Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Finally Gains Official Respect
For a very long time people that have suffered from chronic fatigue syndrome where thought of as being hypochondriacs, crazy, or were thought to have been just making it up in order to miss work or other activities. Of course they were not imagining it or making it up. These people truly did have something medically wrong and had every reason to feel the way that they did. In 1999 The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention put millions of dollars towards research of chronic fatigue syndrome. Their results were recently announced and were astonishing. The research is now finally giving the disease and its sufferers the respect it deserves. (1)
Facts and Research about CFS
Unfortunately, the cause of chronic fatigue syndrome is still unknown at this point in time. However, both genetic and environmental factors have been linked to the condition and are currently being researched further. So far the research has found that CFS can affect anyone no matter of their age, gender, or ethnicity. Women, however, have been shown to be four times more likely to contract CFS than men. Research has also found that CFS is more likely to affect middle aged people; however, some children, teenagers, and young adults have also been diagnosed with the medical condition. (2) There are two tell-tale signs that chronic fatigue syndrome is present. In order to be diagnosed with CFS an individual must have severe fatigue for six months or longer duration that is not caused by other medical conditions and have at least four of the following symptoms: impairment to short-term memory, tender lymph nodes, sore throat, muscle pain and multi-joint pain without swelling, headaches, sleep that leaves them unrefreshed, and post-exertional malaise that lasts for more than 24 hours. (2) Chronic Fatigue Syndrome has been very difficult to diagnose in the past because it has very similuar symtoms of other medical conditions and side effects. The symptoms of CFS can also be seen in medical conditions like: hypothyroidism, sleep apnea or narcolepsy, severe depression, mononucleosis, mental disorders, eating disorders, cancer, autoimmune disease, Lyme disease, obesity, and alcohol or substance abuse. The symptoms of CFS have also been confused with reactions and side effects of prescription medications (2)
Treatment for CFS
Like its diagnosis, chronic fatigue syndrome can often be difficult to treat. Different variations of therapies and treatments tend to work better for some than others. Ultimatley, an individual needs to find what personally works best for them. Some treatments and therapies include: life style changes, physical therapy, and drug and non drug therapies. People suffereing from CFS need to make definite changes to their life style, like: reducing stress, getting plenty of rest to prevent overexurtion, a special restricted diet, and exercise programs like yoga that allows the proper amount of relaxtion and stretching. Physical therapy can help eliminate some muscle and joint complications as well as help to provide the body with more energy. There are some medications on the market that can help with some of the symptoms of CFS, however, there is not one drug on the market that treats the entrire condition. That is why doctors often recommend non drug therapies like natural supplements.
Photo Credit: Keturah Stickann