What Is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?

What Is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?

Until recently, chronic fatigue syndrome, also called myalgic encephalomyelitis, is a disease that most people, including the medical community, assumed was a myth for many years. Persons with chronic fatigue syndrome do not look sick; they don’t have a fever or exhibit other signs of sickness. There is some common side effect like conditions that are associated with the disease, but these are non-specific. These include dizziness, frequent headaches, memory loss, and joint pain and swelling, but these are not specific enough to form a diagnosis by themselves.

The medical community now recognizes chronic fatigue as a definite condition and considers it underdiagnosed.

Many people could have chronic fatigue but not be diagnosed with it. Others find the symptoms come and go in a cyclical nature. But to be sure, call Pacific Medical Care immediately at 619-333-8114 for a better diagnosis.

Symptoms

  • Constant feeling of fatigue
  • Feeling unrested after sleep
  • Bouts of insomnia
  • Loss of concentration
  • Possible muscle and joint pain
  • Frequent sore throats
  • Swollen lymph nodes

Diagnosis

Many people go undiagnosed. It is estimated that 2.5 million Americans suffer from chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). However, up to 91 percent have yet to be diagnosed.

There are no tests that can confirm you have CFS. Doctors, however, should interview patients on all of the possible indicators and ask about the duration of the symptoms.

Risk Factors

There are several risk factors that could help confirm a diagnosis. Women are twice as likely to suffer from CFS than men, for example. In addition, severe obesity is a risk factor, as is a major depressive disorder. Other risk factors include:

  • Lyme disease
  • Sleep disorders
  • Fybromyalgia
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Lupus
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Mononucleosis

Causes

It is unknown what causes CFS. Possible causes are still under investigation. These include:

  • Viruses
  • Stress
  • Hormonal imbalance
  • Weak immune systems
  • Genetics

Treatment

As there is no known cure for CFS, patients and their physicians must decide on the right response depending on individual symptoms. There is no prescribed course of action to fight CFS.

Post-Exertional Malaise

Post-exertional malaise (PEM) is a condition that occurs to some people already suffering from CFS. In this situation, after times of emotional stress or physical exertion, the symptoms of CFS grow noticeably worse for a period of time, usually between 12 and 48 hours. On the other hand, depending on the incident, the increased symptom intensity can last for days or weeks.

Patients who suffer from these types of flare-ups are advised to learn how to pace themselves in their daily activities. Patients chart out their individual tolerances for stress and physical exertion and try to keep these in check.

Call for Help

If you or someone you know is suffering from chronic fatigue that goes beyond normal expectations or feels tired even after a good night’s sleep, then call for medical assistance. Working with a physician to manage symptoms and plan for an individual treatment plan could make a world of difference. Call as soon as possible for an appointment.

In San Diego, call Pacific Medical Care at 619-333-8114 for an appointment for any unexplained or long-term fatigue or exhaustion. A proper diagnosis should be made to determine a course of treatment.

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