Is there a cure for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?
What is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)?
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is a disease that causes extreme fatigue. Sometimes it has been described as a feeling similar to the fatigue you get from the flu. Some of the many symptoms for CFS include fatigue lasting at least six months and experiencing other problems such as headaches, joint pain, muscle pain, memory problems, sleep problems, sore throat and tender lymph nodes. Some additional signs and symptoms that are not part of the official definition have been abdominal pain, bloating, chronic cough, dizziness, dry mouth, earache, irregular heartbeat, jaw pain, stiffness, night sweats, tingling sensations, blurred vision, and weight loss or gain. A lot of other illnesses can mimic many of the symptoms of CFS so it can be hard to diagnose. CFS may also occur in those who have had a recent infection such as a cold or viral infection. That's why it is important that all other illnesses be ruled out before diagnosing CFS. It can also come after a stressful event in your life. In addition, it is just as likely to come gradually on with no cause at all.
What is the cause of CFS and is there a cure?
There is no cure for CFS. What causes CFS is still unknown. It is diagnosed the most in women in their 40's and 50's. Your symptoms may peak and become stable early on, and then come and go over time. This can often be very hard for patients to manage. Patients who are in remission may be tempted to overdo activities when they are feeling better, which can actually cause a relapse. The severity of CFS varies from patient to patient. Some may be able to live fairly active lives, but in most cases it limits work, school, and everyday activities. While these symptoms vary from person to person, all CFS patients are functionally impaired to some degree.
Treatments for CFS
There are things believed to help with CFS and make every day life become easier. These include: 1. Medication 2. Occupational therapy 3. Physical therapy 4. Psychological counseling to ease stress 5. Support group 6. Diet (Talking to your practitioner to find out what foods to put into your diet and what ones to cut out). 7. Vitamins and herbs 8. Eliminating stress 9. Avoiding alcohol and cigarettes 10. Exercise (Make sure to discuss with your doctor what and how much exercise is right for you as it can also cause CFS to become worse). One thing that many experts agree on is detecting and diagnosing CFS as early as possibly. The earlier the diagnosis the sooner you are able to get treated, and a better chance for improvement. Furthermore, once being diagnosed, find someone who has a significant amount of knowledge on CFS. A doctor, someone dealing with CFS, on line discussion boards, or online chat rooms specifically designed for the needs of CFS. The more you come to understand about CFS, the better chance you can deal with it and start living your life the way you want.
Photo Credit: Greta Hughson