Chronic fatigue syndrome at its core is a disorder that leaves a person feeling extremely tired. Causes of chronic fatigue syndrome remain unclear, and symptoms related to the disorder are not ameliorated with increased rest.
There is no cure for CFS, and diagnosing it can be difficult as well because there’s not a test to confirm a diagnosis. Another problem with CFS is that doctors also aren’t sure what causes the syndrome, although many think it can be a combination of factors. If you recognize any of the signs or symptoms below, it’s important to reach out to your doctor so that she can help figure out what might be causing your chronic fatigue.
People who have chronic fatigue syndrome appear to be hypersensitive to even normal amounts of exercise and activity.
Why this occurs in some people and not others is still unknown. Some people may be born with a predisposition for the disorder, which is then triggered by a combination of factors. Potential triggers include:
- Viral infections. Because some people develop chronic fatigue syndrome after having a viral infection, researchers question whether some viruses might trigger the disorder. Suspicious viruses include Epstein-Barr virus, human herpes virus 6 and mouse leukemia viruses. No conclusive link has yet been found.
- Immune system problems. The immune systems of people who have chronic fatigue syndrome appear to be impaired slightly, but it’s unclear if this impairment is enough to actually cause the disorder
- Hormonal imbalances. People who have chronic fatigue syndrome also sometimes experience abnormal blood levels of hormones produced in the hypothalamus, pituitary glands or adrenal glands. But the significance of these abnormalities is still unknown.
Symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome
Signs and symptoms may include:
- Heavy sluggishness
- Mental and physical exhaustion that is not ameliorated by rest
- Emotional sensitivity as well as sensitivity to light and noise
- Trouble focusing
- Difficulty accessing short-term memory
- Sporadic joint pain
- Throat ache
Treatment of chronic fatigue syndrome
Since doctors don’t know what causes CFS, they can’t cure it. However, you can treat symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome. Treatments might include:
Antidepressants. Many times people with CFS are also depressed, so treating the depression can help with some of the problems that come along with the illness.
Sleeping pills. Sometimes sleep can be a problem with CFS, so your doctor might prescribe some sleeping aids to catch some proper zzz’s.
Therapy. Best treatment for CFS is a combination of light exercise and psychological counseling. In conjunction with your physician or physical therapist, you might create a personalized graded exercise regimen. Your doctor might also suggest seeking counseling to help you regain more control over your life.