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Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is a condition in which the patient suffers from long-term harmful fatigue. Patients with CFS are oftentimes unable to perform their daily activities due to disabling fatigue and sleep disorders. This condition also affects concentration and other mental activities. To this day, the cause of chronic fatigue syndrome is unknown.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Definition

Also referred to as myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) or systemic exertional intolerance disease (SEID), chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a condition that is characterized by extreme, continuous, long-term fatigue that has been present for at least six months as well as other possible symptoms. The fatigue increases whenever the patient tries to engage in any kind of physical or mental activity and does not go away with rest. There is no test to diagnose the illness. Physicians base their diagnosis on the symptoms that the patient is experiencing. They may also prescribe a number of other tests to rule out other illnesses that present similar symptoms. Symptoms and their severity can change from day to day or on a monthly basis.

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Some common symptoms of CFS can include: 

  • Fatigue
  • Unrefreshing sleep
  • Difficulties with memory, focus and concentration
  • Dizziness that gets worse when moving
  • Unexplained muscle or joint pain
  • Sore throat
  • Enlarged lymph nodes in the neck and armpits
  • Headaches
  • Extreme exhaustion after any physical or mental activity

People with CFS can have the feeling that they’re on a roller coaster due to the unpredictable nature of the illness as there can be sudden flare-ups and relapses with no warning. CFS has no known medical cause. However, doctors do have some theories as to what might trigger CFS in patients. They believe that CFS can be caused by viral infections, psychological stress or even a combination of factors.

The causes of CFS

Unfortunately, the cause of CFS is unknown. Immune system disorders are a possible cause of chronic fatigue syndrome since many CFS patients seem to suffer from immune disorders. Some doctors suspect that hormonal imbalances could also possibly trigger chronic fatigue syndrome as a lot of patients show abnormal levels of hormones that are produced in the pituitary glands, the adrenal glands, or the hypothalamus.

But many doctors also believe that chronic fatigue syndrome is caused by a viral infection. This is because it is well known that fatigue can last for several weeks with certain viral infections even after the other symptoms have disappeared. However, most people fully recover from the fatigue following a viral infection with a few weeks. 

Even though a viral infection might be a possible trigger of chronic fatigue syndrome, no one knows why the symptoms persist when the patient no longer has an infection. Furthermore, many cases of chronic fatigue syndrome do not begin with a viral infection.

Some factors are believed to contribute to the development of chronic fatigue syndrome in patients. These factors include: 

  • Genetics
  • Exhaustion and mental stress
  • Depression
  • A traumatic event such as bereavement, divorce, or loss of employment

Researchers strongly hope that they will successfully identify the cause or causes of chronic fatigue syndrome sometime in the future. 

How to treat chronic fatigue syndrome

Currently, there is no cure for chronic fatigue syndrome. Therefore, doctors focus mainly on treating the individual symptoms, especially the worst and most debilitating ones of each patient to provide the needed relief. Symptom relief is achieved either through medication or therapy, or both.

Medication for CFS

Many prescription and over-the-counter drugs can relieve some problems related to chronic fatigue syndrome. For example, CFS patients that suffer from depression can take antidepressants to help improve sleep and remove pain. Blood pressure and heart rhythm medication can also be prescribed to patients if they feel faint or nauseous whenever they stand or sit upright. To manage pain, over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen or naproxen sodium can be used and if that’s not enough, the doctor may choose to prescribe a more effective pain reliever such as pregabalin, duloxetine, amitriptyline, or gabapentin. 

Therapy for chronic fatigue syndrome

To better cope with their illness, people with chronic fatigue syndrome may find it helpful to talk to a counselor. This can allow them to better deal with the limitations of their illness at work or school, improve social relationships and depression. There are also therapies that can help patients find sleep. Sleep deprivation can indeed aggravate other chronic fatigue syndrome symptoms. For better sleep, the doctor might give the patient some simple tips like avoiding caffeine or adopting a certain sleep routine. In the case of sleep apnea, the patient may need to use a machine that delivers air through a mask while he or she sleeps. Another possible therapy is exercise. Although too much exercise should be avoided in CFS patients since it can worsen symptoms, moderate exercise is recommended to prevent deconditioning.

Treat chronic fatigue syndrome with Doctor Roya

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms described above or if you think you may possibly have chronic fatigue syndrome, the first thing to do is to see a doctor. Don’t wait any longer and schedule an appointment with Doctor Roya in one of her 4 NY offices today. Researchers have found that early treatment can bring better results. Doctor Roya will conduct a thorough assessment and diagnosis of your concerns and will propose a personalized treatment plan that will improve your quality of life

Doctor Roya is a top-rated, award-winning physician and she is recognized both nationally and internationally. She is committed to providing personalized and excellent healthcare to every patient. Nothing is more important in life than good health. Entrust Doctor Roya with all your health concerns and enjoy life to the fullest. 

Yes, it is. Chronic fatigue syndrome was officially recognized as an organic and neurological disease by the World Health Organization in 1991. Therefore, it’s not a disease that’s just in your head. Contact Dr Roya to find a chronic fatigue syndrome treatment that will work for you.

Although it is rare, cases of chronic fatigue syndrome in children have been reported. Children who are diagnosed with CFS suffer from:

  • Poor results in school
  • Migraine
  • Physical and mental fatigue
  • Bone and muscle pain

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