Have you ever felt extreme fatigue these past few weeks? That kind of tired feeling that can’t go away no matter how much you attempt to take a rest? If you have experienced this, you might be a candidate for having the so-called chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) or myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME).
If you want to know all about CFS ME diagnosis and CFS ME treatment, this read is for you.
What is CFS/ME?
Though CFS is a condition that can happen on anyone, statistics show that this is more prevalent among women who are between 40 to 50 years old.
Until now, there is still no clear cause behind this syndrome, but medical figures hypothesize that factors like virus, bacteria, and stress can contribute to having this disease. Someone who has a weak immune system or has a hormonal imbalance may also be at risk. Researchers also speculate that CFS/ME can be caused by some genetic conditions.
How Is It Diagnosed?
CFS/ME diagnosis is still a widely-debated topic among the members of the medical community. As its cause is still uncertain, medical practitioners are challenged to pinpoint whether a patient indeed have this disease or not.
But first and foremost, doctors look into the following symptoms to know if an individual can potentially have CFS/ME:
Extreme fatigue that has become a hindrance to fulfill day-to-day activities
The fatigue must have been experienced for at least half a year
The fatigue must not be easily curable with some bed rest
Frequent headaches, sore throat, and muscle pain
Chronic insomnia and/or other sleep disorders
Loss of memory or focus
Swollen lymph nodes located in neck and armpits
The symptoms above, however, are similar to other medical conditions (e.g., depression, lupus, hypothyroidism). That’s why doctors are obliged to rule out other possible diseases that exhibit the same characteristics. To accurately perform a CFS/ME diagnosis, doctors would also need to review you and your family’s medical history.
How Is It Treated?
There are different ways to manage this condition. Generally, a CFS/ME treatment is tailored according to the symptoms that the patient exhibits. Upon diagnosis, doctors are expected to lay out the treatment options you can choose. Each option offers benefits and risks that you as a patient should weigh.
Patients are also advised to adjust their lifestyle and/or undergo a more specialised CFS/ME treatment, such as:
Graded exercise therapy. The aim of this exercise programme is to help you enhance your capacity to do a physical activity. In this therapy, you will be doing exercises like walking or swimming. Over time, the intensity and length of the time of your exercise will be increased.
Cognitive behavioural therapy. This therapy, on the other hand, involves making adjustments on the way you behave or perceive things. This will be beneficial in preventing your symptoms from progressing. You will also gain a better grasp of how your cognitive behaviour can affect your condition.
In some cases, people make a full recovery after undergoing treatment once. Nonetheless, there are also instances when symptoms persist or get worse. In the latter scenario, it is best to consult a medical expert so your treatment plan can be reviewed and be adjusted accordingly.