Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), is a chronic illness that affects a person’s nervous system.
It can affect all ages – children and adults, and can begin or occur at any life stage.
If you’re feeling an overwhelming sense of fatigue and complete lack of energy, it may be something to address, especially you have been sleeping for a normal amount of time each night.
The causes of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome are not completely known. For some, the condition may be suddenly triggered by toxic exposure, a viral infection, immunisation, gastroenteritis, anaesthetic, or a trauma. In others, CFS may develop slowly over months or years.
What are the symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?
Although it can be hard to get a firm diagnosis of CFS, here are some of the most common signs and symptoms that you may want to be on the look out for:
1.Feeling extremely fatigued after exercise:
The most outstanding characteristic of CFS is exhaustion. This represents itself in flu-like symptoms after exercise and not having enough energy for daily activities. While it’s normal to feel a little bit tired after exercise, it is important to identify if these feelings last longer than 24 hours. If a good nights sleep hasn’t done enough to restore you after a work out, it might be a good idea to consider consulting your GP.
2. Lack of memory and focus:
Those struggling with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome often feel depleted of energy, which can go hand in had with the struggle to focus and remember things throughout the day. A loss in concentration and memory is not a normal occurrence and should raise questions regarding how your system is functioning. Problems with thinking, being clumsy, having muscle twitching and/or tingle can also be combined to form part of the diagnosis.
3. Up and down body temperature:
Abnormal fluctuations can be a sign of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. A combination of other symptoms along with feelings of being hot one moment and freezing the next would have to be looked at by your GP.
Effects of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
The effects Chronic Fatigue Syndrome will differ between individuals and according to Better Health Channel, they can be categorised into three levels of severity.
- Mild – the person’s activity is reduced by at least 50 percent
- Moderate – the person is mostly housebound
- Very severe – the person is bed bound and dependent on help for daily care
The stigma of CFS can also play a part in affecting the wellness or mental load of the condition with the community wrongly thinking that a person is just tired, to just push through or that it is all in their head.
Treatments for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is severely disabling, and there is currently no known cure. There are over the counter and prescription medications that can however, ease the symptoms. Those with CFS usually have to trial many different medicines to find what works. The most commonly used treatments are antidepressants, analgesics, sedatives, and B vitamins. The best way to find out if a treatment is suitable is to book an appointment with a GP.
Home treatments for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome can include managing physical activity and keeping it at a level that is comfortable and does not cause over exertion. This is very much an individual treatment and will vary person to person depending on the severity of the condition. Total rest however should be avoided as it may make fatigue worse. If there is a need to increase the level of physical activity, it should be done so gradually and possibly under the guidance of a health care professional.
Some symptoms may affect some more than others. For example, a lack of memory and concentration and constantly waking up feeling unrested might debilitate some, muscle pain, headaches and fatigue might hinder others completely from undergoing their daily activities. It is best to speak to your GP about addressing and tackling you toughest symptoms first – the ones that interfere the most with your daily life.
If sleep just isn’t doing enough for you and the above symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome resonate with you, you may want to seek the advice from a HealthMint GP to get a proper diagnosis.