Chronic fatigue syndrome as the name suggests is a disorder in which the patient experiences extreme tiredness and fatigue without any known medical reason. Patient becomes more tired and fatigued with mild physical or mental activity. Tiredness and fatigue does not improve even after taking rest. It is a condition of unknown etiology although an episode of viral infection or mental stress is believed to trigger it.
There are many other disease conditions that have similar symptoms and there is no specific test to detect the disorder. Therefore it becomes extremely difficult for the doctor to diagnose the condition.It is a diagnosis of exclusion, meaning the doctor will exclude other diseases before diagnosing chronic fatigue syndrome. Many patients improve within first five years, but there are many others fatigue continues for lifetime.
What Causes Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?
The exact cause of chronic fatigue syndrome is not known, but researchers believe several factors are involved in producing this condition. In some patients it follows after viral infection, especially after infection of Epstein-Barr virus or herpes virus infection.
This condition is also seen in people with impaired immunity and in others hormonal imbalance may be the trigger, especially related to stress.Women are affected more than men, although the reason for this gender discrepancy is not known.
Chronic fatigue syndrome predominantly affects people over the age of 40 years. The psychological association is not ruled out. Mental stress and strain for long period of time is suspected to precipitate this condition.
Symptoms Of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
The symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome are variable. It may differ from one person to other. Extreme fatigue is the central symptom which is present in all the patients with this condition. Patient has unexplained fatigue that lasts for more than six months.
Fatigue that is not caused by exertion and does not relieve with rest is significant of this condition. Severe fatigue will affect daily living of a person at his workplace, education or in his social life. To diagnose chronic fatigue syndrome there must be other four symptoms among these symptoms.
- Fatigue associated with sleep disturbance.
- Patient feels tired even after night sleep.
- Sore throat.
- Joint pain and swelling in joints.
- Neck and armpit lymph nodes are tender to touch.
- Moderate to severe muscular pain.
- Low blood pressure.
- Abnormal change in weight.
- Tiredness that last for more than one day after exertion.
In order to be considered to be a patient of chronic fatigue syndrome, he should at least have four of the above symptoms accompanied with severe tiredness.
Natural Remedies For Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Chronic fatigue syndrome is no curable. However, patient may have remission of symptoms for many years. Change in regular lifestyle, medications, and alternative therapies can provide good symptomatic relief. The affected person should be informed and reassured that the illness is mild and non fatal.
Following lifestyle changes may help.
- Avoid too much of caffeine as it disturbs sleep.
- Also abstain from drinking alcohol and other stimulants.
- Sleep at same time during nighttime.
- Take rest between any activities.
- Reduce emotional stress by practicing meditation.
Together with lifestyle changes, patient needs psychological counseling and moderate physical training. Both will help to improve his strength and mind.
There is no specific medicine to alleviate symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome. These patients are often depressed and they need anti depressants. Patients suffering from joint pain may need pain killers.
Alternative therapies such as acupuncture, massage and acupressure are beneficial.