Causes And Treatment Of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Several debilitating conditions which include severe fatigue characterize the chronic disorder which is known by the name of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. This condition is also identified as Chronic Fatigue Immune Dysfunction Syndrome and includes symptoms such as weakness, lack of concentration and impaired memory, muscle pain, insomnia and fatigue that follows any exertion. This condition typically lasts for over 24 hours. Usually, physicians can diagnose this syndrome by using the method of exclusion and ruling out other illnesses which may showcase similar symptoms.
What Precisely Is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?
Defining Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is difficult just as it is to diagnose the condition. A diagnosis of the condition is made only after an individual begins to display at least two of the symptoms mentioned below.
When conducting a diagnosis, physicians will be looking forward to identifying whether the individual is been suffering from Chronic Fatigue for a period of six months or more. They will also be looking for other medical conditions which could cause the fatigue. The fatigue felt by the individual must also interfere significantly with the daily activities.
Apart from the prolonged fatigue, the individual must have any of the following symptoms to be diagnosed as suffering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. The symptoms are as follows:
- Temporary memory impairment and concentration.
- Tender lymph nodes.
- Muscle pain.
- Joint pain without swelling or discoloration.
- A sore throat.
- Exertional malaise which lasts for over 24 hours.
- Headaches of a different type including severity.
Similar Medical Conditions Are Also Viewed When Diagnosing Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Different medical conditions also associate themselves with fatigue and therefore, before diagnosing the condition of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, the physicians will be trying to eliminate the possibilities of the following:
- Multiple chemical sensitivities.
- Fibromyalgia syndrome.
- Chronic mononucleosis.
Many conditions which are entirely treatable should be ruled out by the physician before arriving at a diagnosis of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. In case an individual has one or some of the conditions mentioned below, along with chronic fatigue, the physician must first offer treatment for the other conditions before diagnosing Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. The conditions that can lead to this syndrome may include:
- Sleep apnea or narcolepsy.
- Eating disorders.
- Hormonal disorders.
- Autoimmune diseases.
- Depressive disorders which are intense, schizophrenia, and bipolar affective disorders.
Nearly 50% of all patients suffering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome also experience symptoms of abdominal pain, bloating, chest pain, irregular heartbeat, morning stiffness, nausea, psychological problems, weight loss, and tingling sensations. This syndrome is currently affecting more than 1 million Americans.
The Risk Factors For Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome can affect people of all ethnicities and ages. However, the highest risk factors for this condition have been seen in women, people over the age of 40 and 50 and those who have a genetic link to this condition. No specific tests have been developed to diagnose the condition and matters get further complicated when patients do not display the signs of any illness.
When making a diagnosis, doctors will initially be ruling out other conditions which may have similar symptoms and therefore, the patient will be subjected to different tests. The CDC has estimated that less than 20% of the people who suffer from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome are diagnosed with the condition.
The Right Treatment
Sadly, no treatment for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome has been developed so far and in most cases, doctors are aiming to manage the symptoms rather than ‘removing’ them. The treatment provided usually includes combinations of medications and lifestyle changes to prevent overexertion, managing the diet of the individual, reducing stress and providing some nutritional supplements.
Doctors may also recommend physical therapy. The treatment for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome begins soon after the condition is diagnosed for more effective results. The symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome can be different for every patient with some being severely affected and unable to function effectively.
Some individuals may be in a position to work despite experiencing the symptoms. No figures are available about the percentage of people who recover from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. However, managing the symptoms from the very onset seems to be the best option to achieve better results for this common condition.
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