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What Is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

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Other Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Symptoms

What Is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?

Other symptoms that may be associated with CFS/ME include:

  • Dizziness, palpitations, fainting, nausea on standing or sitting upright from a lying position.
  • Increased sensitivity to temperature, causing increased sweating, chills, hot flushes or feeling very cold.
  • Twitching and other abnormal uncontrolled body movements.
  • Flu-like symptoms, including sore throat, tender glands, nausea, chills or muscle aches.
  • Intolerance to alcohol, or to certain foods or chemicals.
  • Increased sensitivities, including to light, sound, touch, taste and smell.
  • Pain, including pain on touch, muscle pain, headaches, eye pain, tummy pain, or joint pain.

What Is Chronic Fatigue

Chronic fatigue occurs when symptoms of exhaustion or lack of energy last over 6 months. Chronic fatigue is a symptom of many chronic conditions, including rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, or lupus. Although the exact cause of chronic fatigue is unknown, certain factors can play a role, such as infection, hormone level changes, and stress.

Chronic fatigue often results from sleep disturbances, usually insomnia, in combination with chronic pain and depression. In addition, other factors that may contribute to chronic fatigue symptoms include:

  • physical inactivity and lack of exercise
  • poor diet
  • certain medications

Regardless of the cause, chronic fatigue impacts day-to-day functioning and quality of life for people with arthritis.

What Causes Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

The exact cause of CFS is unknown, but several factors may produce or trigger an episode that can include

As with other illnesses that produce flu-like symptoms, CFS is also triggered by a virus and/or stress hormone .

Some researchers speculate that certain individuals possess genes and/or immune system characteristics that make them susceptible to this triggering process. However, these specific genes and characteristics are yet to identify. Evidence suggests that infections from one or more viruses may play a role in initiating the onset of CFS. Furthermore, studies show elevated levels of cytokines such as interferon and increased activity of natural killer cells, which suggest that the immune system is hyperactive during an episode of CFS. Psychological stress also works as a potential factor in triggering symptoms of CFS.

To aim for the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Treatment in Ayurveda we need to understand how does Ayurveda thinks about the disease. The same we will discuss later on in the same page.

Also Check: Foods To Help Adrenal Fatigue

How Does It Happen

Doctors donât know the cause of chronic fatigue syndrome, but

they have identified different underlying abnormalities in people with the condition.

Immune system problems: Several different parts of the immune system are different in people with chronic fatigue syndrome, and some research indicates that these abnormalities may cause the symptoms of the illness. However, fortunately, people with chronic fatigue syndrome do not have a defective immune system, in the way that people with HIV/AIDS do.

Energy production: In people with chronic fatigue syndrome, the cells in the body have trouble making enough energy.

Brain abnormalities: Abnormalities are seen in pictures of the brain , in levels of brain hormones, and in the electrical system of the brain . These abnormalities can come and go, and are not necessarily permanent.

Blood pressure and pulse issues: On standing, people can have a drop in blood pressure and an increase in how fast the heart beats. Sometimes people feel like fainting or actually faint, if the blood pressure drops too low.

Genes: Some studies have found abnormalities in the structure of certain genes. Other studies have found abnormalities in how some genes are turned on and off, inside cells. Studies of identical and non-identical twins indicate that some people inherit a genetic susceptibility to getting the illness.

Who Develops Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS): Overview and More

Chronic fatigue syndrome can affect anyone. It is estimated that CFS affects an average of between one and five people in every 1,000 in the UK. The true figure may be higher because some people with CFS/ME are not diagnosed.

It is about three times as common in women as in men. The most common age for it to develop sometime between the early twenties to mid-forties. In children the most common age for it to develop is 13-15 years but it can develop at an earlier age.

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Global Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Treatment Market Insights And Forecast To 2028

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Treatment market is segmented by players, region , by Type and by Distribution Channel. Players, stakeholders, and other participants in the global Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Treatment market will be able to gain the upper hand as they use the report as a powerful resource. The segmental analysis focuses on revenue and forecast by Type and by Distribution Channel for the period 2017-2028.

