Do you suspect you may be suffering from chronic fatigue? Do you know what the symptoms are?
Chronic fatigue syndrome is characterized by an extreme physical and mental tiredness that does not improve with rest or even getting enough hours of sleep.
Another problem with this type of fatigue is that it gets worse when you do physical activity of any kind.
There still is no consensus as to what causes chronic fatigue syndrome.
With this condition, you’ll end up having to significantly cut back on activity and your daily life will be affected.
Unfortunately, the syndrome is often missed and confused with other disorders. This can lead people with this disorder to feel misunderstood and isolated.
What is known, though, is that anybody can experience the syndrome, regardless of age, race, where they live, or any other personal characteristic.
Today, we want to shed some light on the subject by looking at some of the most common symptoms.
1. You feel excessively exhausted
This symptom is not regular tiredness after a long day of work; it’s more than that.
- It’s a feeling of total exhaustion, down to every bone and muscle in your body.
- It makes it almost impossible for you to do any mental or physical activity.
If you let the disorder take over your life, you may find yourself dealing with other problems like obesity and conditions that come along with it.
2. Problems falling or staying asleep
Even though you are very tired, another symptom of chronic fatigue syndrome is serious trouble sleeping.
With this condition, you’re kept in a state of alert that keeps you from a good night’s sleep. In addition, when you wake up you get the feeling that you haven’t slept at all.
You can try different methods to help you fall asleep, but they won’t do much if you have chronic fatigue.
3. Trouble concentrating
The exhaustion isn’t just physical; it’s mental, too.
With chronic fatigue, you become forgetful, absent-minded, and even simple things feel hard.
If you’ve had these symptoms for a while now, it’s time to stop and check whether you are experiencing the other symptoms mentioned here.
4. Social isolation
When you have chronic fatigue, social obligations like family get-togethers or going out with friends turn into a chore. Thus, you probably avoid, postpone, or just cancel them altogether.
This causes other emotional disorders, since isolation can lead to depression.
5. You can’t stand for long periods of time
Another sign of chronic fatigue syndrome is that the tiredness you feel gets worse. In addition, the blood flow to your brain is reduced if you are standing.
This is a problem especially for people who have to stand all day for work.
6. Recurring pain
One of the most bothersome symptoms of chronic fatigue is frequent pain in one or several parts of your body, including:
- Joint pain
- Muscle pain
- Throat pain
One defining characteristic of the pain is that it’s not a result of inflammation or trauma.
7. Muscle weakness
In addition, muscle weakness is another symptom of chronic fatigue and is usually felt in the legs and arms.
Walking long distances or lifting even light objects turn into almost impossible activities.
Not everybody with the syndrome experiences this symptom. However, some people with chronic fatigue experience fever.
Remember that a fever always means that something is not right in your body, even if you don’t know what it is.
9. Mood changes
Irritability or confusion is one of the most common signs of chronic fatigue.
The reason is that the other symptoms make you feel annoyed or overwhelmed, and this manifests in mood swings.
Diagnosing chronic fatigue
As you’ve seen, the symptoms of chronic fatigue symptom are very general and similar to what you’d see with other conditions.
Therefore, specialists often begin by ruling out disorders like fibromyalgia or depression before considering chronic fatigue.
That’s why you must be very careful when you talk to your doctor and explain every symptom you’ve noticed with as much detail as possible.
Pay special attention to the length of time you’ve been experiencing them because when you talk about chronic fatigue, the symptoms have to have been present for at least 6 months.
Since it’s not clear what the cause of chronic fatigue syndrome is, treating it involves treating the particular symptoms of each individual.