Living with Chronic Fatigue

by Joshua Eyestone on April 9, 2012 · 0 comments

in Fibromyalgia,Chronic Fatigue Syndrome,Living with a Disability

Many people feel extremely tired from day to day and wonder what they can do to try and fix this problem so they can live a more enjoyable life.  If you are one of these people who are constantly feeling tired or fatigued you may have Chronic Fatigue (CF) Syndrome.

What is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?

Typical CF symptoms are similar to those of regular illnesses such as the flu, but instead of feeling better after a few days you stay extremely tired for extended periods.  Extreme tiredness, which is classified as tiredness that lasts for more than 6 months, is when people are so tired they are unable to participate in regular activities.  Extreme tiredness is also characterized by being very sleepy despite getting plenty of rest, any of these severely decreased energy problems could be CF.

What are Symptoms of CF?

The following are several of the common symptoms of CF:
•    feeling extremely tired for more than 24 hours after exercise that you normally could complete without problems,
•    feeling un-refreshed after sleeping for a proper amount of time,
•    forgetfulness, concentration or confusion problems,
•    joint pain without swelling or redness, and
•    headaches with irritability that are not like typical headaches

How Do You Get CF?

At this point no one knows exactly what causes people to develop the severe tiredness of CF, but many think it may be linked to age, stress levels, genetics, where you live, or previous illnesses. It usually affects women ages 30 to 50.  It’s not known why women are more prone to chronic fatigue than men. Some people believe that CF can be linked to inflammation in one’s nervous system because of a faulty immune system or the herpes virus, however none of these have been proven to cause CF.

Doing the Best You Can

If you are someone who has been diagnosed with CF or you believe you suffer from it there are things you can do to help control your symptoms to live your life to the fullest.  Try relaxation techniques such as yoga, meditation or breathing exercises when you feel your stress levels are high.  You can also try eating a healthier diet, including regularly drinking plenty of water and eating fruits and vegetables daily. Try shortening your activities into smaller increments of time.  Try spreading errands or work tasks out over the week, instead of into just a day or two.  On the days you are feeling extremely tired take time to rest and do less activity.

If your energy level is keeping you from functioning, or preventing you from work you should be discussing this problem with your doctor.  A patient has the responsibility to tell their doctor what’s going on so that the doctor can make a plan to help their patient.  Keep a diary or journal to describe in detail your symptoms and share the diary with your doctor.  If your CF is really severe you want to be sure to raise that problem each time you see your doctor so you can give your doctor many chances to help you minimize your symptoms.

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