Segment by Type

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.

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Chronic Fatigue Syndrome In Paediatric Patients

It can be stated that CFS is rare in childhood and adolescence: only 0.06% to 0.32% of children from 5 to 15 years of age fulfil the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention criteria for CFS .

Although the CDC criteria is mostly followed , different research groups accept that, although fatigue for at least 6 months is required to establish the diagnosis, shorter periods of debilitating fatigue should be considered in adolescents or school-aged children . Since the adjective debilitating is the disease’s main feature, it is highly likely that shorter periods of 3 months, or even 4-6 weeks, should be considered when associated with absenteeism. This factor is so important that the primary care paediatrician or general practitioner should suspect CFS whenever it is present, although the clinical picture does not fulfil more stringent criteria.

The obsessive tendency to rigidly classify children and adolescents with highly stringent criteria is inappropriate, even though such criteria are internationally accepted. Table summarizes the differences noted in CFS between adults and children.

Table 2 Adult/Children CFS differences

I Don’t Have Insurance How Can The Affordable Care Act Help Me

What Is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) and What Causes It?

If you’re 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 Children’s Health Insurance Program also can’t refuse to cover you or charge you more because of a health condition. They also can’t charge women more than men. Learn more about the Affordable Care Act and the Health Insurance Marketplace at

Recommended Reading: What Triggers Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Symptoms

Most people diagnosed with ME/CFS were functioning at a normal level prior to their diagnosis. The arrival of ME/CFS is often abrupt and sometimes follows a stressful medical or psychological event.

The core symptoms of ME/CFS are:

  • Severe, continued fatigue even after rest. This fatigue reduces the ability to perform typical daily activities
  • Worsened fatigue after mental or physical activity.
  • Sleep problems, which may include difficulty falling or staying asleep.

People with ME/CFS also experience one or both of the following:

  • Difficulty with memory, thinking, or concentrating. Patients may struggle to recall information or experience brain fog or foggy thinking.
  • Increased symptoms when standing or sitting up. Dizziness, lightheadedness, or weakness can happen upon standing or sitting upright.

Additional symptoms may include:

Impact And Prognosis Of Me/cfs

  • Nacul L.
  • Lacerda E.M.

Pharmacoecon Open.

  • Campion P.
  • et al.

BMC Public Health.J Chronic Fatigue Syndr.

  • Cox D.L.
  • Findley L.J.

Br J Occup Ther.

  • Mild: mobile and self-caring may continue working but will have reduced other activities
  • Moderate: reduced mobility, restricted in instrumental activities of daily living, needs frequent periods of rest usually not working
  • Severe: mostly housebound limited to minimal activities of daily living severe cognitive difficulties may be wheelchair dependent
  • Very severe: mostly bedridden unable to independently carry out most activities of daily living often experience extreme sensitivity to light, sound, and other sensory input
  • Tian H.
  • et al.

Am J Epidemiol.Chronic Illn.

Qual Life Res.Disabil Rehabil.Occup Med .

Rehabil Psychol.Front Pediatr.Fatigue.

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The Influence Of Vata Dosha On Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Vata dosha when out of balance pulls Kapha and Pitta along with it creating various diseases when there is an imbalance among the three doshas. Vata has an indirect relationship with the endocrine system. Weakness of endocrine glands is a product of Vatas increased activity in the body which causes Vata to create an imbalance, leading to a depletion in nutrients because Agni fails to break down food into nutrients because it is weak and imbalanced. The result may be Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

Articles On Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Shown &  Explained Using A Medical ...

Myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome is more than feeling tired all the time. It comes with a lot of other symptoms that can make it hard to handle daily life. Even simple things like walking to the mailbox or writing a letter can make it worse. The fatigue and symptoms can last 6 months, or can go on for years. Sleep and rest donât make it better, either.

