What Is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?
Chronic fatigue syndrome is a devastating disorder. Not only does it cause extreme tiredness that doesn’t go away with rest, it also can’t be explained any underlying medical condition. Most of us have experienced fatigue at some point, so we know just how debilitating it can be.
While the cause of chronic fatigue syndrome are unknown, there are a few theories as to what causes it. So what are some possible causes of chronic fatigue? What are some of the symptoms?
1. What is the Cause?
The exact cause of CFS (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) is not known. We still don’t know why this condition occurs in some people and not others. However there are a few possible contributing factors:
- Viral infections: Because some people develop chronic fatigue syndrome after having a viral infection, researchers question whether some viruses might trigger the disorder. While no conclusive link has been found, it’s definitely a possible trigger for CFS.
- Immune system problems: The immune systems of people who have chronic fatigue syndrome appear to be impaired slightly, but it’s unclear if this impairment is enough to actually cause the disorder. However, it is a possibility.
- Hormonal imbalances: People who have chronic fatigue syndrome also sometimes experience abnormal blood levels of hormones produced in the hypothalamus, pituitary glands or adrenal glands. But the significance of these abnormalities is still unknown.
- Stress: Another possible contributing factor to CFS is stress. While there is no definite way to prove whether or not chronic stress triggers CFS, it is highly likely that the two are related.
2. The Symptoms
The symptoms of CFS vary between each person and the severity of the condition. However, there are a few common symptoms of CFS. The first being fatigue that’s severe enough to interfere with your daily activities. Here are a few other symptoms you might experience if you have CFS:
- loss of memory or concentration
- feeling unrefreshed after a night’s sleep
- chronic insomnia (and other sleep disorders)
- muscle pain
- frequent headaches
- multi-joint pain without redness or swelling
- frequent sore throat
- tender and swollen lymph nodes in your neck and armpits
Additionally, you may experience extreme fatigue after physical or mental activities. Sometimes CFS comes in cycles. Meaning at some points you will feel worse and at others you will feel better.
3. What’s the Solution?
As of right now, there is no definite way to treat CFS. Everyone has a differnt approach when it comes to managing the symptoms of CFS. However, there are a few things you can try:
- Lifestyle Change: Making small changes to your lifestyle could help ease the symptoms of CFS. Limiting or eliminating your caffeine intake will help you sleep better and ease your insomnia. Making changes to your diet and eating the right foods could also help reduce CFS symptoms.
- Sleep Routine: If you can, try and create a consistent sleep routine. You should go to bed at the same time every night and aim to wake up around the same time every morning.
- Alternative Medicine: Acupuncture, tai chi, yoga, and massage may help relieve the pain associated with CFS.
The Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Takeaway
In short, chronic fatigue is a debilitating disorder that cannot be linked to any underlying medical condition. However, making little changes to your lifestyle and eating right could help ease the symptoms.