Known as a hard to diagnose debilitating disorder, chronic fatigue syndrome causes intense fatigue in victims and sleep alone cannot relieve the tiredness. The symptoms get worsened by physical and mental stress. If the chronic fatigue is not found to be caused by specific and underlying medical condition, doctors may classify it as CFS. It happens more in women than men, especially in women above 40 years. Once it sets in, the ailment can persist for a long time. The victims tend to get depressed since there is no cure and they also become a social recluse at times.
They feel increasingly reluctant to take part in social events.
Cause of CFS
CFS may be caused by a number of factors, though the medical community is yet to come up with a specific cause. Possible causes are:
- Viral infections
- Hormonal imbalances
- Immune system issues
- Environmental factors
- Genetic predisposition
Main symptoms of CFS
As a matter of fact, not all victims of CFS can exhibit the same symptoms. The major symptom is unending fatigue, physical and mental-throughout the day and night. This may start suddenly, but in some cases, the weakness may develop slowly- over months or weeks.
Other notable symptoms are:
- Feeling of unease after any mild activity
- Pain in various body parts
- Sleeping problems
Some patients of CFS may also exhibit the following symptoms:
- Concentration problems
- High sensitivity to strong light and noise
- Muscle coordination problems
- Slow thinking
- Appetite change
Complication and difficulty in diagnosis
While victims of CFS may become subjected to rising levels of depression, proper diagnosis of the ailment can be tedious. This is owing to the fact CFS symptoms resemble those of other disorders, including Lyme disease, multiple sclerosis and hypothyroidism. Sometimes, side effects of drugs like antihistamines can result in the development of the same symptoms.
Treatment options for CFS
Since there is no cure available for this ailment, the treatment is focused on the symptoms, mainly the fatigue. Some lifestyle changes and dietary changes can help much more than taking medications in this regard.
Medications– At times, doctors may offer pain control medications. They can also give some patients sleeping medications. To help people cope with the depression caused antidepressants can also be recommended.
Alternative therapies- At times, application of alternative medication or therapies like yoga and Acupuncture can bring relief to the patients of CFS.
Lifestyle changes– By introducing some easy but vital changes in lifestyle, you can get relief from symptoms of CFS to an extent. These include:
- Evading tobacco, caffeine before going to bed. These substances can delay sleeping and act as stimulants.
- Ensure the sleep you get is peaceful and uninterrupted. Discard sources of noise and lights in the bedroom before you hit the bed at night. For same reason use ergonomically designed mattress and pillows.
[ Read: How To Get Instant Energy With Yoga ]
Foods that help combat symptoms of CFS
Below listed are a few dietary changes that can help you combat symptoms of this ailment:
- Omega 3 fatty acids -Foods with omega 3 fatty acids can help in stimulating blood flow in the body and soothing joint pains. You can consume food cooked in flax seed oil and seafish for this.
- Choose green tea, discard coffee– It would be a good idea to stop drinking coffee for battling CFS effectively. Replace coffee with Chamomile tea for a change.
- Stop eating junk foods-If you want to recover from the never ending fatigue triggered by CFS, say adieu to all those tempting packs of fast foods and burgers.
- Avoid dairy products -While dairy products contain a lot of nutrients and patients with CFS should not consume them a lot.
- Eat the vegetables– It would be good if you include more green and leafy vegetables on your platter when the symptoms of CFS start showing. Include smoothies, salads and soups made with the produce for seeing positive changes.
- Discard alcohol, fizzy drinks– You would do well by discarding alcohol and carbonated beverages completely if battling CFS is important for you. The same thing can be said about using artificial sweeteners. In fact, you should not use much sugar for making foods.