A doctor can help relieve your symptoms, but first you need to get diagnosed.

If you have ME/CFS, youâll have these three âcoreâ symptoms:

  • Reduced ability to do usual activities for six months or more because of fatigue
  • Worsening of symptoms . after usual physical or mental activity
  • Trouble falling asleep or staying asleep

Along with the three symptoms, you must have one of these for a diagnosis of chronic fatigue syndrome:

  • Problems with thinking and memory
  • Worsening of symptoms while standing or sitting upright you might feel lightheaded, dizzy or weak, and you may have blurred vision or see spots.

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Ayurvedic Diet For Treatment Of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Ayurveda also specifies certain dietary guidelines for CFS patients:

1) A diet completely devoid of spices,

2) Eating only easily digestible foods such as rice ,

3) Avoiding cold and frozen foods especially during winter months,

4) Avoiding dry and rough food items such as raw salads, fruits with the skin still attached, etc.,

5) Eliminating sour foods such as alcoholic beverages , fermented foods such as yogurt, and dried fruits such as apricots.

Role Of Prana In Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Prana is responsible for all functions that take place in the body tissues. Once there has been an imbalance of Vata dosha it affects prana which eventually leads to disorders or diseases because Agni fails to break down food into nutrients only aggravating whatever may be existing in the form of the disease due to Vatas excess activity resulting in increased fatigue leading to CFS.

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How To Properly Diagnose

So, diagnosing chronic fatigue syndrome. Lets talk about it! There is quite a bit of evidence that the syndrome is brought on by a physical problem concerning the immune system, energy metabolism and the nervous system.

In the same vein, there are currently no laboratory tests, or procedures available to properly confirm the diagnosis of chronic fatigue syndrome.

Until a more proven way is found to reach diagnosis, doctors are left to diagnose chronic fatigue syndrome based on the known symptoms of the illness. Cross examining them with symptoms the patient is experiencing and eliminating any other possible illness they could be experiencing that might cause extreme, prolonged fatigue.

Because of this, your doctor might ask about symptoms of other fatigue-causing illnesses including:

  • Hypothyroidism
  • Adrenal insufficiency
  • Heart disorders
  • Hepatitis B or hepatitis C
  • Certain psychiatric illnesses, especially major depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and delusional disorders and dementia
  • The eating disorders anorexia nervosa and bulimia
  • Drug abuse, including alcohol abuse
  • Severe obesity

Another thing that might be done by a doctor, is assessment of your mental status. A basic blood test is ordered if available. Such as red blood cell count, white blood cell count , thyroid, kidney and also liver tests.

Additionally, other specialized tests might be recommended. This could include testing your autonomic nervous system.

Treatment For Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Scientists Discover Robust Evidence That Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) Is a Biological Illness

Unfortunately, there is no cure for ME/CFS. People with the disorder shouldnt give up hope, however. A variety of treatments may be used to lessen or eliminate symptoms.

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy . CBT teaches patients how to recognize fears of potential fatigue. With the aid of CBT, patients can also learn how to redirect thoughts that may provide a more positive outlook about recovery.
  • Exercise. Through graded exercise therapy, patients with ME/CFS exercise to increase overall physical and mental function.
  • Sleep Management. Poor sleep is a common symptom of ME/CFS. Treatment of sleep disorders that accompany ME/CFS can lessen its overall effects. Patients can begin by improving their sleep hygiene. However, additional steps, such as prescription medications or therapies for specific sleep disorders may be necessary.
  • Pharmacologic Therapy. Currently, there are no drugs that specifically target ME/CFS. Instead, patients may take drugs to treat symptoms of ME/CFS, such as pain, depression, and sleep deprivation.
  • Stress Reduction and Relaxation. Certain practices can help with managing chronic pain and fatigue. These include meditation, massage, and acupuncture.

