If you search online for causes of fatigue, the internet tries to diagnose you with all sorts of illnesses. Since fatigue is such a common symptom, it is hard to pinpoint the cause. One possible answer is something called Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and with help from a doctor, you can finally find relief.
What is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is fatigue that gets in the way of your daily life. It is fatigue that has lasted for at least six months but has not always been there. Even if you do sleep, it does not feel restful. You may be having trouble focusing on tasks, and you feel worse after physical activity.
The causes of CFS are unknown, but new research is emerging. Harvard Health Publishing points out that over 9,000 scientific studies have published research on CFS since 1983. A common finding is a correlation between people with CFS and an immune system that is chronically activated even when it should not be. The body may be exhausted by the unnecessary exertion of its immune system. It is also possible that the cells in people with CFS are not making or properly using enough energy to fuel the body.
Many symptoms of CFS overlap with symptoms of other illnesses such as depression, sleep disorders, and fibromyalgia. Fatigue is a common symptom of many illnesses, so it is important to talk to a doctor about your other symptoms as well.
Symptoms Most Specific to CFS
- Memory and concentration problems
- Dizziness especially after standing up after laying down or sitting (orthostatic intolerance)
- Unrefreshing sleep and difficulty sleeping
- Exhaustion that worsens after physical activity or mental exertion (post-exertional malaise)
Other Common Symptoms
- Muscle or joint pain
- Tender lymph nodes
- Digestive issues
- Frequent sore throat
People with CFS usually suffer from chronic pain in the body. For some people, the pain is located in the muscles or joints, while other people have headaches or digestive distress.
There is no singular test to confirm a Chronic Fatigue Syndrome diagnosis. Instead, your doctor will ask you several questions to understand what symptoms you are experiencing and how long you have experienced them. Your doctor may try to rule out other possible illnesses first by ordering blood work and performing a physical examination.
Along with worsening of symptoms after physical activity, you must also have at least one of these symptoms to be diagnosed with CFS:
- Dizziness especially after standing up after laying down or sitting
- Memory or concentration problems
Although there is no cure for CFS, there are many ways to find relief from your symptoms. Between sleep problems, attention problems, dizziness, or pain, you can choose which problem to tackle first based on which impacts your daily life the most. Over-the-counter or prescription medicines can be used to help with all of these problems. Your doctor will discuss with you the best treatment option. They may also recommend that you receive counseling or see a physical therapist.
Each person’s treatment for CFS looks different, but with support from your doctor, you will see great improvements in your quality of life.
We Can Help
Since 1997, North Carolina-based Southeast Pain and Spine Care have specialized in pain management. If you suffer from chronic fatigue, we want to help you. Through our four-pronged approach of interventional techniques, medication management, rehabilitation, and counseling, your CFS symptoms will be managed. Please contact us to request a consultation. We are here to help.