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Reasons For Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

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Will I Still Be Able To Work With Me/cfs

What Is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?

Research shows that about half of people with ME/CFS work part-time or full-time jobs. For some people with ME/CFS, the ability to work is possible thanks to a supportive employer and certain workplace accommodations, including a flexible schedule, a quiet comfortable place to rest, and memory aids.

But, if you can’t work because of ME/CFS, you may be eligible for Social Security benefits. Learn more about applying for disability through the Social Security Administration.

All Symptoms Do Not Point To Cfs

Having said that, chronic, unexplained fatigue could be the result of any undiagnosed or untreated medical condition like hypothyroidism, sleep apnea, and narcolepsy, or can happen even as a side effect of medications.

Any previous medical condition like hepatitis B or C which has not been treated properly could result in unexplained fatigue. Any major depressive disorder with psychotic or melancholic features like bipolar disorder or schizophrenia or any neurodegenerative disorders like dementia and even delusional diseases like anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa could result in chronic fatigue. Even alcohol abuse or severe obesity could show signs of chronic fatigue.12

You need to rule out these possibilities or inform your medical practitioner about your personal and medical history for an accurate diagnosis.

What Are Systemic Exertion Intolerance Disease Or Chronic Fatigue Syndromesymptoms And Signs

The symptoms and signs of CFS/SEID are complex but specific. The patient must have severe chronic long-term fatigue of 6 months or longer duration with other known medical conditions excluded by clinical diagnosis. In addition, the patients have four or more of the following symptoms that either occurred at the same time or after the severe chronic fatigue. The symptoms are substantial impairment in short-term memory or concentration sore throat tender lymph nodes muscle pain multi-joint pain without swelling or redness headaches of a new type, pattern, or severity unrefreshing sleep and post-exertion malaise lasting more than 24 hours. Patients may often have additional symptoms such as double vision, mild fevers, earaches, diarrhea, and many other symptoms, but they do not fit into the criteria that are considered to be part of the definition of CFS.

The following are five main symptoms that the new IOM considers key for SEID or CFS:

  • Reduction or impairment in ability to carry out normal daily activities, accompanied by profound fatigue
  • Post-exertional malaise
  • Unrefreshing sleep
  • Cognitive impairment
  • Orthostatic intolerance

Chronic fatigue syndrome or SEID is a diagnosis made by excluding many diseases that have chronic fatigue as a major or frequent symptom. Unfortunately, there are no physical signs or diagnostic tests that identify CFS. The diagnosis is made by fitting the two major criteria set out by a group of CFS research experts.

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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
  • Infections
  • Chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, liver disease, thyroid disease, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • Untreated pain and diseases like fibromyalgia
  • Anemia
  • Sleep apnea and other sleep disorders

Managing a health problem may make the fatigue go away. Your doctor can help.

Does Daily Exercise Decrease Chances Of Fatigue

Headache And Tiredness Virus

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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Pacing Activity For People With Me/cfs

Pacing, or keeping within your available energy, is a self-management strategy to help people with ME/CFS make sure that they dont overdo activity or exercise. It reduces the likelihood of triggering PEM and can help reduce symptoms. Pacing is not a cure for ME/CFS and does not treat the underlying, physical cause of the disease.

The goal of pacing is for activity to be sustainable, so that the person can have some stability in their symptoms and what they can do each day. Pacing should be used in conjunction with rest.

The most challenging aspect of pacing is that PEM is very often delayed by as much as 24-48 hours, which can make it difficult to recognise when youve done too much. Using tools like an activity diary or heart rate monitor help you learn about your body and how much activity you can safely tolerate.

Suggestions on how to pace yourself include:

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Symptoms In Children And Adolescents

Children exhibit symptoms of ME/CFS similarly to adults, with a few exceptions:

  • Increased likelihood of dizziness when standing. Also called orthostatic intolerance, this symptom tends to be the worst in children and adolescents and exacerbates other symptoms.
  • Headache and stomachache. Rather than experiencing muscle weakness or pain, children report increased headaches and stomach pains.
  • Sleep problems. These include daytime sleepiness, difficulty falling or staying asleep, and vivid dreams.

