Awakening Awareness: Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
We all experience a little sleepiness on your average Monday morning. However, severe and ongoing fatigue that’s accompanied by symptoms like muscle and joint pain, memory problems, and trouble concentrating may indicate a more serious problem – Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, or CFS. As you can see, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome has a number of different symptoms that could help you to establish whether you are suffering from it, with the most common being extreme tiredness.
What is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?
According to the Mayo Clinic, CFS is a complicated disorder characterized by extreme fatigue that can not be explained by a underlying medical condition and does not improve with rest.
CFS has eight official signs and symptoms which include –
- Loss of memory or concentration
- Sore throat
- Enlarged lymph nodes in your neck or armpits
- Unexplained muscle pain
- Pain that moves from one joint to the other without swelling or redness
- Headache of a new type, patter or severity
- Unrefreshing sleep
- Extreme exhaustion lasting more than 24 hours after physical or mental exercise.
Causes of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
According to the Mayo Clinic, scientists do not know exactly what causes this condition, as it may be a combination of factors that affect people who were both with a predisposition for the disorder. However, some factors may include viral infections, immune system problems, and hormonal imbalances.
This condition can occur at any age but it is most common in women in their 40s and 50s who have difficulty managing stress. This condition can severely affect an individuals every day life and increase the risk of depression and social isolation.
Healthy Tips for CFS Suffers
According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, those who suffer from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome should avoid refined foods, sugar, caffeine, alcohol and saturated fats in their diet. Be sure to eat enough vegetables, whole grains, protein, and essential fatty acids (nuts, seeds, and fish). Additionally, certain nutritional supplements may provide support for symptoms of CFS –
- Magnesium has been shown to help reduce fatigue in many studies.
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids. Studies show Omega-3s found in fish oil may help to reduce fatigue
- NADH is a naturally-occuring chemical involved in energy production in the body
- DHEA is a naturally-occuring horomone produced by the body that may improve energy levels, as it is used to make testosterone and estrogen
- Vitamin B12 has been shown in many studies to improve energy in people who are not getting enough of the vitamin
- Beta-carotene is commonly used to stregthen the immune system
- L-carnitine may support energy production in the cells
- Vitamin D deficiencies in the body may make CFS symptoms worse. Be sure your Vitamin D levels are at optimal levels in your body.
- Melatonin has been shown to improve fatigue symptoms with those suffering from CFS
- Ginseng and Echinacea. One small study found that a combination of these herbs increased the immune response in cells taken from people with CFS.
Speak to a healthcare professional or your doctor before beginning a new treatment regimen.