How Does Me/cfs Affect People
ME/CFS affects different people in different ways, some more severely than others. There are four levels of severity of ME/CFS, which give an indication of the level of disability ME/CFS can create:
- mild: 50% reduction in pre-illness activity
- moderate: mostly housebound
- severe: mostly bedridden
- very severe: totally bedridden and need help with basic activities including nutrition and hydration.
The severity of ME/CFS can vary over time. A person living with ME/CFS could be at one level of severity now, then their disease could either improve or deteriorate over time. For some patients, their disease can worsen significantly with no known cause. Other patients have a fluctuating illness where they have better and worse periods, which last for months or years. It is unclear why this happens.
For most people, ME/CFS is a lifelong disease. Full recovery is rare and estimated at less than 10%. For some people with ME/CFS, as time passes and their disease improves, they will find they can do more, but it is a slow and gradual process. However, this is not the case for everyone. Some people find their disease worsens over time, others may remain somewhat stable. With support and pacing, people can often improve their quality of life.
What Can I Do To Cope With Me/cfs
Talking about your feelings with a friend or family member can help. Sometimes it also helps to talk with people who are going through the same thing. Consider joining an ME/CFS support group. See the “ME/CFS Organizations” section at the end of this fact sheet for a list of organizations that offer additional information on ME/CFS and can help you find ME/CFS support groups.
Deterrence And Patient Education
Living with chronic fatigue syndrome can be stressful, as the symptoms can affect the quality of life. Most people are generally healthy and active before developing CFS, making it particularly distressing. The most crucial factor for patients to successfully cope with CFS is establishing a strong relationship with an experienced health care provider. Having a provider that patients can trust, who listens to them and understands that their symptoms are real, can be validating and helpful. While it is discouraging to know that there is no quick cure for CFS, an experienced provider can work with the patient to find ways to manage their symptoms and maximize their quality of life.
Don’t Miss: How To Recover From Adrenal Fatigue Naturally
Question # 1 Why Is My Hair Falling Out
This was a symptom that for me came and went. At different times, I would start to notice more than the usual quantity of hair in my brush and in the shower drain.
My hair definitely thinned out quite a lot. Thankfully it was all over hair thinning and didnt come out in clumps. However, when I look back at photos of me during that time, my hair looks a lot thinner. All I could do was cut it shorter until it grew in again. But what causes it?
Answer Your hormone levels can go awry causing your thyroid to become under active. This imbalance of the HPA Axis causes upheaval within your hormone system. When everything is out of balance you can suffer diffuse hair loss. Sometimes the male hormones can become unbalanced causing male pattern baldness.
Learn more about the adrenal and thyroid connection here
Another reason for hair loss can be nutritional deficiencies. They can come from poor diet or problems with your gut. If you have an imbalance in your gut it could mean you are not absorbing nutrients. Low iron levels can also cause hair fall. If you have low iron, low thyroid function and poor nutrition you have a triple whammy effect on your hair.
Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Fact Sheet For Schools
Myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome is characterized by the bodys inability to produce sufficient energy for the normal range of human activity and the patients energy reserves are substantially reduced. The main symptoms include:
Severe, overwhelming fatigue with loss of mental and/or physical stamina and a substantial reduction in ability to take part in personal, educational and/or social activities.
The cardinal symptom of worsening of symptoms and malaise following minimal physical or mental exertion which can persist for hours, days, or weeks and is not relieved by rest
Cognitive problems , unrefreshing or disturbed sleep and a variety of painful conditions . Cognitive problems may worsen with prolonged upright posture.
There is no medical test for the illness. The diagnosis is made from the characteristic pattern of symptoms some or all of the above symptoms must be present every day for at least 6 months, symptoms must be moderate or severe, and other fatiguing illnesses must be ruled out by history, physical exam, and medical testing
Additional symptoms are often present and include:
Orthostatic intolerance, which is the development of symptoms due to prolonged upright posture that result in lightheadedness , increased fatigue, cognitive worsening, headaches, and/or nausea.
Hypersensitivities to light, noise, touch, odors, and/or medications.
Gastrointestinal symptoms such as abdominal pain, nausea, and/or loss of appetite.
Don’t Miss: Causes Of Fatigue In Men
Question # 2 Why Does My Body Ache All Over
From the minute I awoke each day I felt my body was aching and painful. Just getting out of bed and putting my feet on the floor caused excruciating pain in my calves. The area around my Achilles was always tight and painful sometimes going into huge cramps too.
My shoulders, upper back and neck were constantly stiff and painful even without sitting at a computer all day. It seemed as though no amount of stretching exercises could loosen the tightness either.
The painful feeling was similar to having had a good workout. Unfortunately the pain didnt ease off after a couple of days as it does after a workout.
Answer When you dont feel rested and suffer the non refreshing sleep of chronic fatigue syndrome this can cause muscle and joint pain. This pain can also become worse when you suffer a crash, it seems like everything hurts even more.
