like illness), but can start more gradually, characterized by fatigue. The symptoms include:
In some cases, after a period of symptoms, CFS can go into remission, and these symptoms return after a while. It is difficult to manage such cases.
What Are the Causes of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?
The exact cause is still not known, but CFS is believed to be caused due to:
What Are the Risk Factors of CFS?
The risk factors are:
What Are the Complications of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?
Some of the complications are:
How Is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Diagnosed?
As there is no single diagnostic test, the doctor might conduct many tests to rule out other conditions that can result in the same symptoms. You might need to get the following tests done:
Sleep study - CFS can cause sleep problems, so to rule out other causes like obstructive sleep apnea, restless legs syndrome, and insomnia, a sleep study is done.
Conditions that can cause the same symptoms are mononucleosis, Lyme disease, multiple sclerosis, systemic lupus erythematosus, obesity, sleep problems, and hypothyroidism.
How Is CFS Treated?
Treatment is done only to relieve symptoms, as there is no cure for CFS. The treatment options are:
Alternative therapy - Acupuncture, yoga, meditation, tai chi, and massages can help relieve pain.
What Are the Home Remedies for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?
Some of the following home remedies and lifestyle changes might help reduce your symptoms:
Reduce the intake of caffeine, to sleep better.
Follow proper sleep hygiene.
Do not take a nap during the day.
Wake up and go to bed at the same time every day.
As we do not know much about this illness, it is difficult to treat this condition. Most patients end up making lifestyle changes and learn to live with the symptoms. This results in depression, anxiety, and social isolation. Talking to a psychologist or joining a support group has found to be highly beneficial. To know more about ways to manage this condition, consult a doctor online now.
Frequently Asked Questions