Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Feeling Tired All the Time?
A feeling of always being tired, having difficulty concentrating, stiffness of the joints, muscles aches, or a feeling of mental and physical exhaustion could be signs of a condition known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, or CFS.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is also known as myalgic encephalomyelitis(ME). Women in their forties and fifties are the most commonly affected group of people, and there is no specific medical testing to confirm diagnosis. It is usually confirmed after other possible physical conditions have been ruled out and a thorough history and physical examination is performed on the patient.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome usually has an abrupt onset, many times during prolonged periods of severe stress, and the chief complaints are those of flu-like symptoms. The Centers for Disease Control defines Chronic Fatigue Syndrome as an unexplainable, severe fatigue of a sudden onset.
CFS is not brought on by activity or exertion. Symptoms of CFS include: sore throat, unusual headaches, myalgia, arthralgia, tender lymph nodes, poor rest during sleep, trouble concentrating, or extreme exhaustion with any physical activity. Patients need to have at least four of these symptoms for at least six months consecutively.
Chronic pain of the muscles and joints and activity intolerance are two of the main complaints. Some people are able to function normally in everyday life, While some people with CFS are able to function normally in everyday life, it is extremely debilitating for others. If the fatigue is unbearable it can cause job losses or leaves of absense from work.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is sometimes misjudged by those who do not suffer from it and people who suffer with it are sometimes thought to be just lazy. This is an untrue belief. Treatment usually consists of cognitive behavioral therapy and graded exercise therapy.
Over one million Americans suffer from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Of the people who suffer, only 20% are properly treated and diagnosed. Fibromyalgia, IBS, and migraines also plague people with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Many times they suffer from ridicule or being shunned because no one seems to believe their illness is real. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is a very real and life changing condition that can be successfully treated with some types of behavioral therapies and medications.