If you've been experiencing severe exhaustion that's lasted longer than six months, you may be suffering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS). If left unchecked, CFS could not only leave you at a loss for energy, it could begin to diminish your quality of life. Dealing with chronic fatigue can affect your performance at work, your time spent with family and friends, and even your enjoyment of recreational activities.
In addition to the obvious symptom from which chronic fatigue gets its name, there are other symptoms doctors look for when trying to make a diagnosis:
Doctors have yet to come to an agreement as to what causes CFS. There have been studies that could possibly link it to some viral infections, problems with the immune system, and hormone imbalances.
Age - CFS generally occurs in patients in their forties and fifties
Gender - Woman are more likely to report CFS than men
Lifestyle - People with inactive lifestyles or those dealing with weight issues are more likely to develop CFS
Chronic fatigue syndrome is a serious condition that can lead to bouts of depression or a desire to cut off all social interactions. That's why if you suspect you may be suffering from this affliction, it's important to seek out the help of a qualified health care professional.
The first step is to keep a log or journal of the feelings you are experiencing. Not only will this help our doctors understand your condition, but it will help us weed out any other factors that might be causing your fatigue such as sleep disorders, anemia, diabetes, hypothyroidism, depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, or schizophrenia to name just a few.
Once it has been determined that you are indeed suffering from CFS, we'll develop a treatment plan to help you cope with individual symptoms while trying to manage the overall condition.
Our treatment plan will typically include numerous approaches such as diet & nutritional support, medications, exercise programs, and psychological counseling.
Fibromyalgia can be defined as pain felt throughout the entire body. The effects are long lasting and are specifically experienced in the muscles, tendons, and other soft tissues. The pain may also feel like it is in your joints, although fibromyalgia does not physically affect these areas.
Fibromyalgia pain generally begins at a specific area known as a trigger point and then radiates outward. These trigger points can include the back of the neck, shoulders, chest, lower back, hips, shins, elbows, or knees.
Patients dealing with fibromyalgia describe the sensation in a number of ways. It can be experienced as a deep ache or shooting pain or even numbness and tingling. Symptoms can arise exclusively in the morning upon waking, or they can persist throughout the entire day. Some people may notice that their fibromyalgia is negatively affected by physical activity, stress, or even cold weather.
Doctors are still unsure as to what specifically causes fibromyalgia. The most popular belief is that the functions of the brain that process pain may be acting in an unnatural way causing some to experience fibromyalgia symptoms. This would explain why not all of us are affected. Whatever the cause, there are several conditions that generally coincide with fibromyalgia:
If you have been experiencing pain throughout your body that emanates from one of the tender points mentioned above, and if it has persisted for three or more months, you may be suffering from fibromyalgia.
Our doctors will discuss your symptoms with you to determine what factors could be leading to your discomfort. At this time, a blood test may also be performed to rule out any other possible conditions.
Our treatment plans use a combination of diet & nutritional support, medications, physical therapy, behavioral counseling, and lifestyle changes.
We may prescribe muscle relaxants or pain relievers to alleviate some of your discomfort, and sleep aids to help improve your rest. Our specialists may also use massage and physical exercise to loosen your muscles and connective tissues to remove tension and improve circulation.
As fibromyalgia often leads to higher levels of stress and anxiety, we’ll teach you a variety of relaxation techniques and behavioral changes to help you cope with your pain and the rigors of daily life.