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Feb 4, 2013
This post is concerned with information and news concerning what chronic fatigue is and what is being done to improve the symptoms. This topic here is for news and general information. While chronic fatigue goes along with fibromyalgia, some people are only diagnosised with it, without having fibromyalgia too. So I thought I would start a thread for just news and treatments here, like the one I started concerning fibro.

Anyone who has news about treatments that are new or have taken medications for it may post about their experiences with treatments or medications. Please do not advertize products you are selling. It is my understanding that ads are not to be put on this forum.

So lets get started:

What Is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)?

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or Chronic Fatigue and Immune Dysfunction Syndrome, is not normal fatigue, it is an illness that comes on suddenly and often comes and goes, or never stops. You feel too tired to do normal activities or are easily exhausted with no apparent reason. The profound weakness does not go away with a few nights of good sleep. Instead it slyly steals your energy and vigor over months and sometimes years.

Once it was called the new "yuppie flu" because those who sought help for it in the early 1980's, were mainly well-educated, well-off women in their thirties and forties. However, similar illnesses, known by different names date back to the late 1800's.

Source NIH Fact Sheet.
Who Gets Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?

CFS does not discriminate. It strikes people of all ages and racial, and ethnic groups. Research shows that it is about three times more common in women then men, at a rate that is similar to that of many autoimmune diseases, such as multiple sclerosis and lupus. In some cases CFS, is four times more common than women infected with HIV. And the rate of CFS in women is higher than a women's lifetime risk of getting lung cancer. Not to make you feel any worse or better, but it shows just how many women have the chance of getting the illness of CFS.

What Causes CFS?

This is still being studied. Researchers argue over whether it is caused by one agent or if it is triggered by different combinations of various infections or noninfectious factors. Although some patients exhibit any of a variety of immunologic disturbances, no single pattern of disturbances appears consistently and many patient's tests are in the normal ranges.
Many people begin CFS, after a bout with a cold or bronchitis, hepatitis or an intestinal bug. For some it follows a bout of infectious mononucleosis. Often people say it started after a physical trauma or during a period of high stress. In others it seems to have started with no clear event or illness to trigger it.
How Is CFS Diagnosed?

Diagnosis of CFS, is compllicated by the fact that fatigue is the single most commonly reported complaint, but fatigue is also a feature of countless other condition. Because of this the doctor must rule out other illness. The Center of Disease Control, (CDC), established certain criteria for diagnosing CFS.

1. Fatigue that is persistent, relapsing or debilitating; does not improve with bed rest, and reduces or impairs average daily activity level by more than 50 percent for a period of at least 6 months. Patient has no previous history of fatigue.

2. The patient has 4 or more of the following symptoms, which must have persisted or recurred during 6 or more consective months and predated the fatigue.
* Short-term memory or concentration problems.
* Multi-joint pain without joint swelling or redness.
* Muscle pain.
* Headaches of a new type, pattern or severity.
* Non-refreshing sleep.
* Post-exertional malaise lasting more than twenty-four hours.

In addition, a number of other symptoms may occur: Poor sleep and achiness, brain fog and increased thirst, bowel disorders and recurrent infections, exhaustion after minimal exertion.
How Is CFS Treated?

Treating CFS patients is a challenge to persons with this illness and their doctors. As yet there is no know cause or cure, or universal treatment for CFS. The main goal is to improve the symptoms or correct the underlying cause. So therapy is based on the symptoms the patient presents.

Pharmacologic therapy is directed toward relief of specfic symptoms experienced by the patient. These include: low-dose tricyclic agents and antidepressants, (SSRI), anxioiolytic agents and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and antimicrobials (for concurrent infections), antihistamines (for allergies), anti-hypotenive drugs and antihypertensive drugs (beta blockers).

Many patients find that complementary nutritional therapes are helpful. Also included are vitamins and nutritional supplements, also ginkgo biloba, and coenzyme Q10, malic acid and magnesium, complete multivitamins and antioxidants and vitamin B-12, and undernatured whey protein.
You know, my doctor, RIP, was an awesome man who had people from all over the country coming to his practice. He specialized in this in the 1990s. He was really an awesome person, who listened and treated people with CFS. The first thing he did, was to give his patients test for mold allergies. He always found, that people with mold allergies suffered the most from CFS. Then, He would make sure that we had a healthy 'Gut'. Please google on this, how to have a healthy 'gut'. then, I juiced and blending all fruits and veggies. Being a vegetarian saved me i think. Even if you are weak, you can feel a good smoothie give you some energy. If you have CFS, then I really suggest, really strongly, you get yourself some allergy tests, and get some allergy shots to whatever it is. That's a huge help for many people.
Thanks for your post. It is always great when other members share in with tips that work to brighten another members days. Just thought it might be good to bring this to the front so new folks who are coming in can read this and learn what CFS is and hopefully learn some good coping ideas and tips on managing the condition.
If you know anything that would help another member please share here. :)
Has anybody heard about the Buteyko breathing method? - i have suffered from chronic fatigue for 6 from a young age i cannot see it getting better using any of the current treatments i havent heard of this before and stumbled across it whilst searching for alternatives maybe if anyone is up for having a look and leaving any comments or suggestions would be appreciated - LB
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