CHRONIC FATIGUE SYNDROMEWhat is CFS?
Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is not a disease, but rather the name given to a medical condition comprised of various symptoms. The predominant problem identifying CFS is an extreme, persistent and ongoing fatigue that negatively affects a person’s ability to function in day-to-day life. The Centers For Disease Control and Prevention estimate that about one million people in the United States suffer with the chronic tiredness caused by CFS.
CFS can strike people of any age, race or sex, but is diagnosed four times more frequently in women than in men. While CFS can occur at any age, it occurs most often in people in their 40s or 50s.
Causes Of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Researchers have yet to find a definitive cause for CFS. It is believed that a combination of factors can trigger its onset, especially in people who are predisposed to developing the condition.
1. Viral Infections
Many people seem to develop CFS after dealing with a viral infection. Researchers are working to determine if a correlation exist between certain viruses and CFS.
2. Immune System Deficiencies
Most people suffering from CFS also have at least a slightly weakened immune system.
3. Hormonal Imbalance
Symptoms Of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
In addition to the symptoms mentioned above, people with CFS may also experience the following common symptoms:
+ Brain fog
+ Night sweats and/or chills
+ Irritable bowel
+ Dizziness, fainting or problems with balance
+ Sensitivity to food, odors or noise
+ Sudden mood swings, irritability or anxiety
+ Eye problems: blurring, pain or sensitivity to light
Treatment For Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Because this is a complex condition with a number of potential contributing factors, CFS treatment is focused on managing symptoms and improving daily function as much as possible. Over time, most people do get better and resume their normal lives, but some may find relief sooner with proper diagnosis and treatment.
Exactly how to treat CFS depends on the individual patient’s symptoms. While doctors often use antidepressants to treat the symptoms of CFS, these drugs tend to mask the symptoms rather than address the underlying hormonal imbalance or other potential issues. Other treatment methods can include:
+ Dietary monitoring
+ Physical therapy and graded exercise
+ Hormone replacement therapy (administered and monitored by a professional)
+ Sleep training
+ Relaxation and meditation techniques
+ Cognitive behavioral therapy