Are you constantly tired, even after a full eight hours of sleep? Does it seem like you are functioning at a lower level than you were six months ago? If you answered yes to either question, you may have a disorder known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
As the name implies, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, or CFS involves abnormal fatigue that has lasted for at least six months. Other CFS symptoms that are present in the six month time span used to diagnose this disorder are sore throat, painful joints, memory and concentration problems, muscle pain, headaches, sleep difficulty, tender lymph nodes, and increased fatigue after exertion.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome impairs the working abilities, social activities, and family lives of the people diagnosed with this disorder. All patients who suffer from CFS are impaired in some way, and in the worst cases, severely disabled.
The symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome resemble those of many other diseases and disorders. There is no diagnostic test to determine the presence of CFS, so it is often misdiagnosed. Diagnosis of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is made by ruling out the other conditions that have similar symptoms. Your physician will also evaluate medications that you are currently taking to determine if they are responsible for the feelings of fatigue.
Once a diagnosis of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome has been made, treatment can begin. There is no cure for CFS, but there are ways to treat the many symptoms that accompany this disorder. Counseling and therapy options, in conjunction with support groups have been shown to help with the psychological symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. For the physical symptoms, pain, sleep, and anti-depressant medications maybe be prescribed.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is also characterized by periods of remission followed by relapses. These relapses can actually be caused by over-exertion during the times when the patient feels normal.
People who have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome may have difficulties coping with the symptoms and limitations of the disorder, the loss of Independence, and other concerns about living with CFS. The stress caused by these concerns can actually exacerbate the symptoms.
Treatment for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is necessary to return to a normal quality of life. If you suspect that you may have CFS, discuss this possibility with your physician. He or she can determine if your symptoms are caused by medication, another disorder, or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.