Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Alternative NamesCFS; Fatigue - chronic; Immune dysfunction syndrome
What is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
CFS (Chronic fatigue syndrome) – a disorder that is characterized by constant being fatigued (for approximately half a year and more). First, CFS was considered to be a disorder only of careerists and those who spare a lot of time to education. Nowadays it is well-known that this disorder affects all age groups in spite of occupation.
Signs and symptoms
CFS can have the following signs and symptoms:
- constant fatigue that is not related to some exertion;
- myalgia (muscle pain);
- arthralgia (pain in joints);
- Problems with sleep, breathing, memory or concentration;
- Headache, sore throat, chronic cough;
- nausea, abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting;
- various allergic reactions.
Chronic fatigue syndrome can lead to:
- Social isolation due to constant fatigue;
- Restrictions in lifestyle (sometimes the disorder effects people that much that they become disabled and cannot do the activities they’ve done before);
- Adverse reactions and side effects of the treatment;
Although the disorder has already been known for a long time, the reason of CFS appearing is still unknown. Neither brain scans nor blood tests can say the cause of CFS. A lot of doctors consider that this disorder may develop due to:
- emotional or psychiatric conditions;
- genetic factors;
- hyper-reactive immune system;
- Viral infections;
- Brain abnormalities.
A lot of patients say that before the CFS they had some emotional event or some serious viral infection. Doctors consider that events like that can interact with some genetic or neurological abnormalities and lead to CFS.
To prevent CFS following simple steps may be done:
- go in for sports and keep your body fit;
- sleep enough (8-10 hours a day);
- reduce coffee drinking and come off cigarettes;
- have enough rest;
- Find an activity, a hobby or a job after your heart;
- Start walking or swimming, buy a bike or go in for aqua aerobics;
- Plan your life so that stress and over-exertion can be reduced; Eat properly, keep a diet, drink more fresh water and juice.
As the cause of CFS remains unknown, the proven medication for CFS treating hasn’t been found yet and it is very difficult for many patients to find something that will help to get rid of this disorder. However, the experts recommend combining the following rules for treating or simplifying CFS:
- Sometimes antidepressant drugs;
- CBT (Cognitive-behavioral therapy);
- Sleep management techniques;
- Proper healthy diet.