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Symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome


Chronic fatigue syndrome, also known as ME (myalgic encephalomyelitis) or SEID (systemic exertion intolerance disease), is a very elusive disease, unknown to most and misunderstood by many. Although it affects so many people in such severe ways, little research has been done to find sure ways to help those who suffer from it. With that said, if the cause was given enough funding, there would be plenty of research done.

There are no tests that can be done to prove chronic fatigue syndrome as the cause of the symptoms it describes. On top of that, its symptoms are also very similar to symptoms caused by other diseases. All of this makes it very hard to be diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome, even if it is exactly what is being suffered from.

The symptoms can vary between those affected and depend on the severity of affection. Usually the most common symptom is heavy fatigue that keeps you from going about with your typical daily activities. In order to be diagnosed, a person must suffer from four or more symptoms consistently for at least six months.

Symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome include: severe fatigue (primarily), sore throat, headaches, enlarged lymph nodes in the armpits and neck, memory or concentration loss, insomnia, unexplained muscle and joint pain without redness or swelling, feeling unrefreshed after a night's sleep, extreme exhaustion after physical or mental exertion lasting more than 24 hours, sensitivity to light or noise or emotions, dizziness, fainting, irritable bowel, chills, night sweats, depression, or issues with mood.

Sometimes, people may suffer from these symptoms in cycles, feeling better at some points in between bouts of suffering, which can make diagnosis even more difficult. On top of this difficulty, there are many other disease that share common symptoms with chronic fatigue syndrome. These diseases include: mononucleosis, Lyme disease, multiple sclerosis, lupus (SLE), hypothyroidism, fibromyalgia, and major depressive disorder (depression). It is important to speak with a doctor first to make sure these other diseases are not the cause of your symptoms. Do not self-diagnose.

Can Chronic Fatigue Affect Your Mood?

Can Chronic Fatigue Affect Your Mood?

Ever since you were a little child and you got cranky when you needed a nap, you understood that mood and emotions are often tied in to how tired you are. Even as an adult today, you know you are not at your best when you have not gotten enough sleep. Your temper gets shorter and you may be more apt to cry at tear-jerker movies and YouTube videos of family reunions. People with chronic fatigue syndrome live in a state of tiredness all the time. Just imagine how effective their emotions might be.

What Is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?

This medical diagnosis is given to people with various symptoms and complaints that all revolve around an fatigue that does not get better after a good night sleep or even multiple naps. Despite being what is thought as well-rested, people with chronic fatigue do not get rejuvenated. Other symptoms can include a sore throat, headache, and even flu-like feelings.

Many other diseases and disorders can make you feel tired all the time. In order to receive a proper diagnosis, a physician that needs to address other possible causes first. People suffering from CFS often have psychological workups and undergo sleep studies as well.

How Does This Disorder Affect Emotions?

Besides the obvious correlation between being tired and being moody, chronic fatigue syndrome affects all emotions in rather severe ways.

One of the more common feelings is one of frustration and feeling fed up a lot of the time. Any chronic condition that affects your way of life and does not let you enjoy all the things you want to be experiencing will cause frustration. Some chronic fatigue syndrome patients report feeling trapped. It can make it difficult to hold down a job, maintain a lively social or romantic life, and even do individual hobbies and pastimes. As normality breaks down, some feel guilty when they can't do things with friends or even do their job correctly.

Chronic fatigue syndrome sufferers have a considerably higher rate of depression than people with other chronic illnesses. Although no direct causation has been found in scientific research studies, the correlation is real. Besides feeling fatigued, tired, and cranky, just imagine piling on the lack of ability to follow your chosen career path successfully, always having to turn down friends and family because you are just too tired to go out, and loss of the ability to enjoy your significant other and children as you once did.

Not every chronic fatigue patient suffers from depression, but many do and this affects their moods and emotions overall. It is important to talk with your doctor about all the changes that you are experiencing so you can be properly diagnosed if you do have chronic fatigue syndrome. Besides help with that condition, also seek out help if you experience depression and negative feelings for most of your time.

Living with CFS can be a challenge for even the strongest person. Understanding how it affects your emotions can help you get the help you need and manage your symptoms better.

How to Tell if you have Chronic Fatigue

How to Tell if you have Chronic Fatigue

Fatigue has become a part of today’s stressful life. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is when the person feels tired all the time.

What is chronic fatigue syndrome?

Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is characterized by persistent fatigue. Even when the person takes the rest, the tiredness persists. This fatigue drains your energy leaving you feeling dull and weary even when you aren’t ill. A little physical activity or some even mental activity can worsen the condition. CFS has several other names depending on the intensity of fatigue and the severity of the condition.

Causes of chronic fatigue:

There have been no proven factors established as the causes of chronic fatigue. A few possible causes that physicians suggest are:

  • Immune system disorders or a weak immune system.
  • Viral infections
  • Hormonal imbalance
  • In rare cases, heredity

What does the person with chronic fatigue go through?

Here are few possible symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome:

  • Fatigue- feeling tired, lack of energy all the time
  • Infections and soreness of throat
  • Incoherence of thoughts
  • Lack of concentration
  • Joint pain, not necessarily accompanied by swelling or redness
  • Aches in the muscles
  • Sudden headaches of varied severity
  • Tiredness that doesn’t subside even after days of rest.

    How to tell if you have chronic fatigue?

    Feeling exhausted is something common. How to identify if it is the usual exhaustion you feel or if you suffering from chronic fatigue?

    In most cases, if you are tired after some physical exercises or some activities that drain all your energy, a good rest is all you need. Normal fatigue would gradually come down after a good diet and some rest. In addition to the above-mentioned symptoms, when you have chronic fatigue you might experience a few of the following as well:

    • Even after a whole night’s sleep you might wake up feeling weary
    • You might have an undisturbed sleep that is in no way refreshing
    • Sudden unexplained weight fluctuations
    • Change in your blood pressure
    • Sudden allergic reactions

    There might be other physical and psychological implications for which you cannot identify any particular cause. When you feel tired all the time and if your fatigue persists for days check for any underlying health problems. Check if you are healthy in all other aspects, and if you do not have a fever or flu infections. Check your thyroid and diabetes levels. These are few other cases that might leave you feeling exhausted.

    If you aren’t able to narrow down any such reasons to explain your tiredness, then perhaps it is chronic fatigue.

    Who is at higher risk to develop chronic fatigue?

    • Women are more prone to CFS
    • People who do not manage their stress
    • People in the average age group of 40-60 might be at higher risk to experience CFS.

    What to do if you have chronic fatigue?

    If you leave chronic fatigue untreated, it might lead to depression and other disorders mainly due to the lack of sleep. It might also reduce your productivity at work. As CFS doesn’t have a defined cause, there is no specific treatment for it. Your doctor might prescribe some sleeping pills to improve your sleep pattern. He might even give some antidepressants if you are experiencing CFS for a prolonged period. This is just to ease your mind and help you unwind.