Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome | Lyme Disease

Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is just misunderstood by many people including those who suffer from it. It’s excessive, ongoing cognitive and physical fatigue that can’t be relieved by any amount of sleep or rest, as well as a variety of other symptoms, such as fever, sore throat, flu-like symptoms, muscle pain, digestive problems, insomnia, headaches and swollen glands.

Fatigue is the primary symptom. People describe Chronic Fatigue as feeling like weights are attached to their arms and legs. They feel like these weights are dragging them down, making almost any activity a monumental task. Symptoms worsen with over-exertion but the amount of exercise considered excessive can vary from one person to another. For some, even the most trivial event can be over-exertion. The more intense and extended the exercise, the more symptoms they experience and the longer the recovery time.

The degree of severity in fatigue and other symptoms can vary greatly from one person to another. It can range anywhere from a minor annoyance, to completely disabling and everything in between. Severity can also wax and wane from day to day within the same person. Some days people can be more functional, while other days they are flat on their back. Most of the people with Chronic Fatigue drastically lose most of their ability to engage in physical activity, with symptoms as serious and disabling as multiple sclerosis, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis or other similar conditions.

More than 1 million Americans live with Chronic Fatigue, but this number leaves out people who don’t seek treatment and those who are misdiagnosed.

Misdiagnosis is very common, mostly because symptoms overlap with many other chronic health conditions. Also, a big part of the medical community still doesn’t legitimize this disorder. Even among those who do accept it, there is so much misunderstanding about the nature of the beast. Medical experts disagree about many aspects, critical issues such as the disorder’s causes and the best treatment.

Chronic fatigue is accompanied by Fibromyalgia and multiple chemical sensitivities, but not always. Some people present themselves with FMS or MCS as their primary symptom, and chronic fatigue as a secondary symptom.

Many health care professionals still “secretly” believe Chronic Fatigue is not real. The negative stigma remains. Many people, both medical professionals and the general population, tend to look at those inflicted with a bit of skepticism.

To receive respectful, proficient treatment for chronic fatigue syndrome, it usually requires finding an Integrative M.D.

Depression coexists with chronic fatigue syndrome for two reasons:

  1. The same factors such as diet, nutritional deficiencies and environmental toxins that cause the fatigue also impact the brain, causing a change in brain chemistry to create depression and any other so-called “psychiatric symptom” that may show up. Neurotransmitters in the brain, which regulate mood, are often depleted or disrupted.
  2. When your life is altered severely by a chronic health condition, depression tends to occur naturally in response to the grief and loss that must be endured. Depression is not a cause of CFS; it is a result.

The below factors can contribute to Chronic Fatigue

Unfortunately, there is no known cure for CFS, but symptoms can be managed or relieved to some degree with changes in lifestyle, pacing, dietary restrictions, limiting physical activity, stress management, development of coping skills, nutritional supplements and other alternative medicine approaches.

Other helpful strategies for coping or healing include mindfulness, deep breathing exercises, mindfulness-based meditation and spending time with nature.

It is essential to work with a nutritionist and an Integrative M.D. because I am sharing general information that is not intended to be medical advice. This information is only given for informational purposes.

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