Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), also called myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) is a complicated and very disabling condition. Many times it confines it sufferers to bed, and they are unable to perform routine daily activities. Chronic fatigue syndrome is noted for overwhelming fatigue that does not improve no matter what amount of rest or sleep you get. In fact, CFS/ME may even get worse when you do any type of physical or emotional activity. This is called post-exertional malaise or PEM. People suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome may not appear ill, but the struggle they face just to live life each day is very real. Here are some of the things they have to deal with on a daily basis:
- Daily tasks, such as taking a shower or preparing food, becomes problematic
- Inability to do the things they found easy not long ago
- 1 out of every 4 become bed- or house-bound for extended periods of time
- CFS/ME can last for years and may cause one to become disabled
- It can be nearly impossible to go to school, keep a job, or have any type of social or family life
Who Gets Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?
Really, anyone is susceptible to developing chronic fatigue at any time. It is most commonly seen between the ages of 40 and 60 years. It impacts children, adolescents, and adults of all ages. It afflicts women more than men, and whites are diagnosed more than other ethnicities. It is important to note, however, most cases go undiagnosed, especially in minority ethnicities in the United States.
It has been reported that:
- Approximately 836,000 to 2.5 million Americans suffer
- It costs the economy in the United States up to $24 billion every year in medical bills and lost income
- As many as 90 percent of those with this condition remain undiagnosed. The reasons for this may be because:
- Medical schools in the USA do not include CFS/ME as part of their training for doctors
- It is a little-understood illness that is not always taken seriously by some healthcare practitioners
- Doctors and nurses need more training to prepare them to give a better diagnosis
The exact reason for chronic fatigue syndrome remains a mystery among the medical community. There are no tests that can be done to either confirm or deny the existence of chronic fatigue. Therefore, other conditions with similar symptoms have to be ruled out. Doctors then need to do an in-depth evaluation of the symptoms and take a detailed medical history.
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Symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Primary, or core, symptoms are those that are happening in most CFS patients. There are three primary symptoms that you must have to be diagnosed with chronic fatigue. These are:
- Greatly diminished ability to do the normal activities that you performed before the onset of the condition. This inactivity must be accompanied by fatigue and last for more than 6 months. The fatigue you experience is not just tiredness. It is:
- Not relieved by sleep
- Not part of your life before becoming ill
- Not a result of unusual or strenuous activity
- Post-exertional malaise (PEM): Worsening of your symptoms after mental or physical stress that would not have caused you a problem previously. It is often described by CFS sufferers as a crash, collapse, or relapse and can takes days or weeks to recover, possibly leaving you housebound during this time. It is nearly impossible to predict which activities will cause a crash. Everyday things, such as attending your child’s school event, shopping at the grocery store, or simply taking a shower can be disabling today but not tomorrow.
- Problems with sleep: You may have problems falling asleep or staying asleep. Even if you feel like you got a good night’s rest, the tiredness associated with CFS will not resolve.
In addition to the above symptoms that must be present, you must also have one of the following:
- Symptoms that worsen upon standing or sitting upright, called orthostatic intolerance. You may feel lightheaded, weak, dizzy, or faint, accompanied by blurry vision or seeing spots.
- Problems with thinking and memory. This is often called brain fog as you may feel as if you are stuck in a fog and unable to think clearly. Remembering things, paying attention to detail, and thinking quickly can all give you trouble if you suffer from CFS.
Other possible symptoms include:
- Muscle and joint pain
- Abnormal headaches
- Tender lymph nodes in the armpits or neck
- A frequent sore throat
- IBS and other digestive issues
- Allergic reactions and sensitivities to food, chemicals, and odors
Finding Natural Relief for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
A study observed 19 patients who have been diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome. They were examined by an upper cervical chiropractor and given adjustments tailored to their specific needs. The results were that all of them reported improvement in their condition and they all had a better quality of life after having their necks adjusted. Why is this the case?
A misalignment in the bones of the upper cervical spine is to blame for a number of otherwise unexplainable conditions. To understand this, it is important to understand what function these bones have. The C1 and C2 vertebrae were designed to protect the delicate brainstem. They also have great mobility in order to move the head in many directions. Because of this, they are susceptible to misaligning. A simple trip and fall or minor car accident is enough to move them out of place. When this happens, instead of protecting the brainstem, they actually cause it stress. In turn, it sends improper signals to the brain about what is happening in the body. If the brainstem tells the brain that the body is tired and needs sleep, the symptoms of chronic fatigue can ensue.
Here at 1st Place Chiropractic in St. Charles, Illinois, we use a gentle, precise method to encourage the bones to move back into their original position. We do not crack or force the bones in the neck or back. Rather, our method is low impact, and it results in an adjustment that stays in place longer. Many patients report a great improvement in their CFS symptoms.
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if you are outside of the local area you can find an Upper Cervical Doctor near you at www.uppercervicalawareness.com.