CHRONIC FATIGUE SYNDROME / ME

Adapted from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome at Medline Plus

 

Please Note: Fatigue and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome(CFS) are not the same

While the latter may suffer from fatigue, a fatigued person does not necessarily suffer from CFS.

 

SYMPTOMS:  If you feel you are suffering from the following symptoms please consult your doctor, the symptoms are present in many other illnesses which need to be excluded for a diagnosis of CFS/ME to be made.

If you are planning to see your doctor you can get the most of a medical consultation by being informed, having an open mind and booking a long enough/several consultation to allow for the discussion of your problems. There is no one single therapy for this illness and what will work for an individual depends on the clinical picture.

To date the therapy is still very much one of addressing the symptoms while minimizing side effects from prescribed medication. Plant or “natural” medicines likewise are multi-compound drugs, at times with unregulated concentrations of ingredients, often with very little documentation of adverse effects and need to be taken under medical supervision to monitor possible adverse effects. The web harbours many opportunists who prey on vulnerable individuals in an attempt to cash in on fraudulent and “miracle” cures. Vitamins and supplements are only helpful in deficiency states or cases where it is known that supplementation can affect certain metabolic pathways. Always question the credentials of any person offering magical cures. Testimonies are advertising tools and not proof of effective therapies.

Sit down with your doctor and discuss a plan to address your symptoms in an organized manner. Don’t rush into anything, finding what works for an individual takes time.

The author has been suffering from this illness for many years, she is able to work and be creative by managing her daily life carefully. Some days are easy, others not. There is hope for everyone to reach this point in there illness with careful management, distraction and a positive frame of mind. Some day the puzzle which this illness is may be solved.

 

Main symptoms:

·      Fatigue or tiredness, never experienced to this extent before (new onset), lasting at least 6 months and not relieved by bed rest

·     Fatigue that is severe enough to restrict activity (serious fatigue develops with less than one-half of the exertion compared to before the illness)

Other symptoms:

·     Fatigue lasting more than 24 hours after an amount of exercise that would normally be easily tolerated

·     Mild fever

·     Sore throat

·     Lymph node tenderness in the neck or armpit

·      Muscle weakness, all over or multiple locations, not explained by any known disorder

·     Muscle aches ( myalgias)

·     Feeling unrefreshed after sleeping an adequate amount of time

·     Headaches, different from previous headaches in quality, severity, or pattern

·     Joint pain, often moving from joint to joint (migratory arthralgias), without joint swelling or redness

·     Forgetfulness or other similar symptoms including difficulty concentrating, confusion, or irritability

For a summary of causes, diagnosis and treatment, prognosis and complications visit the Medline Plus website  If you would like to find out more about CFS/ME or are looking for support groups please follow the links below. 

 

RESOURCES

Always use online information with caution and consult your doctor with regards to health matters. The website owner takes no responsibility for the information provided on the listed websites.

 

CDC Center for Disease Control USA Medical Resource

Canadian Working Case Definitions  PDF (Medical)

Australian CFS Guidelines PDF (Medical)

American Association for CFS  Medical resources and links

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome information  at  Medline Plus

Co-Cure  Comprehensive Portal for CFS Information

Co-Cure  Links page at co-cure

AHMF Alison Hunter Memorial Foundation for Research into CFS, information, resources and links

 

Resources by Country

UK  ME Research UK   Action for ME   Support group

ME/FM Action Network Canada  Support group

Australia  Victoria  NSW  South Australia ACT Support group

New Zealand Support group

Sweden  Norway  Denmark  France Support groups

Germany (Wikipedia) also fatigatio and CFS Portal Support groups

USA  IACFS/ME  Support and Medical

CFIDS Association of America  Support group

Pediatric Network

Useful Books

Animals  can suffer

from CFS too.