If you are not getting enough vitamin D and Magnesium or suffering nutrient malabsorption due to gut issues, youll feel more pain and muscle cramps too. Sometimes people with chronic fatigue syndrome have a fibromyalgia component to their illness too which results in feeling more pain than normal.
I used this magnesium oil to help relax my tight muscles and reduce pain. It also helps to soak in an Epsom salt bath to relieve tight muscles and help you relax. Due to gut difficulties I was unable at first to take many supplements, so the transdermal delivery of magnesium helped a lot.
Question # 4 Why Is My Belly Getting Fat
With a healthy diet and exercise my stomach stayed pretty flat until I had adrenal fatigue. I found it weird that I didnt seem to be putting weight on anywhere else in my body. But now disturbingly I had grown a muffin top. Why was that?
Answer In the early stages of adrenal fatigue your body releases high levels of cortisol. Cortisol release is a response to stress. And a great deal of your bodys energy goes towards making cortisol.
For the process to be more efficient, stores of fat and cholesterol move closer to the internal organs and show up around your belly. Its an easily identifiable form of fat storage. You need to de-stress to lose that muffin top.
You May Like: Anti Fatigue Kitchen Mats Red
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Symptom Severity
Its important to remember that different patients experience symptoms differently.
Whilst some have milder CFS symptoms most of the time, allowing them to care for themselves, do light housework and work part or even full-time, they usually do so at the cost of reducing all other activities including social activities.
Some people experience moderate CFS symptoms that restrict their abilities to a greater extent, with reduced mobility and usually not being able to work at all.
At its worst, CFS symptoms can be severe and debilitating where people are mostly bed-bound and need support caring for themselves.
Many people will waver between these symptom severities over time as they experience flare-ups. However, it is important to realise that the illness is not necessarily progressive. So whilst some people experience a worsening over the years, others find their symptoms reduce as time goes on. Reading and watching videos about patients that are severely ill can be quite distressing and should be avoided. Given the impact that stress can have, such activities can sometimes even lead to worsening of symptoms.
Children Young People And Me/cfs
ME/CFS can affect people of all ages, including the very young. Young people with ME/CFS, especially children under the age of ten, might have trouble knowing or articulating that something is wrong. They may not realise that their loss of stamina, or other symptoms they are experiencing, are not normal. Alternatively, they may not have the words to describe what they are feeling.
For both younger children and teenagers, schooling can be affected but ME/CFS is not school refusal. While school refusal can often be accompanied by physical complaints , and these complaints may tend to disappear when the young person stays home, the pattern is different with ME/CFS. In a young person with ME/CFS, some symptoms never ease and symptom exacerbation is triggered by activity. In ME/CFS, symptoms are likely to be worse after school attendance, and can reduce with pacing and rest, which includes time away from school or during holidays.
Some young people with ME/CFS can continue to attend school, and others may be too unwell for regular classroom attendance. Parents, healthcare providers, schools and the child or teenager need to work together to come up with a plan for the young persons continued education. This plan needs to take into account the energy limits of ME/CFS. Being creative and flexible is key and might include things like fewer subjects or school from home.
Read Also: What Supplements Should I Take For Adrenal Fatigue
Signs You Could Have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
by Holly | Autoimmune + Chronic Illness
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or Myalgic Encephalomyelitis is a complicated disorder. Youre exhausted all of the time. But the symptoms dont stop there. Weve compiled 25 signs of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome for you to explore. If you are looking for answers, this is a great place to start.
The information provided on this website is not meant to be used, nor should it be used, to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or medical condition. This information has NOT been evaluated by the FDA.This website is not intended as a substitute for the medical advice of a physician. The reader should regularly consult their doctor in matters relating to his/her health and particularly with respect to any symptoms that may require diagnosis or medical attention. Full Disclosure Policy, Legal Clause, and Terms and Conditions Click HERE.
Also Check: Wood Grain Anti Fatigue Floor Mats
Question #10 Why Do I Still Feel Tired Even After 8 Hours Sleep
Getting a full nights sleep is often difficult in chronic fatigue sufferers. However even when I did get a full nights sleep Id wake in the morning feeling like I hadnt slept at all. It was the most horrible feeling, like constantly coming down with a virus. And this symptom of unrefreshing sleep is another common symptom of chronic fatigue syndrome.
Answer Further study needs to be undertaken on sleep disturbances in chronic fatigue syndrome sufferers. However a study showed preliminary evidence that alterations in sleep stability and sleep stage transitions may be partly to blame for difficulties in sleeping.
Once healed from chronic fatigue syndrome it was the best feeling to wake in the morning alert, knowing I had just had a great refreshing sleep.
Recommended Reading: Decorative Anti Fatigue Kitchen Mats
What Is The Latest Research On Me/cfs
Today, we have a better understanding of ME/CFS, but researchers are still searching for the cause. ME/CFS is sometimes seen in members of the same family, perhaps because of a genetic link. Researchers are also testing a variety of treatments for ME/CFS, including anti-viral medications and medications that affect the immune system.
