–Written by Sze Hui

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Are you having extreme fatigue, tired all day long and not improve with pure rest? Do the symptoms prolong for 6 months and get worse with physical and mental activity? If the answers are yes, you may want to check it out on the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)!

Although there is no single test for this, medical practitioners diagnose this syndrome by ruling out other diseases with various medical tests. A combination of theories -ranging from viral infection to hormone imbalance – has been published but the exact cause for this has yet to be discovered.

Treatment for CFS focuses on symptomatic relief and lifestyle modification. Pharmacological approach includes introducing pain killer for the headache and arthritis; antidepressant for the mood disturbances Studies have shown nutritional supplements such as essential fatty acid, magnesium, Coenzyme Q10 are helpful for certain individuals to gain energy. They say “an apple a day, keeps the doctor away” but trust me, having a healthy eating diet and sufficient exercise are keys to keep all diseases away including the CFS.

 

Sign of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

  • Loss of memory or concentration.
  • Sore throat.
  • Enlarged lymph nodes in your neck or armpits.
  • Unexplained muscle or joint pain.
  • Unrefreshing sleep.
  • Extreme exhaustion lasting more than 24 hours after physical or mental exercise.

Causes

People who have chronic fatigue syndrome appear to be hypersensitive to even normal amounts of exercise and activity.

Why this occurs in some people and not others is still unknown. Some people may be born with a predisposition for the disorder, which is then triggered by a combination of factors. Potential triggers include:

  • Viral infections.Because some people develop chronic fatigue syndrome after having a viral infection, researchers question whether some viruses might trigger the disorder. Suspicious viruses include Epstein-Barr virus, human herpes virus 6 and mouse leukemia viruses. No conclusive link has yet been found.
  • 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
  • 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.

Risk factors

Factors that may increase your risk of chronic fatigue syndrome include:

  • Chronic fatigue syndrome can occur at any age, but it most commonly affects people in their 40s and 50s.
  • Women are diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome much more often than men, but it may be that women are simply more likely to report their symptoms to a doctor.
  • Difficulty managing stress may contribute to the development of chronic fatigue syndrome.

Complications

Possible complications of chronic fatigue syndrome include:

  • Depression
  • Social isolation
  • Lifestyle restrictions
  • Increased work absences

References

  1. Maher, B., Branch, P. K., Smith, M., Geddes, C., Fleisher, Chapman, M. J., … Reston Chiropractic. (n.d.). Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Treatment. Retrieved November 3, 2019, from https://www.alternativedrmcare.com/chronic-fatigue-syndrome-treatment
  2. Team, the H. E. (2019, April 17). CFS (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome). Retrieved November 3,2019, from https://www.healthline.com/health/chronic-fatigue-syndrome#risk-factors
  3. Castro-Marrero, J., Sáez-Francàs, N., Santillo, D., & Alegre, J. (2017, March). Treatment and management of chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis: all roads lead to Rome. Retrieved November 3, 2019, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5301046
  4. Chronic fatigue syndrome. Retrieved November 7,2019, from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/chronic-fatigue-syndrome/symptoms-causes/syc-20360490
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