How to Identify Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a condition wherein a person constantly suffers from fatigue for a long time, despite the amount and quality of rest he g…

Chronic fatigue syndrome, more commonly known as CFS, is a complex disorder that is characterized by long-term fatigue that is not relieved by rest. It is usually worsened by physical or even mental activity. CFS can significantly lower a person’s level of activity, affecting even their activities of daily living. A lot people with CFS have difficulty securing jobs or even with just taking care of themselves. Even if the causes of chronic fatigue syndrome are still unidentified, there is a lot we can do for people who suffer from this condition.

Many diseases have fatigue as one of its symptoms which can make identifying chronic fatigue syndrome difficult. However, it is not impossible. If you or someone you know meets the two criteria below, see your physician immediately so you can get medical care. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the criteria for diagnosing the disorder are:

1. Severe or intense fatigue that lasts for more than 6 months, is not relieved or improved by rest and is not caused by any psychiatric or medical condition as excluded by clinical diagnosis; and

2. Simultaneously have at least four of the following: frequent or recurring sore throat, muscle pain, multi-joint pain that doesn’t have redness or swelling, tender lymph nodes on the axilla or cervical collar, headaches that are you have not had before in terms of pattern, type or severity, sleep that does not refresh or reenergize you, post-extertional malaise (exhaustion and sickness that follows mental or physical activity) that lasts for at least 24 hours, and impaired concentration or memory.

In order for a diagnosis of chronic fatigue syndrome to be made, the above symptoms should have occurred for more than six months, but should not occur before the onset of the chronic fatigue. Even if you do not meet the criteria, but still suffer from chronic fatigue, it is still suggested that you go see a doctor. As mentioned, there are several diseases that could cause this fatigue.

There are other symptoms of CFS as well. While they may not contribute to the diagnosis, they are still very troublesome and deserve medical care. These symptoms include chest pain, shortness of breath, dizziness, abdominal pain, chronic cough, alcohol intolerance, bloating, earache, jaw pain, dry eyes, dry mouth, nausea, morning stiffness, alcohol intolerance, night swears, irritability, anxiety, depression, panic attacks, tingling sensations and weight loss.

If you know someone that has CFS, now is the time to show him support and help him out any way you can. Even cooking, doing a few errands, helping out with house chores or helping them relax can be very helpful. Even the simplest acts do matter.

There is still no cure for chronic fatigue syndrome, and its management require that the patient should be monitored frequently by health care professionals. An individualized treatment program is needed because the condition can have varying symptoms. Both traditional and alternative therapies that target the symptoms, coping techniques and activity management can be used. There are several treatment options that can be explored, but remember that the relief of symptoms is always the primary goal.