Symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome You Shouldn’t Ignore
It’s normal to experience a certain degree of fatigue after long periods of physical activity or mental exertion. Under normal circumstances, the body recharges and resumes normal functioning. Someone suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome feels tired much of time with little to no reprieve, even after periods of rest.
According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, chronic fatigue syndrome, or CFS, affects people of all ages from all walks life. On average, an estimated one million people live with the disorder, with millions more who go undiagnosed, experiencing symptoms of CFS in their daily lives.
When left untreated, chronic fatigue syndrome can spiral out of control leaving a person unable to carry out the affairs of everyday life. For these reasons, knowing what symptoms to watch out for can help you in taking the necessary steps towards getting needed treatment.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Feelings of overwhelming fatigue most characterize chronic fatigue syndrome. This condition persists regardless of whether a person gets bed rest with symptoms becoming worse after engaging in any form of physical or mental exertion.
According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, CFS operates as a complex disorder that may have both physical and psychological components. Conditions or disorders that tend to co-occur with CFS include:
- Trauma, either physical or emotional
- Stress disorders
- Immune disorders
- Ongoing exposure to toxic substances
Ultimately, chronic fatigue syndrome can greatly limit a person’s level of activity as well as his or ability to function in daily life.
Symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome can be hard to spot due to the number of different medical conditions capable of producing fatigue-type symptoms. For some people, the actual fatigue experienced may not be the symptom that’s most bothersome.
Symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome may include:
- Not sleeping soundly
- Muscle aches
- Problems concentrating
- Impaired short term memory
- Recurring sore throat
- Sore lymph nodes in the armpits or neck
Overall, symptoms must last for a minimum of six months in order for a CFS diagnosis to apply.
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Chronic fatigue syndrome leaves suffers exhausted much of the time, making it difficult to work, carry out household tasks or take part in family activities. In effect, lifestyle limitations associated with CFS are comparable to those experienced by people with heart disease, lupus, multiple sclerosis as well as other similar chronic medical conditions.
Like other forms of chronic illness, symptoms of CFS come and go in cycles with periods of remission and relapse. During periods of remission, a person may be able to engage in normal everyday activities though overexertion can quickly lead to relapse.
Risk factors for developing chronic fatigue syndrome can run the gamut, having both physical and/or psychological origins. As depression typically brings about feelings of fatigue in general, depression disorders are common among CFS suffers.
Stress factors, such as childhood sexual and/or emotional abuse may also predispose a person to developing chronic fatigue syndrome due to the effects this type of trauma can have on a child’s central nervous system and endocrine system development. Other conditions to watch out for include:
- Immune system abnormalities, such as allergies
- Viral infections
- Low blood pressure
- Hormonal imbalances
- Trauma-inducing events, such as hurricanes, rape or terror attacks
If you or someone you know experiences symptoms of fatigue that linger over time and have further questions about chronic fatigue syndrome, please feel free to call our toll-free helpline at 800-481-6320 for information. Our phone counselors can also help connect you with treatment programs in your area.