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Chronic Fatigue – Possible Causes and Treatments

by Sarah Kaminski 2 years ago in health
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If you suspect CFS might be what’s troubling you, let’s talk about symptoms, possible causes, and treatment.

Do you feel tired all the time, even when you get enough sleep and when you don’t do anything that could lead to exhaustion? Youʼre not alone in this. According to the Institute of Medicine, between 836,000 and 2.5 million Americans suffer from chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), but most of them have not been diagnosed.

This condition is also known as myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), and it can affect anyone, regardless of age. The symptoms are similar to experiencing a bad flu, when you feel like you are too tired to move – but in this case, the feeling is lingering.

If you suspect CFS might be what’s troubling you, let’s talk about symptoms, possible causes, and treatment.

How to identify chronic fatigue syndrome

You might be going through a couple of bad days. It doesn’t have to mean youʼre suffering from ME. The main symptom is feeling fatigued like after a strenuous workout, without the ability to recover quickly. Simple activities like having a coffee with a friend, taking a stroll, or going to work, result in unusual tiredness. Other symptoms include:

  • Problems with concentrating
  • Memory loss
  • A drop in blood pressure
  • Disrupted sleep and sleep disorders
  • Feeling dizzy
  • Increased heart rate
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Nausea
  • Inability to cope with temperature change
  • Weight change

Your symptoms can change over time, and you can experience different symptoms throughout the day.

Possible causes of chronic fatigue

The specific cause of chronic fatigue syndrome is yet to be discovered. We don’t know a lot, but we do know that different things trigger CFS, and sometimes, the cause can be the combination of multiple triggers. Here are some possible factors researchers suggest:

  • Genetics (this is the underlying cause in many cases)
  • Cardiac system
  • Blood pressure
  • Biochemical abnormalities
  • The body’s ability to produce energy
  • Viral or other infections
  • Hormonal imbalances
  • Physical or emotional trauma

Risk factors and possible complications

While chronic fatigue syndrome is not foreign to any gender or age, itʼs noted that women are diagnosed with this condition more often than men. However, there are some suggestions that this is the case because women tend to report the symptoms to the doctors more often. It is also noted that this syndrome affects young to middle-aged adults most frequently.

Various complications and consequences can occur to people suffering from ME. They include increased work absence, personal relationship problems, social isolation, anxiety, and depression.

Diagnosing chronic fatigue

There is no specific diagnostic process for myalgic encephalomyelitis. Usually, doctors will associate your symptoms with numerous other diseases and diagnose ME only when they rule out all of them. This can be a long and tormenting process.

There is hope that, in the near future, we will see progress in this area. A study published in 2018 discovered particular molecules that existed at different levels in the blood samples of people suffering from chronic fatigue.

Treating chronic fatigue

Currently available treatments are very much limited. Because there is a wide array of physical symptoms, doctors are addressing the most troublesome ones. Usually, they start with a small dose of prescription medicines for energy loss, insomnia, nausea, and similar symptoms.

There are some lifestyle changes and things you can do, depending on the prevailing symptoms:

  • If you are troubled by poor sleep, consider increasing magnesium intake to improve sleep and help you feel rested.
  • For memory loss and cognitive impairment, try to keep a journal or a daily planner.
  • Relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing, yoga, and meditation can help with different symptoms.
  • A well-balanced diet, packed with vitamins, minerals, protein, and other essential nutrients can boost your energy and strengthen your immune system.
  • If youʼre struggling with a certain nutrient deficiency that you canʼt compensate through diet, use nutritional supplements.
  • Maintaining a regular sleeping schedule (going to bed and waking up at the same time each day) is the basis of healthy sleep and it will help you feel rested.
  • Therapy and counseling can help you cope with emotional and psychological issues that could have been the trigger for your condition.

Final word

Itʼs difficult to live with chronic fatigue. But it gets easier if you know what youʼre up against and how to fight it. Hopefully, this article will help you with that..


About the author

Sarah Kaminski

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