Everyone feels exhausted after a long day of school or work. If that tiredness is constant, it can become debilitating.
This condition is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. How would patients detect its signs?
Coping with this complex syndrome takes more than getting enough rest. Patients need to manage it with unique strategies.
What is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?
The term ‘Chronic Fatigue Syndrome’ is self-explanatory. Another name for it is Systemic Exertion Intolerance Disease. It refers to excess tiredness that refuses to ease.
CFS is a complex illness. The US Department of Health and Human Services, in a public release report, defines it as a ‘debilitating condition that imposes a substantial burden of illness.” Diagnosing this disease is a challenge.
That said, underlying medical conditions may explain it. It affects an estimated 2.5 million Americans.
CFS affects anyone but is prevalent among those in their middle years. Its causes remain unknown, but hormonal imbalances and weak immunity may contribute to it.
What Causes CFS?
Most individuals feel fatigued occasionally, but they should not automatically attribute their tiredness to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Scientists have not identified the causes of CFS as yet. They have studied these conditions to decide if they trigger the disease.
First of all, they researched diseases. Mononucleosis, Human Herpesvirus 6 infection, Enteroviral Infection, and Rubella are among the diseases they studied. To date, they have discovered that no single virus causes the illness.
2. Immune System
They also conducted studies to find out if changes in a person’s immune system trigger it. They observed immune deficiencies in some CFS patients, particularly those predisposed to Cancer. However, there is room for research.
3. Central Nervous System
Scientists also looked into the central nervous system because the Hypothalamic-Pituitary Axis (HPA) influences immunity. They found that some CFS patients tended to produce lower levels of cortisol, a hormone that combats inflammation.
However, because of their low concentrations, doctors cannot use them to diagnose CFS.
4. Low Blood Pressure and lightheadedness.
Researchers found shifts in the blood pressure of CFS patients. They also noted that these patients experienced lightheadedness.
6 Signs of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
The symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome vary according to the seriousness of the condition. Typically, patients suffer from exhaustion severe enough to disrupt daily activities. CFS may include these symptoms.
1. Inability to engage in activities
Patients suffer from a reduced ability to take part in work, social or other activities. The tiredness usually lasts for more than half a year.
2. Unrefreshing sleep
They may also have sleep disturbances. Lack of sleep is one of the determining factors of CFS.
Furthermore, their muscles may feel strained. Multi-joint pain is typical. Patients are less mobile than usual.
4. Constant Headaches and Cognitive Impairment
Patients may suffer from constant headaches. Therefore, their focus suffers. They may experience cognitive deficiencies such as memory loss.
5. Sore Throats
Patients may also suffer from scratchy throats.
6. Tender Lymph Nodes
Finally, CFS may affect the Lymph Nodes, which may become swollen and tender.
Managing Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Below are the standard methods for managing CFS. They help in easing the condition to a degree.
The remedies include resting well and eating healthily.Increasing water intake and reducing caffeine consumption may help. Patients should take regular meals, and maintain a healthy diet of lean meats, fruits, and vegetables. Portion control is essential.
Those with CFS should also avoid alcohol, nicotine and illegal drugs, as these complicate the condition. Patients should set realistic expectations for work schedules. Those who have difficulties managing their workloads should discuss them with their superiors.
Other Steps for Managing Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is a complex condition, so patients have to try harder than usual to cope with it.
First of all, patients must deal with indecision because it adds to stress. Consequently, it consumes energy.
Color therapy is another way to cope with the condition. According to The Eiseman Center for Color Information and Training, it produces adrenaline and increases liveliness.
Being bombarded by emails is stressful. Patients should limit their use of technology to what is necessary. They should also let go of regrets and remorse. Such feelings decrease motivation. They also increase blood pressure.
Highlighting accomplishments helps. Doing this boosts mood and removes negativity. Another way to reduce the effects of CFS is to seek the support of friends and loved ones. Again, this decreases negativity.
Finally, patients can try inhaling mint aromas, which are stimulating. Because they are odors that are perceived and felt, they increase energy.
Managing Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, in conclusion, is possible. Knowing its signs and suggestions to manage will help.
By Michelle L.