Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a complex and long-term illness that can result in a wide range of symptoms in your body because it affects different types of systems present in the body. The symptoms may show up differently for each person suffering from this condition. This condition is also called as myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME).Many people generally focus on medical treatment to alleviate symptoms but they can also learn a new approach to daily living which can reduce the impact of the condition.
CFS is a complex problem and it can impact a wide range of systems and function. That is why generally different types of symptoms of seen in different patients. Many of these symptoms may appear similar to other problems and as a result of that making a thorough diagnosis may be difficult, but such a diagnosis becomes more important to fight the problem effectively.
The core symptoms of CFS are very important in the diagnosis. It may change slightly from person to person. There are three main core symptoms seen in case of this problem.
Fatigue is an extreme lack of energy. One you are suffering from fatigue, you will not be able to perform activities that were once routine without feeling extremely fatigued. If you are suffering from CFS, your fatigue may last six months or longer. You may not be able to shake this fatigue. Sleep or rest will not replenish your energy; rather in some individuals it can make symptoms worse. The fatigue can be so severe that it interferes with daily function.
Post exertional malaise
Post-exertional malaise (PEM) is another core symptom of CFS. This happens as a deterioration of symptoms after physical or mental exertion. If you are suffering from PEM and you engage in lots of physical and mental activities, you're likely to experience worsening symptoms over the next few hours or days. During this time, you will feel intense exhaustion.
If you suffer from this problem, you will feel as if your internal battery is completely and immediately drained. If you still push yourself too far, it can harm your body. If you are suffering from CFS, it is very important that you do not push yourself too hard and ensure that you get rest periods throughout the day to avoid overexertion.
People who suffer from CFS also experience different types of sleep disorders such as refreshing sleep. When this happens, you will wake up tired even after a long night of rest.
Anyone suffering from CFS may suffer from different types of sleep disorders which can potentially lead to sleep but will not replenish energy. Such sleep disorders may include-
- insomnia, which is trouble falling and staying asleep
- hypersomnia, which is excessive sleep
- sleep apnea, in which a person stops breathing as they sleep
- light sleep, a disorder that means an individual never enters the deeper stages of sleep
- fragmented sleep, consisting of frequently waking up and falling back asleep
- phase shifting, in which a person may not be able to fall asleep until sunrise
- involuntary spasms in the legs or arms
- restless legs
- nightmares with vivid dreams that disrupt sleep
- night sweats