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Chronic Fatigue Disorders

Updated on June 21, 2020

People with chronic fatigue disorders are often not taken seriously. Even their friends and lovers doubt them when they say they are too tired to leave the house.

Worse yet, they’re often told to see a psychiatrist with they say they’re almost too tired to get dressed. But a person can be so exhausted that their muscles just don’t seem to want to work.

I discussed this with one of the top researchers in the field of neuromuscular disorders. He said that fatigue is often caused by one’s immune system attacking oneself—an autoimmune disorder.

For instance, the immune system can interpret one’s thyroid hormones as a pathogen and attack them. The thyroid is one of the moderators of our energy levels, regulating metabolism and other things. When such an attack happens, a person feels completely powerless.

Other things causing chronic fatigue include the immune system attacking the schwann cells that surround and protect the nervous system. The schwann cells wrap around the axons that tie one cell to another. This attack can cause numbness in the feet and hands, knife-like stabbings, and confused thinking.

What was most interesting about my conversation with the doctor was that his patients often suffer from hysteria. Day in and day out they’re fighting for their lives just to do simple basic tasks. And they often lose interest in trying to do much of anything else. It’s too tiring. But people call them slackers. Or people tell those with chronic fatigue disorders to “just try harder.”

This drives a totally exhausted person over the brink and they just want to scream.

Think of it this way. You’ve just run a 26 mile marathon and put everything you had into it. To celebrate, you partner insists on going to a beach party, partnering-up on volley ball and water skiing, and then going out dancing and drinking. And when you say, “no,” you get called “lazy.”

That’s how it feels, and that’s why people experiencing bouts of chronic figure throw tantrums, whine, complain overtly, and sometimes scream, if they have enough energy to even do that.

If you can relate to any of this, and are trying to tough it through without the help of a doctor, please stop. Call the closest medical university and get an appointment with a neurologist or with their neuromuscular center.

Don’t be afraid to make that call. They will understand what you are talking about.

Let me caution you about one more thing. Professionals have been taught to run a thyroid T4 test and to look for signs of depression when someone complains of fatigue. Let them run the blood test so you have it to present to the neurologist.

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    • Dr Billy Kidd profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Billy Kidd 

      8 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      Indeed. It's hard to believe that you cannot do what you set out to do because of the lack of energy. And meanwhile, to keep a positive attitude, and say, "I'll wait until later," ... that takes moral strength to not get depressed.

    • profile image

      Daphne Shadows 

      8 years ago

      The worst part isn't at all what having CFS does to me. Its the reaction of others who don't believe me or at least try to understand. No wonder it drives some people to hysteria.

      Okay, scratch that, I have to say they're equal. Because I'm hard on myself and I get pissed off when I can't get something done because I'm too exhausted.

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