Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)
Also called Myalgic Encephalomyelitis. Recently new research has proved that this condition previously thought to have stemmed from the mind actually stems from the body.
Research conducted in the Griffith University proved this from a breakthrough that came by observing abnormalities in the immune cell receptors. The abnormalities discovered are defects in the receptors. The defects are changes in the gene transcription of the receptors. This makes the receptors no longer function the way they should. The receptors are no longer able to carry calcium properly from the outside of the cell to the inside of it.
The Chronic Fatigue Syndrome currently has no cure and treatment and the lack of understanding of this disease by medical practitioners has led to misdiagnosis of many patients.
What is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is a medical condition and disorder that causes extreme fatigue and tiredness in the sufferer. It is a long-term condition and the most noticeable characteristic of it is that chronic fatigue cannot be explained by an underlying medical condition, and rest does not cure the fatigue.
This condition has two other names, systemic exertion intolerance disease (SEID) and myalgia encephalomyelitis (ME). There is a lack of research on this disease which is why doctors are unsure about what causes it exactly. Most believe it to be caused by a number of factors combined.
- Sleep problems
- A sore throat
- Sore glands that aren’t swollen
- Feeling dizzy
- Feeling sick and nauseous
- Pain in the muscles or joints
- Flu-like symptoms
- Increased heart rate
- Not feeing fresh after sleep
- Extreme exhaustion
- Neurocognitive problems that include reduced concentration, loss of memory and memory problems, muscle twitchiness and clumsiness.
- Gastrointestinal problems such as diarrhoea and constipation
- Not being able to cope up with temperature change
- Urinary problems
- Weight changes, sudden weight gain or weight loss
- Drop in blood pressure
Causes of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
A lot of new research is being conducted on CFS and currently, no one defined cause has been linked with it but certain factors combined are said to trigger Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. The factors are:
- Chronic or acute infection; Viral, bacterial and/or parasitic infections are found to have triggered CFS. Some of these infections are Q fever, Ross River Fever and Glandular Fever.
- Genetic predisposition; CFS can run in families and can be passed down to you by your parents.
- Strong physical or emotional trauma
- Exposure to environmental pollutants, toxic chemicals or heavy metals; Idiopathic Environment Intolerance, Multiple Chemical Insensitivities and Gulf War Syndrome can trigger or overlap with CFS
- Flu-like illness; A flu-like illness occurs in most sufferers of CFS.
- Immune system problems; Sufferers of CFS have slight immune system problems but there isn’t enough research to prove that they can cause it.
- Hormonal problems; People with CFS sometimes have abnormal blood levels of hormones in the adrenal glands, pituitary glands and hypothalamus.
- Problems in the circulatory and the cardiac system
- Problems in the neurological system
- Biochemical abnormalities
Risk Factors of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
These factors increase the risk of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Women are diagnosed with CFS much more than men. Although the possible reason for this may be that men are less likely to report their symptoms.
This condition can affect you at any age but mostly affects people over the age of 40 or 50.
Some people may have difficulty managing stress or can overwork themselves. These people are at a higher risk of suffering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
There is no particular medication designed just for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Painkillers may be given to the patient to help them deal with chronic fatigue. Sleeping pills may be prescribed to help the patient relax. Sometimes depression can trigger CFS or CFS can trigger depression. The doctor may prescribe an antidepressant to a CFS patient to help them with the symptoms. But if you consult with our skilled professionals, you can get the best suggestions and treatments from our team.
Apart from medicine, home remedies that can be used to reduce the effects of CFS. Limiting your alcohol intake could help make your insomnia better which in turn could also reduce the effects of CFS.
To avoid this syndrome, you have to create a bed routine. Going to sleep every night at the same time and waking up at the same time could help your sleep cycle. Avoid taking naps during the day.
Avoid overworking yourself and carrying out overly exertive physical exercise. Physical and emotional stress should be avoided to help stop exacerbating the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome symptoms.
Dietary changes include getting rid of food that can cause allergies and intolerances and switching to a high fibre diet which includes more vegetables and fruits.
Less amount of vitamin B is also linked with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, which is why CFS sufferers should increase their vitamin B intake.
- Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is also used to reduce the effects of (CBT) CFS. It can help you manage your work and your stress better.
- People with CFS can also join support groups. Support groups are a good way to help you deal with the exhaustion of CFS.
- Exercise can help you manage CFS. Breathing exercises and yoga is recommended for people suffering from CFS.
We at the Mojo Klinik, we have a special interest and helping those that have CFS.