Low energy and being tired is one of the most common reasons why people visit the Dr. Weakness, fatigue, lack of energy, there are many ways to describe the feeling when you do not feel like doing anything. In usual cases, you are ready to take on the world after a good break or a good night’s sleep but when otherwise, it is an indication that something is wrong. When fatigue occurs frequently and lasts for longer than normal, it is the sign of something serious.
Excess fatigue and tiredness is so common that it has its own acronym; CFS or chronic fatigue syndrome. Fatigue is a common symptom for various health conditions, which are sometimes extremely serious. Everybody feels tired at some point or the other, if we push ourselves too hard physically, emotionally or mentally. But do you feel that the energy has vanished from you? You no more feel the zest to get up and go. You wake up feeling tired like you haven’t slept at all. All this could probably mean that you suffer from CFS.
But what is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?
CFS of chronic fatigue syndrome is a medical condition in which a person experiences extreme fatigue that does not seem to go away with any amount of rest. The condition is worsened with any form of mental or physical activity and limits a person’s ability to carry out normal daily functions.
In most cases there is rarely anything physically wrong with an individual suffering from CFS. There is no single definitive cause for the condition and may be caused due to a combination of factors including viral infections, stress, weak immune system, hormonal imbalance. Genetics have also proven to play a role in development of the condition. There are no specific risk factors identified barring the fact that women are most likely to develop CFS than men.
The condition may both begin gradually and worsen with time or in some cases, cause a sudden onset after an individual has undergone a trauma. The symptoms could change on a daily basis. Each individual is affected differently by the condition, although some depictive symptoms are common in all people suffering from CFS, they are;
- The feeling of extreme physical and mental fatigue or both together
- Sleeping issues, feeling of unrefreshed sleep
- Persistent headaches
- Body pain that is either concentrated in one area or widespread
- Confusion and problems concentrating
The aforementioned symptoms can often be misleading as they could depict any other health condition. This is one of the major reasons why people most often delay diagnosis and visiting a specialist.
The condition affects different people differently. For some people the symptoms caused by the condition may seem to greatly hamper their lives whereas in other cases, people may not seem so drastically affected. They may be able to carry out their daily activities with ease. Severe cases of CFS may result extreme difficulty in performing any function including getting up from the bed, bathing, eating etc.
It is extremely important to keep note of your symptoms and consult with a specialist when experiencing unusual symptoms like;
- Fatigue that lasts for more than 2 weeks and does not improve with rest
- Inability to fall asleep and waking up to feeling tired
- Persistent headaches
- Body swelling
- Frequent urination at night
There is not specific diagnostic test for CFS as the condition may be difficult to diagnose given the common symptoms it depicts. Your Doctor will recommend normal tests and rule out the possibilities of various health conditions as fatigue could be caused by several health issues. The commonly performed tests are; a blood test, thyroid test, urine test, glucose level test in the blood etc. Through the various tests, the doctor will rule out the possibilities of an individual suffering from any sleep disorder, medical conditions like anemia, diabetes, thyroid etc. and mental health issues like anxiety, depression etc.
There has been a lot of research that has bene done to understand the condition, yet the topic still remains poorly understood. There is no definitive cure for CFS, they key to living with the condition is managing and treating specific symptoms. Work along with your Dr. and understand what triggers the condition for your and what makes it better. The most common symptoms like sleep issues can be cured with medications as recommended by the specialist. Make lifestyle changes depending on the severity of your condition. Do not perform activities that require you to strain yourself. Try exercising but follow gradual forms of work out.
Mental health and well-being is as important as physical in cases such as this. Understand everything about CFS and take control over your health.