Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a complex disorder with a range of symptoms, the most common being extreme tiredness. It can be a debilitating illness and prevent you from carrying out seemingly normal activities. Although there is no specific cure for chronic fatigue, there are a number of treatments available to relieve symptoms and help you reclaim your energy and enjoyment of life.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
CFS is also sometimes referred to as ME (myalgic encephalomyelitis) or SEID (systemic exertion intolerance disease). It can affect anyone of any age but it is more common in women and often develops between the ages of 25 and 45.
Chronic fatigue causes extreme tiredness and fatigue, and the disorder doesn’t go away with rest. It can often be made worse with too much exercise. CFS makes you feel very unwell, and the severity of symptoms can vary from day to day. Common symptoms include:
- Extreme tiredness
- Sleep problems such as insomnia
- Muscle or joint pain
- Flu-like symptoms
- Frequent headaches
- Dizziness and nausea
- Sore throat and/or tender lymph nodes
- Memory problems or trouble concentrating
- Heart palpitations (a fast or irregular heartbeat)
The causes of CFS are still not fully understood, but there are suggested triggers or factors that may make you more likely to develop the condition. Suggested causes or triggers can include a hormone imbalance, a viral infection (such as glandular fever), a bacterial infection (such as pneumonia), psychological stress or trauma, a problem with the immune system, genetics, or a combination of factors.
Diagnosis and Treatment
CFS can be very difficult to diagnose, and it can share many of its symptoms with other conditions and illnesses. Your doctor will review your medical history and aim to rule out other potential causes. It is important to get the correct diagnosis to ensure you get the appropriate medical treatment.
Treatment for chronic fatigue varies, and because sufferers can experience different symptoms, there is no one-size-fits-all approach. Your healthcare team can help to put a treatment plan in place to manage the disorder and relieve symptoms. Treatments can include lifestyle changes, medications, customized hormone therapy, and activity management.
Lifestyle adjustments can help alleviate symptoms. Nutritional foods and a healthy, balanced diet can help build immunity and improve energy while limiting or eliminating caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine can improve sleep quality and energy levels and reduce headaches. Starchy foods, eating little and often, and sipping drinks slowly can help relieve nausea. Vitamins and supplements may also be recommended.
A good sleep routine can sometimes help to improve symptoms, such as getting up at around the same time each morning and avoiding naps in the day if it interrupts your ability to sleep at night. Often, people with CFS need rest during the day. Your doctor can help you establish a suitable sleep pattern and incorporate relaxation techniques and a rest period in the day without it affecting your night’s sleep.
Other lifestyle changes may involve changes to your work schedule and environment, adapted living at home (such as a stairlift), activity modifications, and changes to your routine.
Customized Hormone Therapy
Customized hormone therapy can help to correct nutritional, metabolic, or hormonal deficiencies which may be causing symptoms of chronic fatigue, such as loss of energy, tiredness, and sleeping problems. Customized hormone therapy involves using bioidentical hormones to treat individuals without balanced hormone levels. Customized bioidentical hormones are produced to closely match natural hormones, such as estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone and are safer, natural, and more effective to conventional hormone therapy.
There is no specific medication for CFS, but some medications can alleviate symptoms. This can include sleep medication for insomnia and pain-reducing medication for muscle and joint pain and headaches.
Activity management also is known as pacing, is a technique that can help manage symptoms of chronic fatigue by balancing rest and activity to avoid flare-ups. Keeping a diary of activities that exacerbate symptoms may help to pinpoint causes.
Wellness Center in Denton and Frisco, Texas
If you are suffering from symptoms of chronic fatigue, DFW Anti-Aging and Wellness Centers can help. We use a variety of anti-aging and customized hormone therapy treatments to correct nutritional, metabolic, or hormonal deficiencies and to help you reclaim your energy, enthusiasm, and passion for life.
Call us today at (469) 389-5251 to find out how the wellness services we offer can make a difference in your life, or you can schedule an appointment online with our experienced board-certified internist Dr. Rani Anbarasu. We have two conveniently located offices in Denton and Frisco, Texas.