Also Check: Rapid Heart Rate Nausea Dizziness Headache Fatigue

How Can I Feel Less Tired

Some changes to your lifestyle can make you feel less tired. Here are some suggestions:

  • Keep a fatigue diary to help you find patterns throughout the day when you feel more or less tired.
  • Exercise regularly. Almost anyone, at any age, can do some type of physical activity. If you have concerns about starting an exercise program, ask your doctor if there are any activities you should avoid. Moderate exercise may improve your appetite, energy, and outlook. Some people find that exercises combining balance and breathing improve their energy.
  • Try to avoid long naps late in the day. Long naps can leave you feeling groggy and may make it harder to fall asleep at night. Read A Good Nights Sleep for tips on getting better rest at night.
  • Stop smoking.Smoking is linked to many diseases and disorders, such as cancer, heart disease, and breathing problems, which can drain your energy.
  • Ask for help if you feel swamped. Some people have so much to do that just thinking about their schedules can make them feel tired. Working with others may help a job go faster and be more fun.

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Virus Linked To Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Scientists have detected the DNA of a retrovirus in the blood of patients with chronic fatigue syndrome. The discovery raises the possibility that the virus may be a contributing factor in chronic fatigue syndrome.

Chronic fatigue syndrome, or CFS, is a debilitating disease that affects millions of people in the United States. It’s characterized by profound fatigue that doesn’t improve with bed rest and can be exacerbated or re-kindled by physical or mental activity. A number of other symptoms are also associated with CFS, including cognitive deficits, impaired sleep, myalgia, arthralgia, headache, gastrointestinal symptoms and tender lymph nodes.

No specific cause for CFS has yet been identified. However, patients with CFS are known to have some abnormalities in their immune system. Recently, scientists found evidence of a virus called xenotropic murine leukemia virus-related virus, or XMRV, in the tumors of patients with prostate cancer. Some patients with XMRV-positive prostate cancer were reported to have a specific immune system defect that was also seen in CFS patients. Suspecting a link between the virus and CFS, a team of scientists from the Whittemore Peterson Institute at the University of Nevada, NIH’s National Cancer Institute and the Cleveland Clinic set out to look for the virus in blood samples.

Getting Older And Me/cfs

There is very little information on getting older and ME/CFS, however people can develop ME/CFS at any age. Additionally, all of the strategies such as pacing to reduce PEM and managing symptoms still apply. As people age, other problems with their health may also arise, so discussing any new symptoms with their doctor important.

Read Also: Why Does Psoriatic Arthritis Cause Fatigue

How Does Chronic Fatigue Impact A Persons Life

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or CFS is severe fatigue that lasts for six months or more. Even during resting periods, it may not treat a person diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome. Hence, this complex medical illness often relies on treating the symptoms rather than the disease itself. This disorder is also called Myalgic Encephalomyelitis or ME/CFS, which may disable a person altogether. There are significant consequences of overlooking the symptoms of chronic fatigue. Mostly, there are times when fatigue may look like daytime tiredness or sleepiness. Yet, the first sign of continuous pain and lethargy needs a general physician for further examination and diagnosis.

Who Is At Risk For Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

The Many Faces of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Because the cause of CFS is not known, its hard to know what might put someone at risk for getting the condition. However, certain factors are seen more often in people with CFS. These factors include:

  • Gender. CFS happens up to 4 times more often in women than in men.
  • Age. CFS commonly affects middle-aged people, but people of any age can get it.

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Viral And Other Infections

Post-viral fatigue syndrome or post-viral syndrome describes a type of chronic fatigue syndrome that occurs following 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 including 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.

Similar risk factors have also been found following the bacterial infection Q-fever. 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.

What Is The Treatment For Cfs/seid

There is no known cure for CFS/SEID chronic fatigue syndrome treatment is based on those therapies that reduce the symptoms. In general, patients who are diagnosed within the first 2 years of symptoms respond better to symptomatic treatment than those patients diagnosed after 2 or more years of having the disease. Treatments to reduce symptoms are individualized for each patient as no single therapy helps all CFS/SEID patients.

Drug therapies are used to treat symptoms of sleep, pain, and psychological problems. Some have used Adderall . Other therapies that are used include stress reduction and lifestyle changes . Some investigators suggest diet and nutrition play a role and recommend vitamin D, B6, B12, lysine, and glutathione supplements while others do not. Some clinicians may prescribe antibiotics such as metronidazole or amoxicillin and clavulanic acid if the patient has high levels of antibodies that react with C. pneumoniae or other organisms. Other treatments that claim some positive effects on CFS symptoms include holistic treatments such as bananas, maca , pau d’arco , and spirulina . Any treatment patients decide to try should be discussed with a primary care physician to assure that none of them will negatively interact with current therapies.

