What Can I Expect
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.
Many new and experimental treatments for CFS are available. But dont use any unproven treatments until checking with your doctor.
CFS is a misunderstood illness. But scientists continue to learn about it through research and clinical trials. Theyre trying to better understand its symptoms and causes in kids and teens.
Good medical care and coping techniques are the keys to helping your child manage chronic fatigue syndrome. It can also help to find support sites and groups, such as:
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Me/cfs Symptom Exacerbation Post
This is a key symptom of ME/CFS. The fatigue and other ME/CFS symptoms in this list typically increase and decrease in severity in what is called flare-ups. These flare ups are triggered by a range of things, most noticeably either physical or mental exertion. Besides an increase in symptoms and symptom severity, these flare ups include a feeling of malaise sometimes also called Post-exertional neuroimmune exhaustion. Some people refer to this as flu-like symptoms, feeling run down, sore throat, swollen glands or nausea. It is often also described as feeling toxic or poisoned.
How Is Cfs Diagnosed
CFS is a very challenging condition to diagnose.
According to the Institute of Medicine, as of 2015, CFS occurs in about 836,000 to 2.5 million Americans. Its estimated, however, that 84 to 91 percent have yet to receive a diagnosis.
There are no medical tests to screen for CFS. Its symptoms are similar to many other conditions. Many people with CFS dont look sick, so doctors may not recognize that they indeed have a health condition.
In order to receive a CFS diagnosis, your doctor will rule out other potential causes and review your medical history with you.
Theyll confirm that you at least have the core symptoms previously mentioned. Theyll also ask about the duration and severity of your unexplained fatigue.
Ruling out other potential causes of your fatigue is a key part of the diagnosis process. Some conditions with symptoms that resemble those of CFS include:
- severe obesity
- sleep disorders
The side effects of certain drugs, such as antihistamines and alcohol, can mimic symptoms of CFS as well.
Because of the similarities between symptoms of CFS and many other conditions, its important to not self-diagnose. Talk to your doctor about your symptoms. They can work with you to get relief.
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Frequently Asked Questions :
4. What Is The Most Common Cause Of Chronic Fatigue?
The most common cause of chronic fatigue is psychological stress something that affects all of us if you think about it. So, if you have been under a lot of stress recently, then you need to check whether you are always exhausted and whether this has anything to do with chronic fatigue syndrome or not!
Will I Still Be Able To Work With Me/cfs
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.
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Articles On Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
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.
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.
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Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Symptoms From Secondary Diagnosis :
Given the large range of CFS symptoms, many of these symptoms are actually attributed to other illnesses, with patients often thinking of themselves as being particularly unlucky to have so many different things wrong with them. Often as symptoms change, a diagnosis of separate syndromes of Fibromyalgia, Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome , Multiple Chemical Sensitivities or similar syndrome is made. However, these conditions are more and more recognised as being part of the same syndrome and in essence the same illness with merely different symptoms.
Some of these are genuinely separate illnesses, however, they are often experienced by people with ME/CFS and can often resolve when recovery from CFS is made. Such conditions may also exist before or after the patient has experienced ME/CFS and include but are not limited to:
- Severe premenstrual syndrome or exacerbation of symptoms before and during period
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
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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I Don’t Have Insurance How Can The Affordable Care Act Help Me
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 Healthcare.gov.
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.
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The Danger Of Misattribution Of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Symptoms
With so many symptoms and so many co-morbid diagnoses, patients often experience diagnosis fatigue where they no longer get their symptoms investigated and simply see them as just another Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Symptom.
So whilst many people with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome stop panicking every time they get symptoms that look like some other major and serious disease, it is all too easy to become complacent.
Its absolutely essential that any worsening of symptoms or new symptoms be reported to your doctor so that these can be appropriately diagnosed and treated where possible.
But when you realise that CFS affects every major system of the body, including the nervous system, endocrine system, digestive system, cardiovascular system and even your cellular functions and metabolism, then its easy to see how so many symptoms and different illnesses can occur.
