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Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Chronic fatigue syndrome is exactly what it sounds like; a medical condition determined by how tired someone is. It is actually a medical condition often mistaken for ordinary fatigue, but identified by severe and continued tiredness that is not relieved by rest or sleep and not caused by any other medical conditions. Since most conditions list fatigue as a symptom it can be hard to diagnose unless the person has no other medical conditions that might be the cause of the extreme fatigue.

Causes

There is no single known cause of chronic fatigue syndrome though there are some risk factors including having inflammation in your nervous system or having the human herpes virus-6 or the Epstein-Barr virus. Other factors that might increase your risk of developing chronic fatigue syndrome are your age, previous medical conditions, stress, environmental factors, and genetics. Chronic fatigue syndrome is most common in women ages 30 to 50 though it can occur in any gender or age.

Symptoms

Most of the symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome are similar to flu symptoms and other viral infections such as extreme fatigue, muscle pains or weakness, and headaches. The main symptom of chronic fatigue syndrome is of course severe fatigue or tiredness which may have come up suddenly, lasts 6 months or longer, is not relieved by rest or sleep and is so severe you are unable to participate in activities. Additional symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome include confusion, forgetfulness, trouble concentrating, joint pain without redness or swelling, fever, irritability, headaches, muscle aches, muscle weakness, sore lymph nodes and sore throat.

Diagnosis

Before treating chronic fatigue syndrome, your doctor will go over your symptoms and rule out other causes of fatigue such as drug dependence, infections, stress, tumors, muscle or nerve disease, endocrine disease, autoimmune or immune disorders, other illnesses, depression or other psychological illnesses. The diagnosis of chronic fatigue syndrome relies on having at least four of the common symptoms of the condition, extreme long-term fatigue and the absence of other causes of fatigue. It can be difficult to diagnose chronic fatigue syndrome due to many other medical conditions that might be causing the extreme level of fatigue.

Treatments

Treatments for chronic fatigue syndrome include a combination of medication, cognitive behavioral therapy, proper diet and exercise, and sleep management techniques. They will also provide you with additional tips such as not doing too much when you’re extremely tired, getting enough rest in between activities, doing only small tasks, and spreading large tasks throughout the week. Medications might be given for more alertness, depression, anxiety or other side effects of having the condition rather than curing the chronic fatigue syndrome.
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