All of us feel tired and fatigued at times. But if a feeling of constant fatigue and sleeplessness coupled with headaches and muscular weakness and lack of concentration seems to be bogging you down for months on end, you may be suffering from CFS (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome). This is a relatively new syndrome that has been raising its head since a couple of decades. It is symptomatic of the times, when work stress, overwork and coping with the rigors of juggling tough schedules seem to be the order of the day. This malaise is sometimes referred to as Chronic Fatigue Immune Dysfunction Syndrome (CFIDS) and its exact cause has not been identified yet.
The Human Herpes Virus 6 (HPV-6) has been suspected to be a possible cause, though no clear identification has yet been proved. Inflammation of the pathways in the nervous system is said to be a cause for CFS. CFS occurs commonly among women in the age group of 30 - 50 years. This syndrome may be triggered off by a viral illness that gets complicated by a dysfunctional immune response. This syndrome can creep upon you without your realizing it. It will sap you of your energy and vigor. Keep yourself well informed on CFS - its manifestations and possible treatments.
It was noticed that this syndrome was predominantly among well-educated and affluent women and was referred to as the 'yuppie flu'. It is estimated that nearly 500,000 people in the USA may be suffering from symptoms of Chronic Fatigue immunodeficiency syndrome. Chronic fatigue immunodeficiency syndrome, as CFS is sometimes referred to, usually begins with a bout of viral infection. This usually coincides with a period of high stress. The symptoms of fatigue and sleep disorders and mental confusion tend to last over a period of nearly 6 months. You may find yourself easily exhausted and unable to go about your normal activities.
Incapacitating fatigue along with problems in concentration are distinct symptoms of CFS. Sore throat and tenderness in the lymph nodes are also noticed. Persons suffering from Chronic Fatigue Symptom may experience dizziness and shortness of breath and feelings of depression and mood swings.
Diagnosing Chronic Fatigue Syndrome can be difficult since there is no clear indicator or diagnostic test to identify this syndrome. Symptoms of CFS can be mistaken for hypothyrodism, fibromyalgia or Gulf War Illnesses. Some of the symptoms such as sleep problems and depression can be alleviated with medicines but the syndrome will not be cured. The symptoms may improve over time.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Treatment
Learning to cope with the symptoms of CFS is a major step in the treatment and recovery. You can take cognitive- behavioral therapy to improve the quality of life, both emotional and mental health. Emotional support and counseling can go a long way in helping a person suffering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
Medications can help in relieving symptoms such as digestive problems and flu-like conditions. Sleep management therapy can also relieve sleep disorders. Lifestyle changes can provide relief to those suffering from CFS. Incorporating an exercise regimen and healthy food is part of the treatment for CFS. Some recent studies have indicated that some supplements like L carnitine help in treating some cases of Fatigue. Carnitine plays a major role in the lipid transportation and mitochondria - the power house of every cell. Although Carnitine is available in reasonable quantities from red meat and avocado, additional supplements help to improve the overall availability.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Fibromyalgia
FMS (Fibromyalgia syndrome) is characterized by muscular pain all over the body. The muscles tend to twitch and burn. The muscles, tendons and ligaments feel extremely fatigued and overworked. Symptoms of Fibromyalgia syndrome and chronic fatigue syndrome lead us to believe that these two conditions may be similar. Persons suffering from Fibromyalgia syndrome experience deep throbbing and stabbing pain that is worse in the mornings.
Patients feel totally drained of energy and face sleep disorders too. There is difficulty in concentrating and focusing. Other symptoms of Fibromyalgia syndrome are Irritable Bowel Syndrome and recurrent migrant or tension headaches. Women suffering from Fibromyalgia syndrome experience painful periods and severe PMS symptoms. Stress, depression and hormonal fluctuations can aggravate the symptoms.
As in the case of CFS, the actual cause of FMS remains elusive but certain infections or imbalances tend to trigger off the syndrome. Alterations in the levels of Serotonin or immune system function can be possible causes. Improved quality of sleep can go a long way in improving the condition. Medications are given so as to boost the body's levels of serotonin and neurotransmitters that module sleep as well as the pain and immune system function. Muscle relaxants may also be prescribed. Acupressure, acupuncture and therapeutic massage may provide relief.
Chronic Fatigue Immune Dysfunction Syndrome - CFIDS
Chronic Fatigue Immune Dysfunction syndrome is spreading its tentacles among the industrialized and advanced nations. Nutritional and lifestyle factors have a considerable role to play in this phenomenon. Often CFIDS is mistaken for neurotic or psychosomatic problems. With nearly 1 - 2 million people suffering from CFIDS, this condition needs to be taken cognizance of.