Chronic fatigue syndrome is a disorder characterized by constant tiredness for a long period of time. This type of fatigue doesn’t have a clear underlying cause and doesn’t go away with rest. Although there’s no fixed cause of CFS, medical experts believe psychological stress and viral infection to be the possible factors affecting the disorder.
And since there’s no underlying cause of this disorder, it is hard to cure it. Medications can only help to relieve the symptoms. In this article, we’ll discuss the possible causes of chronic fatigue, symptoms, treatment options, and everything else that you need to know.
Symptoms of CFS can vary on the individual and the severity of their condition. Yet, the most common symptom is tiredness, which can affect an individual’s ability to perform everyday tasks. Here is a list of symptoms that are common in most people suffering from CFS:
- Day-time sleepiness
- Disturbed sleep
- Feeling exhausted even after a good night’s rest
- Lack of willingness to do everyday things
- Reduced concentration
Physical symptoms of CFS may include muscle tension, sore throat, frequent headaches, joint pain, etc.
- Stress: Stress is the most common cause of fatigue. While occasional stress and anxiety are common, dealing with stress every other day (psychological or emotional stress) can lead to stress build-up, which can be a potential trigger for CFS. Hence, it is suggested to manage your stress triggers in order to prevent fatigue.
- Viral Infection: In some cases, people suffer from CFS after a viral infection. Some of the possible viral infections that could cause fatigue include:
- Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)
- human herpesvirus 6
- Ross River virus (RRV)
- rubella virus
- Weak Immune System: Research shows that immune dysfunction or a weak immune system triggered by a viral infection plays a vital role in developing chronic fatigue. In fact, CFS is also known as an immune dysfunction syndrome.
- Hormonal Imbalance: Many times, CFS could be due to hormonal imbalances, such as low testosterone levels in the body, especially in men. If you have low-T, there are multiple Effective testosterone replacement therapy options that you can consider. Taking this treatment will not only increase your strength but will also boost your sex drive, help you lose weight, and promote better sleep.
How Is Chronic Fatigue Treated?
As per the Institute of Medicine, chronic fatigue syndrome occurs in more than 2.5 million Americans. And there are no medical tests to diagnose CFS. This is because its symptoms are similar to many other medical conditions, and people suffering from CFS don’t look sick.
Hence, it gets practically difficult for doctors to recognize the condition, and hence, finding the optimum treatment option becomes difficult. To get the right treatment plan for your particular condition, it is necessary to consult your doctor and discuss your condition with them. The doctor will read your medical history and give you a customized treatment plan accordingly.
Since there’s no fixed treatment option for people dealing with CFS, incorporating a few lifestyle changes in their routine can help manage the symptoms. Here are a few lifestyle changes that can greatly help:
- Create a Proper Sleeping Routine: Many people who suffer from CFS find it helpful to relax after a good night’s rest. So, make sure you take at least 7-8 hours of sleep every day in order to feel refreshed and energetic throughout the day.
- Cut off Caffeine: Caffeine intake in the evening time or before going to bed can trigger anxiety, which can further trigger insomnia and make it hard for you to sleep. Caffeine is a stimulant that initially gives you an instant kick but slowly drops your sugar levels, which makes you anxious, and you get off the track. Hence, doctors advise people with CFS not to take caffeine at least three hours before going to bed.
- Avoid Napping: Constant tiredness throughout the day can induce you to take naps for quick relaxation. However, for many people, it can disturb their urge to sleep at night, and they find themselves staring at the ceiling all night. Thus, even if you feel like taking a nap, try to avoid and preserve that sleep for the night.
The Bottom Line
Living with chronic fatigue is no more than a challenge for most people. If you think your symptoms are mild and can be managed by trying out some lifestyle changes, you should make the necessary changes in your routine.
However, if you think the symptoms are severe and aren’t manageable, consult a doctor as soon as possible and get a full diagnosis. The doctor will take a look at your medical history and give you a treatment plan for your particular symptoms.