Thursday, February 15, 2018 by Zoey Sky
Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), also called myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), is a serious, long-term illness that affects many body systems and causes extreme fatigue. Individuals diagnosed with CFS often have trouble accomplishing regular daily tasks.
CFS may confine patients to their beds, and they may have severe fatigue and sleep problems. The condition may worsen if patients try to accomplish as many tasks as they want or need to do. This symptom is called post-exertional malaise (PEM).
A report from the Institute of Medicine (IOM) revealed that at least 836,000 to 2.5 million Americans suffer from CFS. However, most of them remain undiagnosed.
Known side effects of chronic fatigue syndrome
Before CFS is diagnosed, other causes of chronic persistent fatigue (such as a stressful lifestyle, cancer, or other illnesses such as adrenal or thyroid disorders, HIV, or AIDS) must be ruled out. There are no laboratory tests that can accurately diagnose CFS, and the diagnosis is often based on symptoms.
Individuals with CFS may experience the following side effects:
- Cognitive difficulties – People with CFS often have problems with short-term memory but not long-term memory. They may have dysnomia/verbal dyslexia, or difficulty recalling or saying a specific word during normal speech.
- Depression – This is a side effect caused by difficulties performing at work or home. However, depression does not cause CFS.
- Fatigue – Individuals with CFS have long-term fatigue that lasts longer than six months to a year and cannot be explained by other diseases. People with CFS may have had a previous infection. A feeling of tiredness may persist during the infection, but the fatigue continues after the person has recovered from the illness.
- Fatigue after sleep – People with CFS do not feel refreshed after resting or sleeping.
- Post-exertional fatigue – Post-exertional fatigue occurs when people are excessively tired after normal activities that weren’t difficult in the past.
Other CFS symptoms include headaches, muscle aches, sore throat, and a mild fever.
Body systems harmed by chronic fatigue syndrome
Medical experts are still studying the biological causes of CFS, but a cure has yet to be found. More than 4,000 research articles have determined that CFS is associated with problems concerning the immune, neurological, and hormonal systems.
CFS is also linked to biochemical abnormalities along with blood pressure and issues with the circulatory and cardiac systems. It also affects digestion and the body’s ability to produce and transport energy. Additionally, CFS is connected to viral or other infections.
Food items or nutrients that may prevent chronic fatigue syndrome
The following foods or nutrients can help prevent CFS:
- Fats – “Healthy” fats can boost “poor immune systems, hormone imbalances, and also help cognitive functioning.” Fats are also an excellent energy source. Sources: extra virgin olive oil, coconuts, avocados, meat, and fish.
- Flaxseed oil – Full of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, flaxseed oil can help improve blood circulation.
- Fruits and vegetables – All fruits and vegetables are suitable for people with CFS. Fruits and vegetables with antioxidant properties can help alleviate the damage caused by free radicals.
- Grains – Grains contain carbohydrates, the body’s primary energy source. Sources: brown rice, barley, quinoa, and oatmeal.
- Proteins – Animal proteins contain the maximum amount of essential amino acids required by the body. But when eaten in excess, red meat can cause health problems. Healthy sources of animal protein: fish, eggs, chicken breast, nuts, and beans.
Treatments, management plans for chronic fatigue syndrome
There is currently no cure for CFS. However, individuals with this disorder can try various treatments to manage its symptoms:
- Graded exercise therapy – This kind of treatment starts with gradual stretches and guided movements. Through time, CFS sufferers can “increase the intensity and duration” of the exercise.
- Ribose – Ribose is a vital sugar that the body uses to produce energy. It is a critical component in the energy-creation process within cells. Ribose can be taken as a supplement, and it is often listed as D-ribose.
- Sleep – Improving sleep quality and extending sleep time can help “replenish the bodies energy and heal its’ muscles.” Try to sleep for at least eight hours each night.
Where to learn more
Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), also called myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), is a serious, long-term illness that affects many body systems and causes extreme fatigue.
Individuals with CFS may experience cognitive difficulties, depression, fatigue, fatigue after sleep, and post-exertional fatigue.
CFS may harm the immune, neurological, and hormonal systems
There is currently no cure for CFS. However, individuals with this disorder can try various treatments to manage its symptoms.