Chronic Fatigue Awareness Month


March is Chronic Fatigue Awareness month. Chronic fatigue can be a serious problem for women especially, and you should be educated about what the symptoms are if you suspect you or a loved one seems especially tired. There is treatment to make yourself – or someone else – feel better and be able to function like a normal person throughout the day.

What is it?

Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) didn’t used to be recognized by medical professionals as a disorder until recent years. The disorder is where a person is extremely tired all of the time, and rest does not necessarily make the person feel better. Exerting energy, whether from exercise or just mentally, may make the condition even worse.

Researchers have not pinpointed a cause for chronic fatigue sufferers. They think it might be related to stress, a little genetics, and possible viral infections – but they don’t know for sure. It might also be the right combination of factors that trigger chronic fatigue syndrome to affect a person drastically.

Symptoms

The symptoms vary from person to person, but the most common and troublesome is the overwhelming feeling of exhaustion. Other symptoms may include:

sore throat

memory loss

headaches

muscle pain

joint pain

poor sleep during the night

exhaustion

fatigue

swollen lymph nodes

cough

bloating

diarrhea

jaw pain

ear ache

chills/sweating

weight loss

One person may have several different symptoms, while another may only be exhausted all of the time, with a long night of sleep and little exertion through the day.  Your doctor will probably want to run several tests to see where your blood levels are at in terms of iron, certain vitamins and thyroid levels. They could be the sole reason or just a contributor to your fatigue problems.

Once your doctor has made a diagnosis, there are a few things they can offer to help remedy the CFS symptoms.

Try a mild, over the counter pain reliever. The pain relief could be ibuprofen or acetaminophen, depending on what symptoms you have. You can also alternate between the two and see which one makes more of your discomforts go away.

Skip taking naps during the day. Even if you can hardly keep your eyes open, try and avoid the nap. Naps will only make your night time sleeping worse, further perpetuating the problem the next day.

Your doctor may prescribe several different things in a course of treatment plan. They may include drugs, exercises, behavior therapy, moderation of a busy schedule or lifestyle or fixing another problem that may be contributing to your fatigue, like depression or sleep apnea.

If you aren’t convinced you have CFS, it might be from another problem.

Other Causes of Tiredness:

excessive stress

vitamin deficiency

not drinking enough water

not getting enough sleep

thyroid disorder

obesity

sleep apnea

mono

depression

substance abuse

Be sure to check in with your personal doctor and go over all of your symptoms and feelings. Your doctor might also order other tests, just to rule out other things that may be causing you to feel tired. Don’t make a self-diagnosis – seek the advice of a professional. If you don’t have CFS, the doctor might find something else in your system and be able to treat it so you can get back to feeling like normal again soon!


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