You may have heard of the condition Chronic Fatigue Syndrome but not really given it too much thought in previous years but if you are now feeling constantly tired and have symptoms that you just can’t explain, then you should seek medical assistance to eliminate hopefully the chance that you might be suffering from CFS.
Chronic fatigue has a number of unpleasant symptoms including:
- A loss of concentration or memory
- A sore throat
- Muscle pain
- Fluctuating muscle pain that moves but has no swelling or redness.
- Lymph nodes in your armpits or neck
- A lack of sleep or sleep that is unrefreshing
- Extreme fatigue or exhaustion especially after exertion.
The doctor is likely to ask whether the period of chronic fatigue is greater than six months and also whether four of the above symptoms are also experienced. There is much controversy over chronic fatigue syndrome and this is because it has so many different symptoms but does need to be diagnosed as a separate condition from the likes of fibromyalgia as a prime example.
Chronic fatigue is a symptom present in so many other medical conditions including autoimmune diseases, adrenal gland problems, cancer, chronic infections, obesity, and hypothyroidism. Often patients have other symptoms that actually overshadow the symptoms of chronic fatigue including: abdominal pains, chest pains, muscle stiffness, panic attacks, depression, anxiety as well as night sweats and diarrhoea.
Studies into CFS have shown that there can be some abnormalities in the brain chemicals including high levels of serotonin but low levels of dopamine. It is thought that there may be very low levels of DHEA and the stress hormones which are produced by the adrenal glands.
There is some speculation that CFS originates from an immune system that has been damaged and which as a result, causes the sufferer to experience flu-like symptoms even after the original cause is gone. There is another train of thought that suggests allergens can cause immune abnormalities which act in a ripple effect which led to CFS.
Another indicator for CFS is if you have low blood pressure. Weakened adrenal glands may indicate insufficient levels of adrenaline which in turn affects the contraction of arteries required to maintain normal blood pressure or it could be as a result of clogged up arteries.
Having an unhealthy lifestyle and consuming too many chemicals within your food, or toxins from chemicals could also be a trigger for this condition. Solvents, heavy metals, pesticides or even mercury found in dental fillings could equally be responsible for the condition. Psychological factors should also be taken into account too as should social factors.
From this you can see just how hard it is to diagnose Chronic Fatigue Syndrome fully and why it can take time to make a correct diagnosis. It’s important to treat your own symptoms whilst waiting for medical confirmation by eating a healthy and nutritious diet and by ensuring that you sleep well. Try to exercise little and often during those days where you have a little more energy. CFS also requires you to be able to rest for those periods where exhaustion sets in, so if you feel that you might have this condition, listen to your body and do what feels right for you.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is a difficult disease to live with especially during those dark days before diagnosis. It’s important that you take responsibility for your health and live as natural a lifestyle as is possible, you may then find that by listening to your body, you are able to cope much more efficiently and to still enjoy a quality of life.