Researchers also are looking at ways to help health care providers identify and diagnose ME/CFS more quickly. HHS currently supports a study led by the Institute of Medicine to recommend improved and updated criteria to help physicians make a diagnosis of ME/CFS. The IOM’s recommendations may also guide future research.
I Dont Have Insurance How Can The Affordable Care Act Help Me
If youâre uninsured or have been denied coverage in the past for ME/CFS, the Health Insurance Marketplace may be able to provide you with access to affordable coverage. With health insurance plans in the Marketplace, you can no longer be refused coverage just because you have a pre-existing health condition. Medicaid and the Childrenâs Health Insurance Program also canât refuse to cover you or charge you more because of a health condition. They also canât charge women more than men. Learn more about the Affordable Care Act and the Health Insurance Marketplace at Healthcare.gov.
Don’t Miss: Can Low Potassium Cause Fatigue
The Possible Impact Of Me/cfs On The Family
A child or adolescent affected with ME/CFS presents challenges for the entire family. The challenges are similar to those faced by families of children with other chronic illnesses such as leukemia or juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, but with the additional challenges of widespread disbelief in the authenticity of the illness, the pervasive social stigma associated with a diagnosis of ME/CFS and a paucity of medical professionals who are knowledgeable about the illness.
In our experience, the majority of families draw on their strengths. The parents are usually able provide the necessary care, and siblings learn to cope with diminished parental attention. When families cope well with their childs illness, the risk of emotional damage to siblings is minimized.
Research has shown that siblings of young patients with ME/CFS are more anxious than normal adolescents. Siblings identified factors having a negative impact on their lives, as lack of knowledge about the illness, change in their role in the family, lack of communication within the family, new restrictions placed on family life, change of parental focus, emotional reaction to having a sick sibling, and the social stigma of being the sibling of a young person with ME/CFS. Communication within the family, social support and extra activities were found to have a positive impact .
Helpful strategies to support the family can include:
Participation of both parents in the evaluation and management of the patient.
How Can I Find Out If I Have It
The National Academy of Medicine has issued guidelines describing the combination of symptoms necessary for doctors to diagnose the condition. Unfortunately, there isn’t yet a diagnostic test that’s accurate enough to be useful.
Because extreme fatigue is a symptom of so many conditions, your doctor will want to rule out other conditions first, before considering a diagnosis of ME/CFS. You’ll need to get a complete checkup and talk with your doctor about all your symptoms.
Read Also: How To Beat Menopause Fatigue
How Is Me/cfs Treated
Right now, there is no cure or FDA-approved treatments for ME/CFS. But, there are things you and your doctor can do to help ease your symptoms. Because the symptoms of ME/CFS vary from person to person, the management plan you discuss with your doctor may look very different from the plan of another person with ME/CFS.
Donât Miss: Liver Disease And Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Diagnosis Of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Laboratory evaluation to exclude non-CFS disorders
The diagnosis of CFS is made by the characteristic history combined with a normal physical examination and normal laboratory test results. Any abnormal physical findings or laboratory tests must be evaluated and alternative diagnoses that cause those findings and/or the patient’s symptoms excluded before the diagnosis of CFS can be made. The case definition is often useful but should be considered an epidemiologic and research tool and in some circumstances should not be strictly applied to individual patients.
In February 2015, the Institute of Medicine published an extensive review of this disease called Beyond Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Redefining an Illness. In this review, they proposed a new name, systemic exertion intolerance disease , and new diagnostic criteria that simplified the diagnosis and emphasized the most consistent features. In addition, the review clearly emphasized the validity of this debilitating disease.
Don’t Miss: Do I Have Chronic Fatigue
Question # 6 Why Is Everything Annoying Me
Sometimes a colleague at work asking a simple question would throw me into a frustrated silent rage. It is easier to become upset over little things. Your frustration with the lack of control over your health can also overwhelm you causing rage and frustration over your situation which bubbles over into your daily life.
Answer Due to continual fatigue you can be more sensitive than before you got ill. Your emotional reserve can be limited. Chronic fatigue syndrome has an emotional as well as a physical component to the illness. So its not only physical action and events that tire you out, but emotional ones too.
Diagnosis Of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome:
Since there are no lab tests that can screen the chronic fatigue syndrome, it is quite difficult to diagnose this disorder or condition. Probably that is the reason why more than 80% people in USA are left undiagnosed of chronic fatigue syndrome. If you have chronic fatigue syndrome or CFS, you might not get the specific symptoms that most diseases are associated with and since you do not even look sick, it is extremely difficult to diagnose chronic fatigue syndrome.
If you are having the above mentioned symptoms and extreme fatigue for more than six months, then it is highly possible that you are having chronic fatigue syndrome. However, it is also important that you make sure that your fatigue is not cured with bed rest and is not associated with any other disease.
When diagnosing chronic fatigue syndrome, the symptoms of this disorder can be misdiagnosed as some other disease. Hence, it is very important that you make sure you do not confuse chronic fatigue syndrome with those diseases such as
Don’t Miss: Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Lab Test