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How Is Cfs Treated

Theres currently no specific cure for CFS.

Each person has different symptoms and therefore may require different types of treatment to manage the disorder and relieve their symptoms.

Work with your team of healthcare providers to create the best treatment plan for you. They can go over the possible benefits and side effects of the therapies with you.

Enhancing Healthcare Team Outcomes

What Causes Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?

Chronic fatigue syndrome frequently poses a diagnostic dilemma. The hallmark symptom is the post-exertional fatigue associated with numerous neurological, cardiovascular, respiratory, and gastrointestinal complaints. Patients can also exhibit uncontrolled anxiety, panic attacks, and impaired social functioning. Chronic fatigue syndrome is a diagnosis made on clinical examination and after excluding other possible etiologies. Therefore, it is essential to consult with an interprofessional team of specialists, including a pain specialist, psychiatrist, psychotherapist, and possibly a physical therapist. Even though chronic fatigue syndrome has fatigue as one of the three mandatory symptoms, it is a complex multisystem neurological disease with evidence of inflammation in the brain. As the term myalgic encephalomyelitis indicates, a neurology consultation can be useful when indicated. The primary non-pharmacological treatment modalities are cognitive behavior therapy and graded exercise therapy. There is a wide range of medications that can be used for CFS. They range from NSAIDs to antidepressants. Therefore, a broad range of differential diagnoses should be considered before diagnosing chronic fatigue syndrome. However, consultation with an interprofessional group of specialists is recommended to improve outcomes.

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Exercise And Physical Therapy

People with CFS often avoid exercise altogether as it can seem to make symptoms worse. This can lead to a sense of mistrust of ones body. For these reasons, a gradual physical activity program can be helpful. It is important to begin with activities that can be achieved. For example, if a person suffers from dizziness and loss of balance, a program of stretching exercises done from a seated or lying position would be more safe and comfortable than those that involve standing or balancing.

For many people with CFS, programs of strenuous aerobic exercise may make symptoms worse. If this is the case, daily, gentle exercise should be directed toward goals of maintaining flexibility, mobility, and accomplishment, and of gradually increasing strength and endurance .

What Is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome /myalgic Encephalomyelitis

Chronic fatigue syndrome , also known as myalgic encephalomyelitis , is a chronic , complex and disabling illness that causes extreme fatigue and other symptoms that cannot be explained by any other medical condition.

If you have ME/CFS, you are likely to feel very tired, very often, even if you have not been active. You may also have a host of other symptoms.

Doctors do not yet understand the cause of ME/CFS, and there is no simple cure. If you or your child has ME/CFS, your doctor can suggest treatments you may find helpful.

Read Also: How I Cured My Adrenal Fatigue

What Else Should I Know

  • Strong emotions can be a part of the illness, so it’s important to recognize and express your feelings. Feelings like sadness, anger, and frustration are completely normal and it’s important to acknowledge how you feel and recognize that it’s not your fault. Recognizing emotions can help you figure out what’s behind your feelings and help you manage problems.
  • It can help to keep a daily diary of feelings and energy highs and lows. This also can let you share information that might help your doctor. You can also track trends for example, if your energy is high at one time of day and low at another that will help you figure out when to exercise or do other activities.
  • Give yourself more time to do things, especially activities that take concentration or physical exertion.
  • Get support from family, teachers, and friends.

Most important, don’t give up. Having chronic fatigue syndrome can be hard. But for most people, the symptoms are most severe in the beginning. Later, they may come and go. Teens with CFS generally get better faster and recover more completely than adults do. Most teens get partial or full recovery within 5 years after symptoms began.

Try to keep a positive approach to getting well and to not look for the reason why you have CFS. People who take action and stay positive can have a good outcome.

You also can find more information and support online at:

Or Is There More To Fatigue Than Just A Bad Set Of Genes

8 Symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Conventional medicine is reductionist in nature. Meaning that researchers and medical doctors are always zooming-in to best identify the abnormality that is the sole cause of an illness. In chronic fatigue syndrome, the process is no different. In my previous article, I discussed the connection infectious viruses and yeasts play in chronic fatigue.

With no crystal clear cause of chronic fatigue connected to infection, could your genes hold the key to whether youll develop chronic fatigue syndrome?

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