Is There A Cure For Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Unfortunately, no. But there are methods for managing symptoms. As an article in The Atlantic eloquently explained in an interview with David Kaufman, the medical director of the Open Medicine Institute in Mountain View, California:
Simple diseases work like a chain of dominoes, with a clear cause setting off a series of possible symptoms, which hint at a diagnosis, and, usually, a standard treatment. Click, click, click, youre cured. Chronic fatigue is more like a pile of pick-up sticks: a giant mess in which no one can see a beginning or end. Most patients begin their history by saying something like, I was totally fine, and I got mono at 19 and Ive never been the same since, said Kaufman, who later treated Vastag .I want to find a single, neat, nice packaged cause. Every day I think Im less and less likely to find that.’
Some people who suffer from CFS are housebound or bedridden, long-term or for short periods of time. The majority of patients, however, are able to remain functional with a regime of different medications, therapies, exercise plans, or other interventions.
To learn more about what treatment options are available to you, click the link below. There, youll find a doctor who can review your chronic fatigue syndrome symptoms and provide options for finding relief.
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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.
General Exercise Tips For People With Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Be guided by your doctor or specialist, but general suggestions include:
- Experiment to find the type of exercise that works best for you. Choose from a range of gentle activities such as stretching, yoga, tai chi, walking and light weight training.
- Keep an activity diary so you have a long-term picture of your performance levels and factors that might impact on your symptoms.
- Stop the physical activity well before you feel any symptom flare. Pacing yourself is very important.
- Remember that the amount of exercise you can do will change from one day to the next.
- Listen to your body if you dont feel up to exercising on a particular day, dont.
- Find out as much as you can about your ME/CFS. Make sure you consult with health professionals who fully understand ME/CFS as a ‘real’ biomedical condition.
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Treatment For Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
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.
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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What Is It Like Living With Me/cfs
The severity of ME/CFS varies greatly from patient to patient, with some people able to maintain fairly active lives. For others, ME/CFS has a profound impact. About 25 percent of people with ME/CFS are housebound or bedbound as a result of their illness. For many, there is often a pattern of relapse and remission. Most symptoms are invisible to others, which makes it difficult for family members, friends, and the public to understand the challenges of the disease.
We know its so important to share personal experiences to increase understanding of ME/CFS. Visit our Humans of M.E. story archive to read and share your stories of ME/CFS.
It feels like I always have the flu, only much worse. It feels like the world is always moving, and I cant find my bearings.Rob P.
When my symptoms first occurred, I was diagnosed with the flu during June, July, and August during off-flu season. Doctors suspected that I was a hypochondriac.Conella B.
Sometimes it feels as if my body is shutting down on me. I think about going to the emergency room, not even able to make it to the car if I decide to go. I rarely decide to anyway, because every time I ever have gone for my invisible illnesses, they have never once been able to help me in any way.Kelly S.
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.
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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.
Key Points About Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
- Chronic fatigue syndrome is characterized by profound tiredness.
- Symptoms often worsen with physical or mental activity.
- In addition to severe fatigue, symptoms include light sensitivity, headache, muscle and joint pain, difficulty concentrating, mood swings, and depression.
- Treatments may include medicines, exercise, supplements, and counseling.
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Who Is At Risk For 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.
What Are The Symptoms/warning Signs Of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
In order to be diagnosed with CFS a patient must satisfy two criteria. Severe chronic fatigue must have lasted at least six months with other known medical conditions excluded by clinical diagnoses. Also, a person must concurrently have four or more of the following symptoms: 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-exertional malaise lasting more than 24 hours. The symptoms must have persisted or recurred during six or more consecutive months and must not have predated the fatigue.
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How Is It Diagnosed
To be diagnosed with ME/CFS, you must have all of these symptoms:footnote 1
- Major decrease in your ability to do the things you did before you got sickincluding work, school, social, or personal activitiesthat has continued for more than 6 months.
- Worsening of symptoms after being mentally or physically active .
- Sleep problems, including not feeling rested after sleeping .
- Extreme fatigue that is:
- New or has not been a life-long problem.
- Not caused by being active for a long period of time.
- Not much better after resting.
You must also have one or more of these symptoms:
- Problems with concentration, short-term memory, or using the correct word .
- Feeling dizzy or faint while standing or sitting upright that gets better when you lie down .
Doctors may also use a variety of tests to confirm a diagnosis or to rule out other conditions.
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