When you undergo stress and feel fatigued, the first question you ask yourself is Do I have CFS? Firstly, it is very important to understand the difference between chronic fatigue symptoms and the disorder called chronic fatigue syndrome or myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME/CFS). The state of chronic fatigue is mainly due to a poor diet, high levels of stress, too less sleep, obesity etc. however, chronic fatigue syndrome is more than just being tired. The fatigue causes a profound tiredness that does not get any better even if you take a long nap or have a good night sleep. Let us discuss some of the things no one tells you about CFS.
Things No One Tells You About CFS
- Feeling Run Down all the Time: It is quite normal for you to feel tired after a long day in the office, but CFS is much more than a casual tiredness. Even if you rest, your body is not willing to recover from exhaustion. It can also lead to other symptoms such as a sore throat, body aches, and cold and flu-like symptoms. Studies show that viral infections like mononucleosis may also trigger the illness.
- It is not a Psychological Illness: According to a recent research, immune disturbances are prominent in people with CFS. This means the illness is more related to physical changes in your body.
- Difficulty in Sleeping Through the Night: Take note if you are not able to sleep at night. The presence of significant insomnia is one of the key symptoms of CFS. If you find it difficult to sleep even after being tired like hell, you are more likely to have CFS.
- Are you mentally Worn Out?: Apart from being physically tired, you may end up feeling mentally exhausted. Therefore, CFS is a combination of mental, physical, and stressful tiredness.
- Fuzzy Memory: Many people with CFS may struggle with memory issues. The reason is your mental fatigue. Due to the exhaustion, you may find it difficult to focus on your work or end up forgetting everything like to order something or where you kept your keys. Also, there is a severe reduction in your ability to engage in any activity.
- You Feel Terrible After Working Out: While most of the doctors recommend meditation, yoga, and some light exercises to relieve the symptoms of CFS, indulging yourself in a hard-core workout session can make you feel worse. Therefore, CFS was recently renamed as Systemic Exertion Intolerance Disease (SEID).
- Are you Experiencing Symptoms of Depression?: Sometimes tiredness and depression go hand-in-hand. CFS may lead you to feel stressed out and getting a bit weepy. You may feel as if nothing is going in your way or you cannot handle anything. Frequent headaches often become an issue.
- You may still Appear Healthy, Fit, and Fine: Post-exertion malaise affects a majority of people having CFS. It is the intensifying of the symptoms followed by a physical or mental exertion. These symptoms usually get worse 12 to 48 hours after the activity and may last for a few days or even weeks. So, you may appear fine in public.
- Many Doctors do not know much about it: Most of the medical schools do not cover fatigue in their medical curricula. So, it is obvious that finding a competent medical professional who can successfully diagnose CFS or treat you is an uphill task. Majority of the people with CFS find it tough as they struggle trying to find their answers and an accurate treatment.
These are some of the things no one tells you about CFS. As the numbers of the specialists who treat ME/CFS are very few, patients need to be their own health advocates. You can prevent chronic fatigue syndrome if you learn to preserve your energy by limiting your physical and mental activity. Try to ask your regular healthcare provider to refer you to some of the pain doctors, cardiologists, and other specialists who can help you in treating the CFS symptoms.