Last Updated: 24th July, 2022
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) or Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) represents a condition when you feel extremely exhausted even after resting/relaxing the entire day. Feel terribly low on energy from morning to night without any known cause! You might be as well experience excessive heaviness of head, frequent headaches and mood swings along with fatigue often.
By all means, you are suffering from what is known as chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). Long-standing fatigue or chronic fatigue in India are majorly ignored and often misdiagnosed. Long-term fatigue can be normal and may occur because you are overworked or not getting enough rest. Chronic fatigue is not equal to chronic fatigue syndrome. At this point we shed some light on this condition and ways to overcome the symptoms associated with it.
What Is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) Or Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME)?
Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) or Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) is a complex disorder characterized by excessive tiredness or fatigue all the time. This condition does not improve with rest and remains unexplained by any underlying medical condition. Chronic fatigue syndrome can also be called, “systemic exertion intolerance disease” and “Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME)“.
What Are The Causes Of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)?
The exact cause of this condition is not yet clear. However, it has been seen to get triggered by various factors such as viral infections, stress, fragile immune system or sometimes due to the combination of these factors. It gets challenging to diagnose the condition because of the imitating symptoms of other illnesses and unclear cause of the disease.
What Are The Symptoms Of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)?
Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) or Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) is described typically as feeling tired all the time or most of the time which does not improve even after rest. This excessive tiredness makes it hard for you to carry out ordinary activities as well. Apart from feeling tired, other common symptoms are experienced:
- Difficulty in sleeping or disturbed sleep.
- Difficulty in concentrating or thinking clearly.
- Generalized muscular pain.
- Heaviness of head and frequent headaches.
- Dizziness on standing up.
- Irritability or mood swings.
- Bowel disturbances.
- Numbness or tingling, burning sensation on face, hands and feet.
- Joint pains.
- Tenderness and swelling around lymph nodes situated in your neck and armpit.
- Frequent episodes of sore throats.
Is CFS Or Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) A Mental Illness?
There is undoubtedly that most people suffering from CFS or Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) tend to develop depression during the course of the disease. However, there is no research evidence to indicate that it is a neurological disease or is a mental illness. In fact, it is a physical condition that can cause neurological impact (such as depression) in some people.
Does Teenagers Experience Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) Or CFS?
Chronic fatigue syndrome can affect people of all ethnicities and ages, but is most common in young adults from 20 to 40 years. However, it is equally marked to cause symptoms in childhood, adolescence and in the elderly.
How Long Might Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) Or CFS Last?
To be diagnosed as CFS, it is reported that the symptoms such as intense fatigue must last for at least a period of six months. In most cases, the symptoms may persist for many years. It is equally identified to cause various degrees of disability in people suffering from the condition. The symptoms tend to be severe in the initial period of two – three years, post which there is an improvement in the level of functioning.
When Should You Consult A Doctor?
If you suddenly feel exhausted all the time (for a span of at least six months or more) or if extreme fatigue is harming your day-to-day activities, then you should consult a doctor to get yourself examined for the problem.
How Do You Diagnose Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)?
There is no specific diagnostic test to confirm this condition. A doctor evaluates the symptoms for any other underlying condition and if they determine no other cause for the symptoms, then they consider it as chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS).
Your doctor may order any necessary tests such as complete blood count, thyroid profile, liver function test, etc. to rule out the prevalence of any other medical condition and for better diagnosis.
What Is The Best Treatment For Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)?
There is no specific treatment or cure for Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) Or CFS and it progresses differently for the distinct people. Therefore, the suitable approach is to address the symptoms and minister to them. But basically, the treatment of CFS involves lifestyle changes, exercise and cognitive behavioral therapy in addition to medications.
How The Prevention Of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) Done?
As the cause of CFS is not identified, it is difficult to prevent chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). However, there are a few simple tips that can assist you to manage your symptoms. These include:
- Limit Your Addiction: Limit your intake of caffeine, nicotine and alcohol and consume nutritious food. This would support you to sleep better and cope up with insomnia.
- Say No To Stress: Prevent any kind of physical and emotional stress. Keep yourself occupied by joining some hobby classes or laughter groups.
- Regular Follow-up: Getting some help with a psychologist or a counselor on a regular basis can definitely aid you identify things from a unique perspective to the situation. This will enable you to react sensibly and cope up with your condition.
- Exercise Regularly: It’s legitimate that any physical exertion does worsen the condition, but if you undertake a graded exercise it would essentially help improve your symptoms. Gradually increasing the amount and intensity of exercises, including yoga and medication can help to get some respite.
What Medications Can Help For Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)?
Typically, there isn’t a specific medicine that can help manage all your symptoms. Your doctor will attend to you as per your symptoms. Off and on, painkillers may support you deal with joint and muscle pains. Remember, managing chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) or Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) can be quite challenging, but lifestyle changes and medical care can assist you stay active and adapt to your chronic fatigue.