Chronic fatigue syndrome is characterized by extreme fatigue that is not improved with rest. The disorder often shows signs of increase with physical and mental activity. The condition is diagnosed more heavily in the female population.
Who Can Get Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?
Chronic fatigue syndrome is a complicated illness that shows no signs of specification to a certain group of people. Both men and women suffer from the disease. While women are diagnosed with chronic fatigue more often than men, it is unknown whether or not this is due to women reporting the symptoms more often than the male population.
There is no clear cause for chronic fatigue syndrome. The most common possible causes include:
- Anemia (iron deficiency)
- Epstein-Barr virus
- Human herpes virus 6
- Immune system dysfunction
- Hormonal changes in the pituitary gland and / or adrenal gland
The symptoms related to chronic fatigue syndrome are very similar to the symptoms reported with the flu. Unlike the flu, however, the symptoms can last for years. These symptoms include:
- Memory loss
- Loss of concentration
- Sore throat
- Pain in lymph nodes
- Slightly enlarged lymph nodes
- Pain in muscles
- Trouble sleeping
- Extreme exhaustion
Over the Counter Treatments
While there is no specific treatment for chronic fatigue syndrome, doctors focus on treating the symptoms individually. For the pain associated with the syndrome, over the counter pain medications may be taken. Other over the counter medications can be used to treat the allergy symptoms associated with this syndrome.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Alternative Treatments
Alternative therapy is highly utilized in the treatment of chronic fatigue syndrome. These treatments may include:
Daily activity moderation – Activity moderation may help to reduce the overall stress on the body. While additional sleep can actually worsen the symptoms, too much activity can produce the same results. Doctors aim at teaching the patient to balance daily activity with rest in order to keep the body strong and building stamina over time.
Gradual exercise – While physical stresses will increase the severity of chronic fatigue syndrome, doctors recommend a gradual increase in the daily exercise regime.
Cognitive behavior therapy – The cognitive behavior therapy often helps the patient with chronic fatigue to recognize the negative mental factors surrounding the condition and replace those negativities with positive thoughts toward healing.
Acupuncture – Acupuncture has been used with fibromyalgia patients for quite some time. Fibromyalgia is similar to chronic fatigue syndrome symptomatically. Acupuncture is used to improve the feelings of anxiety and fatigue.
Stress reduction – Reducing stress may help to alleviate some of the symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome.
Maintenance of an overall healthy lifestyle – Making lifestyle changes can benefit the patient suffering from chronic fatigue. These changes may include eating a balanced diet, drinking plenty of water, limiting caffeine intake and getting enough rest and daily exercise.
When is Medicinal Treatment Necessary?
Fatigue is often a symptom of some underlying problem. When fatigue becomes severe, everyday activities become a stress on the body. When fatigue begins to affect your daily life, medical attention may be necessary.
The medical treatments prescribed for chronic fatigue syndrome all center on specific symptoms. If an underlying viral infection is detected, the doctor may prescribe an anti-viral medication to fight off the illness.