Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

If you've been experiencing severe exhaustion that's lasted longer than six months, you may be suffering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS). If left unchecked, CFS could not only leave you at a loss for energy, it could begin to diminish your quality of life.

Chronic Fatigue Symptoms

In addition to the obvious symptom from which chronic fatigue gets its name, there are other symptoms doctors look for when trying to make a diagnosis:

  • Memory loss or trouble concentrating
  • Sore throat
  • Swollen lymph nodes in the neck or armpits
  • Muscle pain
  • Joint pain with no swelling or redness
  • Headaches unlike any others you've previously experienced
  • Sleeping without feeling rested
  • Exhaustion that lasts more than 24 hours after even moderate physical activity

Causes of Chronic Fatigue

There are multiple causes of chronic fatigue, including:

  • Chronic infections, be they bacterial, viral, fungal or parasites. These infections may be obvious or hidden.
  • One of the leading causes of chronic fatigue is hormonal imbalance. Particularly imbalance or deficiency of cortisol and the hormones produced in the thyroid gland can lead to fatigue. Your doctor will likely perform a hormone level check to see if your CFS is the result of any imbalance.
  • Chronic stress or sleep disruption.
  • Chronic pain.
  • Nutritional imbalances including chronic gastrointestinal disturbance and food allergies (again sometimes not very obvious).
  • Toxicity issues.
  • Mitochondrial dysfunction (where the cellular ability to produce energy is disrupted).

Treating CFS

There are multiple options for treating CFS, depending upon the reason(s) the person has CFS, their symptoms and complaints, and their personal preferences for treatment avenues. Some patients are willing to use both conventional (pharmaceutical) therapies along with natural approaches while some prefer non-pharmaceutical approaches whenever possible.

The treatment of CFS must be tailored to the patient. Almost always the treatment involves optimizing sleep quality, addressing nutritional deficiencies and gastrointestinal disturbances, resolving neurotransmitter imbalances, diagnosing toxicities, and dealing with psycho-social issues and stressors.