For most people, a good night of sleep can be miraculously repairing. Unfortunately, however, around 20% of the population has little or no replenishing of energy after resting. As a result, they experience a constant sense of tiredness and fatigue. This condition is known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and, unfortunately, it’s not yet curable. Still, there are several chronic fatigue syndrome treatment options that doctors can prescribe to reduce or eliminate negative symptoms.
With that in mind, this guide will go over the basics of the condition, as well as the various chronic fatigue syndrome treatment options that are available.
What Is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?
Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a disorder that produces extreme and constant tiredness despite the amount of rest obtained by the sufferer. Although fatigue can be a byproduct of other health problems, chronic fatigue syndrome cannot be explained by any other underlying medical conditions.
Although its precise cause is yet unknown, experts believe that chronic fatigue syndrome is caused by a combination of factors that may include viral infections and psychological stress. Even though it used to be controversial to diagnose CFS, over the last couple of decades it has become widely accepted as a real condition. Today, most specialized doctors do not hesitate to prescribe some form of chronic fatigue syndrome treatment.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Symptoms and Causes
As the name of the condition implies, the main symptom of CFS is constant, extreme fatigue that rest does not eliminate. However, there are other symptoms that are worth noting:
- Loss of memory and concentration.
- Sore throats.
- Enlarged lymph nodes (usually in the neck or armpits).
- Muscle pain.
- Joint pain.
As was previously mentioned, unfortunately, there is yet no medical consensus over the specific causes of chronic fatigue syndrome. Most likely, however, it is a combination of factors that affect people who have a predisposition for the debilitating disorder. Although much more have been studied, there are three main factors that experts point out as being responsible for the condition.
1: Viral Infections
Taking into consideration the fact that many people develop chronic fatigue syndrome after suffering from a viral infection, experts question whether the condition could be viral in nature. Although there is no conclusive evidence that allows experts to pinpoint any particular one, viruses like Epstein-Barr, the human herpes virus 6 and the mouse leukemia virus have are highly suspected.
2: Hormonal Imbalances
Many chronic fatigue syndrome sufferers also experience abnormal hormone levels in their blood. Typically, these hormones are produced in the hypothalamus, pituitary glands or adrenal glands. Taking that into account, a comprehensive chronic fatigue syndrome treatment will often include some kind of hormonal component.
3: Immune System Problems
Researchers have found a possible link between an impaired immune system and chronic fatigue syndrome. However, no chronic fatigue syndrome test has conclusively proven this link as of today. There is new research from Stanford University which demonstrates a link between Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and cytokines. These substances released from immune cells may be the physical cause the multiple symptoms.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Treatment
Even though there is no straightforward cure for CFS, doctors are capable of providing chronic fatigue syndrome treatment based on a patient’s particular symptoms. Using a tailored combination of therapies, they can reduce and, sometimes, even eliminate the symptoms. Some of the most popular types of treatment are the following ones.
1: Sleep and Rest
Without a doubt, restoring a normal and healthy sleeping pattern is key to begin dealing with CFS. It’s important to take into account that both too little and too much sleep are considered to be unhealthy. After taking a look at your current sleep pattern, a doctor will be able to determine what kind of changes you need to make.
2: Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
Another popular chronic fatigue syndrome treatment is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy or CBT. This kind of therapy is prescribed based on the notion that changing the way patients think and behave may have positive effects on their general health, including their ability to rest.
3: Graded Exercise Therapy
Exercise can be incredibly beneficial for chronic fatigue syndrome suffers. For that reason, Graded Exercise Therapy aims at gradually increasing the amount of physical exercise a patient can do, eventually achieving health-improving performance.
Even though there is no specific medication for the condition, a chronic fatigue syndrome treatment can include some medication to help relieve symptoms. Often, doctors prescribe CFS sufferers pain medication to help them deal with issues like headaches, muscle pain, and joint pain. Occasionally, doctors will also prescribe antidepressants.
Having a healthy and balanced diet can help your body deal with any condition. Of course, this includes chronic fatigue syndrome. Often, doctors will recommend a chronic fatigue syndrome diet that includes minerals, vitamins, and other nutrients.
Is Chronic Fatigue a Real Issue?
There are many controversies surrounding chronic fatigue syndrome. As a matter of fact, for many years, most professionals within the medical community didn’t recognize chronic fatigue syndrome as existing. However, that tide has mostly turned during recent years, particularly as many professionals from various medical fields began prescribing treatment for the condition.
At the same time, various new studies have found additional proof that the condition is not only real but also more harmful than previously thought. At any rate, it is highly advisable for people who suffer the previously mentioned symptoms to consult a doctor.
Summing It Up
After reading this article, you will have probably learned a huge deal about chronic fatigue syndrome and its dangers. At the same time, however, you will have also become aware of the fact that it’s a treatable condition. It’s true that not many people truly understand chronic fatigue syndrome.
Still, doctors can treat its main symptoms, often with great success. Become aware of your body signals. Do you experience any of the above symptoms in a persistent fashion? If yes, it’s highly important to see a doctor before the condition evolves. If you or anyone you know suffer from chronic fatigue syndrome, tell us about it in the comment section!