Chronic Fatigue Syndrome And Similar Disorders
Chronic fatigue syndrome encompasses a wide range of symptoms that affect most systems in the body, so doctors may easily confuse it for another disorder. Examples of the many conditions that may cause similar symptoms include anemia, hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, diabetes, cancer, celiac disease, obstructive sleep apnea, and inflammatory bowel disease.
Chronic fatigue syndrome may look especially similar to hypersomnia, narcolepsy, fibromyalgia, depression, and obstructive sleep apnea.
Symptoms And Consequences Of Excessive Daytime Sleepiness
Sleep plays an important role in consolidating memory, restoring the immune system, and other vital processes. As a result, a lack of quality sleep may result in a host of symptoms that you may not immediately connect to sleep.
Even if you dont consciously feel sleepy, you may be suffering from excessive sleepiness if youre experiencing any of the following:
- Trouble staying alert
- Slower reaction times
- Risk-taking behaviors
Being sleepy can have wide-ranging effects on health and daily life. Consequences of daytime sleepiness include:
- Increased risk of car and work accidents
- Worse quality of life
- Problems regulating mood and emotions
- Social and relationship problems
Excessive sleepiness may be particularly dangerous for young adults, shift workers, medical staff, and people who drive a lot.
Long-term sleep deprivation has been linked to a higher chance of developing diabetes, obesity, heart disease, and other chronic conditions. Daytime sleepiness in children may affect development, while in older adults, daytime sleepiness heightens the risk for falls and may be a risk factor for cognitive impairment, memory loss, and earlier mortality.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Diagnosis
As more research is done on ME/CFS, the criteria for diagnosis continue to be updated. There are a few possible sets of criteria physicians may choose to use in their diagnosis. However, most of these criteria sets require the following:
- Post-exertional malaise , or worsened fatigue after performing usual activities
- Unrefreshing sleep or other sleep problems
- Widespread pain or discomfort, such as muscle or joint pain or headache
- Two or more types of neurological or cognitive dysfunction, such as impaired memory and concentration
- Symptoms lasting longer than six months
There is no chronic fatigue syndrome test to verify whether or not a person has the syndrome. Instead, physicians take a history of patient symptoms, including family history. They often conduct tests to rule out the possibility of other diseases, including urine and blood tests. Physicians may also refer patients to specialists to ensure other diagnoses are ruled out.
Experts note that patients may be diagnosed with both ME/CFS and an additional source of chronic fatigue. Some comorbidities of ME/CFS include:
- Allergies and sensitivities
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Chroniuc Fatigue Cause No : Undiagnosed Heart Disease
If you find yourself becoming exhausted after activity that used to be easy, it may be time to talk to your doctor about the possibility of heart disease.
According to Nieca Goldberg, MD, director of the NYU Medical Center Women’s Heart Program and associate professor at the NYU School of Medicine, when overwhelming fatigue sets in after ordinary tasks — such as vacuuming the house, doing yard work, or commuting from work each day — your heart may be sending out an SOS that it needs medical attention.
“This doesn’t mean that you should panic every time you yawn,” says Goldberg. “Most of the time, fatigue is not the first sign of heart disease, and it’s usually linked to something far less serious.”
At the same time, Goldberg points out that heart disease is the leading cause of death in women. “If fatigue following activity is significant, and no other possible reason comes to mind, see your doctor for a checkup,” she advises. If your fatigue is related to your heart, medication or treatment procedures can usually help correct the problem, reduce the fatigue, and restore your energy.
Harris H. McIlwain, MD, rheumatologist, adjunct professor, Universityof South Florida, Tampa author, TheFibromyalgia Handbook, 3rdEdition.
Ronald R. Fieve, MD, psychopharmacologist, professor of clinical psychiatry,Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center, New York City author, Bipolar II.
W. Stephen Pray, PhD, RPh, Southwestern Oklahoma State University,Weatherford, Okla.
What Is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
People with chronic fatigue syndrome experience persistent fatigue lasting longer than six months that does not get better with rest. They have an abnormal lack of energy and sometimes are confined to bed. In fact, the fatigue of patients with ME/CFS is so severe that they must reduce their usual activities by 50%. The disorder can negatively impact everything in daily life, from taking a shower to holding a job.
For some people with ME/CFS, day-to-day activities, both physical and mental, can worsen the fatigue, even if these activities would not have been a problem before the onset of the syndrome. The medical term for this experience is post-exertional malaise . People who experience ME/CFS describe the worsening fatigue as a crash or relapse.
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Is Pots More Common In Certain People
There are no established risk factors for POTS. However, it is known to run in families, so it could have a genetic component. Researchers have also established a link between POTS and Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome . So if you have one of these conditions, you might also have the other.
A big group of those diagnosed with POTS is young women and teens. However, this doesnt mean they are more likely to develop this condition.
