Chronic fatigue syndrome, or CFS, is a debilitating and complex disorder characterized by profound fatigue that is not improved by bed rest and that may be worsened by physical or mental activity. Persons with CFS most often function at a substantially lower level of activity than they were capable of before the onset of illness.
In addition to these key defining characteristics, patients report various nonspecific symptoms, including weakness, muscle pain, impaired memory and/or mental concentration, insomnia, and post-exertional fatigue lasting more than 24 hours. In some cases, CFS can persist for years.
The cause or causes of CFS have not been identified and no specific diagnostic tests are available. Moreover, since many illnesses have incapacitating fatigue as a symptom, care must be taken to exclude other known and often treatable conditions before a diagnosis of CFS is made.
Causes of Fatigue
There are numerous physical and psychological causes of fatigue. Some of the common causes are an allergy that leads to hay fever or asthma, anemia (including iron deficiency anemia), depression or grief, persistent pain, sleep disorders such as ongoing insomnia, obstructive sleep apnea, or narcolepsy, under active thyroid or overactive thyroid, use of alcohol or illegal drugs like cocaine, especially with regular use.
Fatigue can also accompany many diseases such as addison's disease, anorexia or other eating disorders Arthritis, including juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, autoimmune diseases such as lupus Cancer, chronic liver or kidney disease, congestive heart failure, diabetes, infection, parasitic infections, AIDS, tuberculosis, and mononucleosis, Malnutrition. It has been documented by doctors that some medicines may also cause drowsiness or fatigue, including antihistamines for allergies, blood pressure medicines, sleeping pills, steroids, and diuretics.
Symptoms of fatigue include the following:
Weakness, lack of energy, tiredness, exhaustion
Passing out or feeling as if you are going to pass out
Palpitations (feeling your heart beating)
Shortness of breath
Types of chronic fatigue
Chronic fatigue is also divided into two types based on symptoms. The Sudded Onset type occurs abruptly and resembles a usual viral attack, similar to the symptoms of flu and other infection.
Gradual Onset chronic fatigue manifests symptoms on a gradual pacing. Thus, patients acquiring this type of chronic fatigue don't easily realize that they are already suffering from the viral ailment.
Home Care: Here are some tips for reducing fatigue:
Get adequate, regular, and consistent amounts of sleep each night.
Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet and drink plenty of water throughout the day.
Learn better ways to relax. Try yoga or meditation.
Maintain a reasonable work and personal schedule.
Change your stressful circumstances, if possible. For example, switch jobs, take a vacation, and deal directly with problems in a relationship.
Take a multivitamin. Talk to your doctor about what is best for you.
Avoid alcohol, nicotine, and drug use.
Diets for chronic fatigue
To start with, a patient can take a water cure diet. This form of diet is the simplest and can be easily executed as long as the patient is disciplined enough and determined.
The water cure diet would see that the patient must take water that is equivalent to half of the body's weight. For example, the body weighs 150 lbs. The patient must then take ounces of water daily that is equivalent to 75 lbs.
It is also recommended that the patient take in at least a quarter of salt for about every quart of water that he drinks. The salt can also be used in food.
There are no restrictions in food intake, but the water cure diet restricts patients from drinking alcoholic and caffeinated beverages because they are diuretics.
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