Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is also known by its other name, Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME). CFS is a condition that makes you feel tired all the time, so much so that you can’t perform normal daily activities. Though fatigue is the main symptom, CFS also has other symptoms.
There are no tests for CFS, and the condition is not well understood. Some doctors don’t even believe in it! Because of this, it is difficult for sufferers to accept the condition, and for the family and friends to believe it is real.
Symptoms of CFS
- Exhaustion all or much of the time
- Difficulty sleeping
- Waking up tired
- Difficulty thinking clearly, remembering things and concentrating
- Physical symptoms like headaches, sore throat, tender glands, and muscle and joint pain
- Symptoms flaring up after an activity that you used to be able to do easily
As there are no tests for CFS, doctors diagnose it through elimination. They rule out all other possible causes of your fatigue.
Treatment of CFS
There is no specific treatment for CFS, but the symptoms can be treated. You will need to work together with your doctor to find the right combination of medication and behavior changes. There is no single approach that works for everyone.
At home, you may need to change your daily schedule, to take advantage of times where you are not so tired, and to allow yourself to rest when you need to. Keep a diary for a couple weeks to track your energy levels before changing around your schedule.
Learn better sleep habits, and exercise (gently) regularly. Walking, stretching, and swimming can be helpful. Living with CFS is not only a physical challenge but a mental health one too. It is a difficult condition to live with and accept. Talking to other sufferers of CFS, and a counselor can help.