Medical And Brain Conditions That Cause Excessive Sleepiness
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Uncontrollable yawning, heavy eyelids, and the powerful urge to doze off during the day are signs of excessive sleepiness. Struggling to stay awake can drag down performance at school and work, put strain on social and personal relationships, and create serious risks when driving.
If you experience persistent drowsiness, its normal to wonder, why am I always sleepy?
The most common causes of excessive sleepiness are sleep deprivation and disorders like sleep apnea and insomnia. Depression and other psychiatric problems, certain medications, and medical conditions affecting the brain and body can cause daytime drowsiness as well.
Recognizing excessive daytime sleepiness is a first step toward addressing the problem. Working with a doctor to identify its cause and improve sleep habits can enhance your daily productivity, mood, and overall health.
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Symptoms Of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
The main feature of ME/CFS is a type of exhaustion known as post-exertional malaise, crash or payback. This means having flu-like symptoms after exercise and not having enough energy for daily activities.
Research shows that people with ME/CFS have a different physiological response to activity or exercise from other people. This includes abnormal exhaustion after any form of exertion, and a worsening of other symptoms. The response may be delayed, perhaps after 24 hours. Depending on the amount and type of exercise, it may result in post-exertional malaise for a few days, or serious relapses lasting weeks, months or even years.
- problems with thinking, concentrating, memory loss, vision, clumsiness, muscle twitching or tingling
- disrupted sleep
- sore throat, tender lymph nodes and a flu-like feeling
- inability to cope with temperature changes.
Does Daily Exercise Decrease Chances Of Fatigue
According to orthopedics and physical therapists, daytime fatigue may be diminished by continuous exercise and physical fitness routines. If you are starting a weight loss program due to your diabetes or obesity, consider asking your dietician for the right weight management procedure. You can set up a multistation home gym to work out at home
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How Is Me/cfs Diagnosed
There is no single test to diagnose ME/CFS. Your doctor will diagnose ME/CFS based on your symptoms and how long you have had them. Your doctor may do some tests to rule out other possible causes of your symptoms.
Patients can be diagnosed with ME/CFS only after they have had symptoms for 6 months or more.
Check your symptoms with the healthdirect Symptom Checker to get advice on when to seek medical attention.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome And Sleep
Are people with CFS just tired?
People with CFS are more than just tired. They suffer from an intense fatigue and exhaustion that wont go away. Physical or mental activity can make their CFS symptoms worse. To recover, the person must rest for longer than usual. People with CFS have less energy to do everyday tasks. This can apply to both physical things , and mental things .
This is not the same as feeling sleepy during the day. People with CFS feel fatigue rather than sleepiness. People who feel as though they could fall asleep at any time may have different issues, see . This is not the same as CFS.
It is not uncommon for CFS patients to sleep for periods of 12 hours or longer. But even if they sleep for this long, they still don’t feel refreshed. Some have headaches when they wake up. For many people with CFS, it can help if they sleep in and nap during the day. This helps them to control their feelings of exhaustion and get back some of their energy. This assists in performing daily tasks.Can people with CFS also have sleep problems?
Sleep deprivation can be a big problem for people with CFS. It can make your symptoms worse and delay recovery from CFS. CFS sufferers should try to have at least 8 to 9 hours of sleep every day. If a late night is planned, a nap during the day is good preparation.How can you improve your sleep?
Where can I find out more?
Talk with your doctor if you are concerned about your sleep problems.
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How Will Me/cfs Affect My Quality Of Life
Not everyone will experience the same symptoms so itâs important not to compare people with ME/CFS. People with ME/CFS can have very different experiences of the condition and how long their symptoms last.
The impact of symptoms can be:
As symptoms change over time so does the impact they have on peopleâs lives.
Chronic Fatigue Cause No : Caffeine Overload
Many of us grab an espresso, latte, or cola for a quick burst of energy, but for some women, caffeine has the opposite effect.
In an article published in the journal US Pharmacist, W. Stephen Pray, PhD, RPh, reports that caffeine is a stimulant, but if you take too much, the tables can turn.
“In some patients, continued abuse results in fatigue,” says Pray. And if you think this means you simply require more caffeine to get the kick, this isn’t the case. “Any attempts to solve the problem by increasing caffeine intake causes the fatigue to worsen,” he says.
The solution to caffeine overload? Eliminate as much caffeine from your diet as possible. This means not only cutting out coffee. Chocolate, tea, soda, and even some over-the-counter and prescription medications also contain caffeine and could be causing unexplained fatigue.
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What Is The Outlook For Someone With Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
The long-term outlook varies quite a bit. There may be times when your symptoms are not too bad and other times when they flare up and become worse. However, many people improve over time and some recover well. Children and younger people have a better rate of full recovery. Early diagnosis and treatment may lessen the impact of the illness. The important thing to remember is that this is not a progressive or life-threatening disease and that for many people full recovery is possible.
