In a rut or been feeling increasingly tired lately, even though your routine hasn’t changed? Do you have constant pain in your joints, making it difficult to perform simple tasks? Were you once able to run several miles every day, but now find yourself completely exhausted, and even a bit sick, after just one workout? If you’ve exhibited any of these symptoms for six months or longer, you may have chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS).
Chronic fatigue syndrome is a condition whereby a person experiences extreme tiredness, to the point where his or her quality of life suffers, drastically.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “more than one million Americans” are living with chronic fatigue syndrome. While anyone can develop this condition, CFS occurs four times more frequently in women than men. The majority of people affected are in their 40s and 50s.
The CDC states further research is necessary to identify chronic fatigue syndrome's causes, including possible familial or genetic links.
Besides displaying signs of weariness, other symptoms of CFS to look out for include:
- Discomfort in your joints
- Sore throat
- Muscle aches/weakness
- Trouble sleeping
- Bad headaches
- Short-term memory problems
- Vision problems
- Heart palpitations
- Inability to concentrate
- Sensitive lymph nodes
Since these symptoms are also common warning signs of other health conditions, particularly the flu, consult with a trusted health care provider for a proper evaluation and diagnosis.
If you do, in fact, have CFS, be sure to research possible treatments to help manage this illness.
CFS can be hard to treat, but there are many potential therapies. This includes diet, exercise, cognitive behavioral therapy, biofeedback, medications, and even hyperbaric oxygen therapy. A study published in 2013, which is shared by the U.S. National Library of Medicine, showed that patients with CFS had decreased severity of symptoms and improved quality of life after receiving hyperbaric oxygen therapy.
Do you have this condition? Learn more about hyperbaric oxygen therapy as a treatment for chronic fatigue syndrome.