Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), also known as myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), is a complex condition characterized by sustained periods of extreme and debilitating fatigue, lasting for at least six months and unimproved by normally sufficient sleep and rest patterns.
The exact causes of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome are unknown, but often symptoms appear following a serious illness or traumatic event and last for years. A person suffering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome may find it impossible to participate normally in normal activities of daily living - ranging from basic functions to work and relationships.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome may feel like a hopeless condition to those in its grip, but it can respond positively to a variety of treatments aimed at managing symptoms and deflecting potential causes or exacerbating factors.
While there is no definitive testing to help diagnose Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, a patient’s symptoms and complete medical history can inform a diagnosis and an effective plan of recovery.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, or myalgic encephalomyelitis, is a condition of extreme tiredness and exhaustion lasting for at least six months. According to the CDC, up to 2.5 million Americans suffer from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Its exact causes are not completely understood but some studies have linked Chronic Fatigue Syndrome to genetic abnormalities in energy metabolism, the nervous system or the immune system.
There are many health-related causes and conditions that can cause lasting tiredness, including depression, cancer, thyroid disorders, or simply lifestyle and stress factors, but Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is characterized by extreme fatigue that has no clear etiology, does not respond to treatment, adequate sleep, or healthy lifestyle changes, and persists for months or even years.
People with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome usually experience a “crash” which can take the form of fainting or becoming bedridden after performing a normal activity that would be unchallenging prior to falling ill. This is known as post-exertional malaise and is another hallmark of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
Risk Factors and Causes of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Exact causes of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome are currently not clear. It impacts children, adolescents and adults. The condition is most common in people aged 40 to 60, and three times more likely in women. Estimates suggest 90 percent of people suffering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome go undiagnosed. Studies have shown certain potential risk factors and correlations:
If you have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, you may be experiencing all or some of the following symptoms:
Our tools for diagnosis include a physical examination, a complete medical history and a review of your symptoms. At One Agora Integrative Health, we can employ a customized variety of both conventional and alternative diagnosis and treatment tools.
A Functional Medicine evaluation will better help us to understand what you are experiencing – both physically and mentally – that could explain your symptoms. We can look for food sensitivities, other medical conditions, reactions to medications or environmental toxins, or other factors that cause extreme fatigue as a reaction. Debilitating fatigue can sometimes occur from hormone imbalances which we can measure and treat with Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT).
Such evaluations help rule out other health-related causes and factors and better identify if what you are experiencing is indeed Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Once we have ruled out other causes and rendered a diagnosis of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, there are many powerful treatment tools we can employ, including:
While there is no cure for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, our treatment plans also aim to:
Gather a list of symptoms, concerns and questions related to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and we’ll put together a customized plan to treat the root causes of your symptoms until you are functioning at your mental, emotional and physical best once again! Call One Agora Health at (952) 234-5898 or contact us online today.
One Agora Integrative Health Clinic
9220 James Ave S.
Bloomington, MN 55431
Phone: (952) 234-5898