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Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is also called Myalgic Encephalomyelitis. Recently new research has proved that this condition previously thought to have stemmed from the mind actually stems from the body.

Research conducted in the Griffith University proved this from a breakthrough that came by observing abnormalities in the immune cell receptors. The abnormalities discovered are defects in the receptors. The defects are changes in the gene transcription of the receptors. This makes the receptors no longer function the way they should. The receptors are no longer able to carry calcium properly from the outside of the cell to the inside of it.

The Chronic Fatigue Syndrome currently has no cure and treatment and the lack of understanding of this disease by medical practitioners has led to misdiagnosis of many patients.

What is CFS ?

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is a medical condition and disorder that causes extreme fatigue and tiredness in the sufferer. It is a long-term condition and the most noticeable characteristic of it is that chronic fatigue cannot be explained by an underlying medical condition, and rest does not cure the fatigue.

This condition has two other names, systemic exertion intolerance disease (SEID) and myalgia encephalomyelitis (ME). There is a lack of research on this disease which is why doctors are unsure about what causes it exactly. Most believe it to be caused by a number of factors combined.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

The most noticeable and common symptom of CFS is chronic fatigue. However, there are other symptoms that people may experience. These include:

  • Sleep problems
  • A sore throat
  • Sore glands that aren’t swollen
  • Feeling dizzy
  • Feeling sick and nauseous
  • Pain in the muscles or joints
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Increased heart rate
  • Not feeing fresh after sleep
  • Extreme exhaustion
  • Neurocognitive problems that include reduced concentration, loss of memory and memory problems, muscle twitchiness and clumsiness.
  • Allergies
  • Gastrointestinal problems such as diarrhoea and constipation
  • Not being able to cope up with temperature change
  • Urinary problems
  • Weight changes, sudden weight gain or weight loss
  • Drop in blood pressure

Causes

A lot of new research is being conducted on CFS and currently, no one defined cause has been linked with it but certain factors combined are said to trigger Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. The factors are:

  • Chronic or acute infection

Viral, bacterial and/or parasitic infections are found to have triggered CFS. Some of these infections are Q fever, Ross River Fever and Glandular Fever.

  • Genetic predisposition

CFS can run in families and can be passed down to you by your parents.

  • Strong physical or emotional trauma
  • Exposure to environmental pollutants, toxic chemicals or heavy metals

Idiopathic Environment Intolerance, Multiple Chemical Insensitivities and Gulf War Syndrome can trigger or overlap with CFS

  • Flu-like illness

A flu-like illness occurs in most sufferers of CFS.

  • Immune system problems

Sufferers of CFS have slight immune system problems but there isn’t enough research to prove that they can cause it.

  • Hormonal problems

People with CFS sometimes have abnormal blood levels of hormones in the adrenal glands, pituitary glands and hypothalamus.

  • Problems in the circulatory and the cardiac system
  • Problems in the neurological system
  • Biochemical abnormalities

Risk factors of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

These factors increase the risk of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

  • Sex

Women are diagnosed with CFS much more than men. Although the possible reason for this may be that men are less likely to report their symptoms.

  • Age

This condition can affect you at any age but mostly affects people over the age of 40 or 50.

  • Stress

Some people may have difficulty managing stress or can overwork themselves. These people are at a higher risk of suffering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

Tests for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

There is no particular test that is used to diagnose Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. It is diagnosed by ruling out other conditions. The syndrome is diagnosed by exclusion through:

  • Documenting the medical history of the patient.
  • Testing the cognitive functions.
  • A complete and thorough medical examination.
  • Looking for other conditions that may cause chronic fatigue and tiredness and/or treating them.
  • Fulfilling the criteria of the definition of CFS provided by CDC.
  • Monitor the patient over time to find out if underlying conditions may arise.

Laboratory tests can be used to rule out or identify other medical conditions that may be causing fatigue. These tests are:

  • E/LFTs are used to examine the proteins, kidney function, liver function, glucose, calcium and electrolytes.
  • ESR (erythrocyte sedimentation rate)
  • FBC (full blood count)
  • Iron studies
  • TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone)
  • Urinalysis

There is not one particular treatment for CFS. Different treatments are used sometimes in combination to treat it. At the Mojo Klinik on the Lower North Shore in Sydney, we are interested in helping those who suffer from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome by combining conventional and integrative treatments.

Conventional Treatment for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

There is no particular medication designed just for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Painkillers may be given to the patient to help them deal with chronic fatigue. Sleeping pills may be prescribed to help the patient relax. Sometimes depression can trigger CFS or CFS can trigger depression. The doctor may prescribe an antidepressant to a CFS patient to help them with the symptoms. But if you consult with our skilled professionals, you can get the best suggestions and treatments from our team.

Apart from medicine, home remedies that can be used to reduce the effects of CFS. We give stress on limiting your alcohol intake and your alcohol intake will help make your insomnia better which in turn will reduce the effects of CFS.

To avoid this syndrome, you have to create a bed routine. Going to sleep every night at the same time and waking up at the same time will help your sleep cycle. Avoid taking naps during the day.

Avoid overworking yourself and carrying out overly exertive physical exercise. Physical and emotional stress should be avoided to stop the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome symptoms from exacerbating.

Integrative Treatment

  • Dietary changes include getting rid of food that can cause allergies and intolerances and switching to a high fibre diet which includes more vegetables and fruits.

Less amount of vitamin B is also linked with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, which is why CFS sufferers should increase their vitamin B intake.

  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is also used to reduce the effects of (CBT) CFS. It can help you manage your work and your stress better.
  • People with CFS can also join support groups. Support groups are a good way to help you deal with the exhaustion of CFS.
  • Exercise can help you manage CFS. Breathing exercises and yoga is recommended for people suffering from CFS.

We at the Mojo Klinik, we have a special interest and helping those that have CFS.

Book an Appointment

We would love to hear from you. To make a booking at our Neutral Bay, Sydney clinic use the form below and someone will contact you as soon as possible or call us on 02 9133 8500.