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Southern Cross Medical Library

The purpose of the Southern Cross Medical Library is to provide information of a general nature to help you better understand certain medical conditions. Always seek specific medical advice for treatment appropriate to you. This information is not intended to relate specifically to insurance or healthcare services provided by Southern Cross. For more articles go to the Medical Library index page.

The Aetiology And The Pathogenic Mechanisms Of Cfs

As the criteria for CFS diagnosis are not based on the understanding of aetiopathogenic mechanisms, some patients present similar clinical manifestations but are diagnosed with other conditions because fatigue is not the primary symptom. Some of those conditions are fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome, and temporomandibular joint syndrome. Furthermore, in addition to sharing several symptoms with CFS, currently available evidence suggests that those diseases also share similar pathophysiologic mechanisms .

Although the aetiology and the pathogenic mechanisms of CFS are not fully understood, several hypotheses have been postulated and described below, being the disorders of the central nervous system neuromodulator the one supported by more evidence to explain the possible pathogenic mechanisms involved in CFS .

Infectious theory

Epstein Barr virus, Candida albicans, Borrelia burgdorferi, Enterovirus, Citomegalovirus, Human Herpesvirus, Espumavirus, Retrovirus, Borna virus, Coxsackie B virus, and hepatitis C virus have been associated to CFS, but their pathogenic relationship with the syndrome has not been demonstrated .

Immunological theory

Neuroendocrinological theory

In patients with fibromyalgia, the research on neurotransmitter disorders has started to yield positive findings, and it is known that different clinical manifestations will appear according the type and the site of action of affected neurotransmitters .

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What Does Ayurveda Say About Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Ayurveda has a substantial amount of information regarding CFS. This helps in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Treatment in Ayurveda.

According to Ayurvedic theory, all three doshas should remain in balance in order to maintain good health. A slight imbalance can cause disease. The ease is balance and as soon as it turns into imbalance it changes to disease. So every disease has one thing in common- an imbalance of doshas.

Because the human body and doshas are dynamic. So there are millions of chances every day, which can cause imbalance. The art of maintaining balance is life.

This is stress which makes us more susceptible to this imbalance. Due to stress or experience of chronic stress, the body becomes depleted of vital nutrients.

Besides this, there is much wear and tear on individual cells, tissues, organs, etc., leaving them open to attack by infectious organisms. These are always present in the environment. Because we share the space. Dont own one. Therefore these chances of change are high.

The main points that Ayurveda considers in CFS are:

1) The depletion of Jatharagni ,

2) The presence of excessive Vata Dosha in the system,

3) The lack of proper digestion,

4) Weakness of body tissue and muscle because of low nutrients because of excess Vata dosha.

5) Inadequate absorption at the gastrointestinal level.

Severity Of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Symptoms

How Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Is Treated

Symptoms vary widely in severity and people may have some symptoms more severely than others. However, the following definitions are provided by NICE to provide a guide to the level of impact of symptoms on everyday functioning:

Features of mild chronic fatigue syndromeThese include:

  • You are able to care for yourself and do some light domestic tasks but may have difficulties with mobility.
  • You are usually still able to work or attend education, but to do this you have probably stopped all leisure and social pursuits.
  • You often have reduced hours, take days off and use the weekend to cope with the rest of the week.

Features of moderate chronic fatigue syndromeThese include:

  • You have reduced mobility and are restricted in all activities of daily living.
  • However you may have peaks and troughs in your level of symptoms and ability to do activities.
  • You have usually stopped work or education, and need rest periods, often resting in the afternoon for one or two hours.
  • Your sleep at night is generally of poor quality and disturbed.

Features of severe chronic fatigue syndromeThese include:

  • You are unable to do any activity for yourself, or you can carry out minimal daily tasks only .
  • You have severe cognitive difficulties and may depend on a wheelchair for mobility.
  • You are often unable to leave the house or you have a severe and prolonged after-effect if you do so.
  • You may also spend most of your time in bed and are often extremely sensitive to light and sound.

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