Can Boredom Cause Fatigue
Being bored can make you feel tired. That may sound strange, but it’s true. If you were very busy during your working years, you may feel lost about how to spend your time when you retire. When you wake up in the morning, you may see long days stretching before you with nothing planned. It doesn’t have to be that way.
Engaging in social and productive activities that you enjoy, like volunteering in your community, may help maintain your well-being. Think about what interests you and what skills or knowledge you have to offer and look for places to volunteer. Read Participating in Activities You Enjoy for ways to find volunteer opportunities.
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What Questions Should I Ask My Doctor
- Take along a list of all the symptoms you are experiencing in case you forget some of them during your talk with the doctor or nurse.
- Talk about how much you can do at work or school and around the house.
- Ask if there are any financial supports or services you could apply for.
- Ask for help with pain, sleep and remaining active if these are problems for you.
- Ask about what you should be eating.
Sleep Disorders And Fatigue
Symptoms: Chronic fatigue, feeling exhausted upon awakening, snoring
Sleep disorders are a group of conditions that disrupt or prevent restful, restorative sleep. That can take a toll on your health and quality of life, so its important to look out for signs and symptoms.
Sleep apnea is one of the most common sleep disorders. If you or your partner notices loud snoring and you wake up tired and stay that way, you could have sleep apnea. More than one-third of adults in the U.S. snore at least a few nights a week. But if the snoring stops your breathing for seconds at a time, it could be sleep apnea. Learn more about the best sleep positions and see if sleeping on your stomach is bad or not.
Obstructive sleep apnea causes low blood oxygen levels. That’s because blockages prevent air from getting to the lungs. The low oxygen levels also affect how well your heart and brain work. Sometimes, the only clue that you might have sleep apnea is chronic fatigue.
Your doctor may prescribe a medical device called CPAP that helps keep your airways open while you sleep. In severe cases of sleep apnea, surgery may help. The surgeon will remove tissues that are blocking the airways. If left untreated, sleep apnea can increase your risk of a stroke or heart attack.
But sleep apnea is just one of many sleep disorders that cause fatigue. Other common types include:
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Chronic Fatigue Cause No : Anemia
“If you are in your reproductive years, and particularly if you experience heavy menstrual cycles, have fibroid tumors or uterine polyps, or if you’ve recently given birth, the blood loss may have caused you to develop anemia — a leading cause of fatigue in women,” says Rebecca Amaru, MD, clinical instructor of obstetrics and gynecology at the Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City.
Problems occur, she says, when the bleeding leads to a deficiency of hemoglobin, the iron-rich protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen from the lungs to other parts of your body. When your tissues and organs don’t get enough oxygen, she says, the result is fatigue.
Other causes of anemia include internal bleeding and a deficiency of iron, folic acid, or vitamin B-12. Anemia may also be caused by chronic diseases like kidney disease. Symptoms can include dizziness, feeling cold, and irritability.
To confirm a diagnosis of anemia, your doctor will give you a blood test. Treatment, she says, usually consists of iron supplements if iron deficiency is the cause, and adding iron-rich foods — such as spinach, broccoli, and red meat — to your diet.
The good news: With effective treatment for anemia, your fatigue should begin to lift in 30 days or less.
Viral And Other Infections
The term post-viral fatigue syndrome is used to describe CFS-like symptoms that occur after a viral infection. A recent review found Epstein-Barr virus antibody activity to be higher in patients with CFS, and that a subset of patients with CFS were likely to have increased EBV activity compared to controls. Viral infection is a significant risk factor for CFS, with one study finding 22% of people with EBV experience fatigue six months later, and 9% having strictly defined CFS. A systematic review found that fatigue severity was the main predictor of prognosis in CFS, and did not identify psychological factors linked to prognosis. One review found risk factors for developing CFS after mononucleosis, dengue fever or the bacterial infection Q-fever include longer bed-rest during the illness, poorer pre-illness physical fitness, attributing symptoms to physical illness, belief that a long recovery time is needed, as well as pre-infection distress and fatigue. The same review found biological factors such as CD4 and CD8 activation and liver inflammation are predictors of sub-acute fatigue, but not CFS, however these findings are not generally accepted due to the use of the Oxford criteria in selecting patients. The CDC does not recognize attribution of symptoms as a risk factor.
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Some Illnesses Cause Fatigue
Sometimes, fatigue can be the first sign that something is wrong in your body. For example, people with rheumatoid arthritis, a painful condition that affects the joints, often complain of fatigue. People with cancer may feel fatigued from the disease, treatments, or both.
Many medical problems and treatments can add to fatigue. These include:
- Taking certain medications, such as antidepressants, antihistamines, and medicines for nausea and pain
- Having medical treatments, like chemotherapy and radiation, or recovering from major surgery
- Chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, liver disease, thyroid disease, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
- Untreated pain and diseases like fibromyalgia
- Sleep apnea and other sleep disorders
Managing a health problem may make the fatigue go away. Your doctor can help.