Have you ever felt tired even after a full night’s sleep; a loss of energy and focus, a sense of apathy that you cannot shake and that seems to cloud your mood? You may be suffering from fatigue. If this is a persistent condition, one that overtakes you for long periods of time (days, weeks, years), you may be suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) also known as chronic fatigue immune dysfunction syndrome (CFIDS).
Fatigue is very different from feeling naturally tired after a full day’s work, exercise routine or any of the daily activities in your life that can physically and mentally wear you out. Fatigue or chronic fatigue is a condition that affects millions of Americans. It can take its toll on school, work and family life.
How do you know if you are suffering from fatigue or CFS?
Fatigue can manifest itself differently with each individual. But the “crushing tiredness is apparently universal”, according to the Center for Community Research at DePaul University in Chicago. Experts agree that you should look for at least four other symptoms to help determine if in fact you are suffering from fatigue, or if it has become chronic fatigue syndrome. A list of these symptoms are offered below:
- Trouble concentrating
- Muscle pain
- Stomach pain
- Sore lymph nodes
- General feeling of discomfort
- Depression and mood swing
In some cases, symptoms might also include: rapid heartbeat, fainting, dizziness, inflammation, and feverishness. The problem with this disease, according to experts, is that it is very hard to diagnose, because so many of the symptoms are shared with other diseases.
On-going research has concluded that this illness does not discriminate, striking people of all ages, racial and ethnic profiles, and diverse socioeconomic backgrounds. However, women are two to four times more likely to suffer from the condition than men. As well, African Americans and Latinos are more likely to suffer CFS, with Asian Americans, the group least affected. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CFS affects our economy as well through reduced productivity and increased medical costs that average out to about $9-$25 billion a year.
Though there are no cures, due to the mystery surrounding the cause(s) of this illness, if you suspect that you might be suffering from it, you should consult your health care professional immediately. Your doctor can recommend treatments designed to help improve your ability to function and control its debilitating affects.
This list compiled by the Everyday Health website might help prevent relapses once you control the chronic fatigue cycle:
- Avoid overexertion
- Get your Zzzz’s
- Soothe stress
- Zap illnesses in the bud
- Pencil in extra rest around special events
- Figure out your limits
- Adopt a reasonable schedule
- Boost your energy level with healthy foods
- Exercise, but do it wisely
- Keep your chin up
If you are on prescribed medications for any related illnesses affiliated with fatigue or chronic fatigue syndrome, and you need help affording your prescriptions, download a free Watertree Health Prescription Discount Card or request a card be mailed to you. It provides significant discounts on almost all recommended medications (brand and generic). Most experts agree, taking your medicines as prescribed improves overall health and wellbeing and lowers cost of health care for everyone.
Instructions and Disclaimer: The content on this website is designed for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses. Always consult your health care provider with any questions or concerns you might have regarding your health.
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