Most people don’t think so. And it’s hard to explain to someone that hasn’t gone through it. Just get up. Just feel better. Every time a family member or friend questions that something more serious is at work, makes that person feel even worse. If you’ll excuse the pun, let’s put the question of “is chronic fatigue syndrome real?” to bed. Stanford University’s School of Medicine has just published a paper on CFS. That’s one of the most prestigious medical schools in the country!
Why some people think CFS is not real is because it’s a really complicated disease to explain. It’s a disease that’s hard to diagnose because extreme fatigue is a symptom of a lot of ailments. So, it’s usually by process of elimination that leads towards treatment of chronic fatigue syndrome.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Real or Fake?
Like a lot of diseases, researchers aren’t sure what causes CFS. There have been a range of theories from viral infection to excessive stress. Some theorize that it’s actually a combination of factors that causes the disease to manifest in a person.
Symptoms Of CFS
There are eight major signs of chronic fatigue syndrome. It’s not just being tired all the time, although that is certainly one of them. We talked about the ways you can know if you might be suffering from CFS.
- Loss of memory/inability to concentrate
- Sore throat
- Enlarged lymph nodes in your neck or armpits
- Unexplained muscle pain
- Mobile pain that moves from one joint to another without causing swelling or redness
- Not feeling refreshed after sleeping a full night’s sleep
- Extreme exhaustion that lasts more than 24 hours after physical or mental exercise
Who Is Most At Risk?
While we don’t know the specific cause of the disease, there are patterns as to who is most susceptible. Women usually get diagnosed more than men. However, this could be because women tend to tell doctors when they’re feeling not well. Men tend to “suck it up.” (did you read our post on things men should tell their doctor?) CFS affects people who are middle aged more than any other group, specifically people in their 40s-50s. Finally, people under a lot of stress and unable to handle that stress are susceptible. This final one is why researchers think stress is one of the causes of CFS.
What Happens To People With CFS
They get depressed. They will isolate themselves from others. It will get to the point where they can’t work anymore. Living life hurts. So, they’ll restrict their lives to the simple things that they can do on their own. Explaining chronic fatigue syndrome to friends can be just as exhausting. Check out this story from The New Yorker of one woman’s struggle with CFS and how her whole life changed over time. And she is far from being alone!
What Can You Do About It?
If you think you’re at risk, set up an appointment to see your healthcare practitioner. They, in turn, are going to want to run a blood test. Remember, CFS is a diagnosis of exclusion. That’s why we created the Fatigue Panel, to help them and you come to a better understanding of what’s going on in your body, especially when you’re showing the signs of chronic fatigue syndrome.