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Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or CFS is a disease that plagues between one and four million Americans. The exact number is difficult to determine because Chronic Fatigue is often misdiagnosed. It’s also masked by other illnesses which can mimic or parallel symptoms.
Symptoms of Chronic Fatigue
Chronic fatigue symptoms can be both mysterious and debilitating. The most profound and notable symptom is fatigue. The fatigue is chronic, it’s life altering and it is worsened by both physical and mental activity. Fatigue lasts more than six months and is not attributed to another medical diagnosis. Your life is changed when Chronic Fatigue shows up.
Other symptoms of chronic fatigue include:
- Short-Term Memory Loss Or Reduction
- Difficulty Concentrating
- Sore Throat
- Tender Lymph Nodes
- General Muscle Pain;
- Multi-Joint Pain
- Insomnia Or Poor Sleep
So what causes Chronic Fatigue?
Unfortunately not much is known about the causes of Chronic Fatigue. Some researchers suspect it may be a virus and therefore contagious however, presently there is no evidence to suggest this. They do know that it generally attacks certain types of people including:
- Women tend to get CFS more than men. (Though this may be simply because they go to the doctor for it whereas men may not be willing to see a physician because they’re tired)
- It occurs most often for people in their 40s and 50s.
- The truth of the matter is that CFS can attack, men, women, adults, children and any race, income level or geographic area. Hereditary and genetic factors have yet to be found.
Chronic Fatigue Treatment
If you’ve had the above symptoms and debilitating fatigue for several weeks, particularly after any exertion, it’s important to go to the doctor to get a diagnosis. There is treatment for Chronic Fatigue. Physicians will take a combined approach and treat the symptoms as well as help sufferers with a lifestyle change. Because there is no cure for Chronic Fatigue, treatment suggestions will vary.
Common treatments include:
- Counseling to develop coping skills
- Treating symptoms like headache, sore throat and muscle pains
- Cognitive behavior therapy to help develop habits to manage symptoms including exercise and diet
- Alternative therapies. Some patients have found relief with hands on therapies like massage and even yoga.
If you suffer from Chronic Fatigue you know its life altering. However, there are real strategies you can use to improve your life and function at a higher level. Support groups, the medical community and lifestyle changes can all offer an improved life. Chronic Fatigue doesn’t have to define you or your life. If you suspect you may be suffering from chronic fatigue, visit your doctor and get a diagnosis so you can start taking steps to get your life back.