Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or CFS
There is noteworthy concern about CFS, also known as myalgic encephalomyelitis, is a complex disorder. Therefore, patients to be diagnosed must meet the specific criteria for chronic fatigue syndrome. Symptoms lasted for at least six consecutive months. A clear definition of chronic fatigue syndrome, symptoms, and treatment options will help sufferers understand better the syndrome.
What is Chronic Fatigue?
The definition of CFS does not make the sufferers feel much better. The characteristics of the syndrome are weakness, tiredness, muscle pain, lethargy, sleep disturbances, and even fever and swollen lymph nodes. There is no known cause for the fatigue that is present in an individual that is unrelated to excessive effort and which is not remedied by rest.
Some of the signs have discussed before. However, there is a very long list of the symptoms associated with this disorder. There are many symptoms that patients are well aware of, and there are other symptoms that only the doctor can detect. Regardless of the signs that appear for a while and seem to have no cure, chronic fatigue syndrome is a common diagnosis.
Some of the most frequent symptoms of CFS include:
- Persistent Fatigue
- Sleep difficulties
- A sore throat
- Swollen Lymph nodes
- A headache
- Memory Loss
- Difficulty Concentrating
- Unexplained Muscle Aches
- Painful Joints
Frequently Chronic Fatigue Syndrome begins during periods when individuals have been sick, under stress, or for no apparent reason at all. Many individuals have observed that after bouts with the flu, mononucleosis, a cold, hepatitis, and other similar viral infections, the onset of CFS. Unfortunately, the symptoms persist for months, sometimes coming and going, and other times always affecting the patient. Other illnesses begin to clear up after a few days or weeks, but chronic tiredness sticks around with no apparent cause.
Diagnosing Chronic Fatigue
Doctors have a challenging task to diagnose chronic fatigue syndrome — the reason why because many symptoms are very similar to another disease. Therefore, many doctors want to see patients who had the same symptoms for at least six months after the onset before the diagnosis began. Patients with this debilitating illness, the lack of early diagnosis are difficult to bear. Doctors, however, want to exclude diseases such as Lupus and multiple sclerosis as well as other diseases before diagnosing the illness.
The treatment options for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome are varied and may include prescription medicines and or alternative treatment.
Some of the alternative treatment options for CFS include stress relieve, active rest, and graded exercise. Other treatment options that work for some individuals include massage, aquatic therapy, aromatherapy, herbal medicine, yoga, tai chi. Psychotherapy has also proven helpful to people living with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome because it helps sufferers learn to cope with their symptoms.
The FDA has not approved treatment options for CFS. However, there are prescription drugs used off-label to relive patients from chronic fatigue symptoms. CFS sufferers often use medications such as antidepressants, less often heart medicines, antihistamines, anti-inflammatory drugs, and anticonvulsants.
Preparing for your appointment with your MD
If you are worried, you have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or have most of the symptoms for months; then you should make an appointment with your physician. It is a good idea to keep a journal of your symptoms to help your doctor make the proper diagnosis and get relief from your symptoms sooner.