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Living with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Disability (CFS)

By Edited Mar 25, 2014 4 8

Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) has no known cure but there are treatments that can help deal with the symptoms and side effects. For years individuals suffering from CFS [which numbers in the millions and includes both child and adult sufferers] were labeled as hypochondriacs and their complaints warranted little response from most medical professionals. One of the problems that made it difficult to diagnose and even more difficult to recognize as an actual disorder was the wide range of symptoms that a sufferer may experience and the fact that there is no test capable of detecting it.

Possible Symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Disability

A lot of the base symptoms can appear flulike - this includes; joint and muscle pain or aches, sore throat, lymph node tenderness, sleepiness, excessive fatigue after activities requiring above average physical or mental focus, forgetfulness, difficulty focusing. Other symptoms (less common) can include; vision issues, fever, burning and tingling sensations often in the extremities, equilibrium issues such as balance and dizziness - to just name a few.[2969]


Diagnosing CFS

Getting an actual diagnosis can be a difficult process. As stated above there are no tests that can detect chronic fatigue as an absolute cause of the symptoms being experienced. The best way to reach a diagnosis is to eliminate other possibilities. Your doctor can do tests, typically blood and urine tests, to eliminate the possibility that the symptoms are being caused by another diagnosable condition.


Treatment and Coping with a Chronic Fatigue Disability

Your first step in learning how to deal with a chronic fatigue syndrome disability is to understand and recognize what it is. Due to misconceptions in the past, from both general public and medical professionals, some sufferers do not realize that this is an actual diagnosable condition. No longer is this considered to be imaginary symptoms that are "all in ones head". Though many years have passed since publicly being recognized, by some medical professionals, as a legitimate illness or condition - recognition of chronic fatigue syndrome disability on a broader scale is still a work in progress. For this reason it may not be immediately recognizable by your personal physician and if you have yet to be diagnosed or given a diagnosis and you feel your symptoms mimic those of CFS discuss it with your doctor.

Though sometimes it can be out of your control, another important aspect in learning how to deal with chronic fatigue syndrome disability is maintaining a healthy sleep routine. This includes going to bed at a decent hour and allowing yourself enough sleep each night. In getting enough sleep nightly and making healthy sleeping routines a habit you will assist your body in fighting off the symptoms known to accompany and exacerbate CFS. When the body does not get a proper amount of sleep it can incite stress, anxiety, weakened immune systems and fatigue. If falling asleep is a reoccurring issue consider trying relaxation techniques prior to bedtime.

Another option available to those living with chronic fatigue syndrome disability is known as cognitive behavioral therapy. This suggestion comes recommended by the Mayo Clinic and entails working one-on-one with a mental health specialist or a therapist trained in behavioral studies.

Speaking with your healthcare professional may also bring to light other treatment options that can help you cope. These options include prescription medications that can help control, eliminate or reduce symptoms associated with chronic fatigue disability. As with other conditions there's no one treatment that will work for everyone. Some CFS sufferers may find treatment that works for hypotension patients were individuals suffering from emotional disorder such as depression to also work for them in coping with the sometimes debilitating symptoms of chronic fatigue.

Your healthcare professional may also be able to refer you to medical trials for treatment options that are still in study phase. These experimental treatments may include medications you take at home while some may require medical supervision during the trial and entails staying on-site at a medical facility or housing unit. These trials are not open for everyone and certain health and personal requirements may be needed in order to qualify. Talk to your Dr. to find out if this is a possibility for you.

A chronic fatigue disability can be worsened by activities that are either physically or mentally strenuous which makes avoiding such activity a wise decision when living with chronic fatigue syndrome and its symptoms or side effects.

Support Groups Help Those Coping and Living With Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Disability

There are support groups worldwide that were created to bring individuals suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome disability together to help build awareness and support. An online search, a talk with your doctor or a quick call to the local hospital can provide you with support group resources. A lot of bigger hospitals are the meeting ground for support groups for conditions from cancer to depression, chances are there's a support group for CFS near you.

Other Recommended Treatment and Management Options from the CDC

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) suggests the following options for treatment and management of chronic fatigue disability:[2970]

  • Professional Counseling
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) - this treatment is controversial among some of the CFS support groups and sufferers
  • Graded Exercise Therapy (GET)
  • Symptomatic Treatment
  • Alternative Therapies - such as yoga, breathing and relaxation techniques...
  • Support Groups
  • Pharmacologic Therapy
  • Nutritional and Herbal Supplements
  • Sleep Hygiene
  • Pain Therapy
  • Orthostatic Instability Treatment
  • Antidepressants


Alternative Treatments for CFS

Some sufferers of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome disability turn to alternative treatments to help deal with the symptoms associated with the illness. This can include herbal and vitamin supplements, acupuncture, meditation and hypnosis, to just name a few. There is no real evidence that these treatments will assist in relieving symptoms but too few studies to say with any certainty that they do not either. If you look into alternative treatments - [always] talk first with your doctor and if you choose to move forward do so with a positive and open mind. No one treatment works for everyone even with a similar diagnosis so your options should not be limited based on any one result.

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Comments

Apr 11, 2012 9:24am
southerngirl09
Very good article on CFS; so many people suffer from this and suffer alone because their is no specific test for it. I am sure your article will help many. Congratulations on being featured!
Apr 11, 2012 6:50pm
Ascentive
Very impressive article. I didn't know that much about CFS before.

Congratulations on being featured!

~Anja~
Apr 13, 2012 1:06am
neallacy
I have been diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue and it is such a load to deal with. This is a very good article educating others because you just can't know or understand if you don't have it. There is hope! I have been doing a lot of research and trying alternative health therapies and I am getting better little by little.
Apr 13, 2012 1:53am
MomWhoWrites
I worked very closely with someone who suffered with CFS and it was difficult to see what she had to deal with. This was back when it was even more difficult to get anyone to really accept that something was "really" going on. Hopefully we will see more concrete treatment options in the future for those, like you, who deal with this on a regular basis.
Apr 13, 2012 5:51am
Lithium77
Good, informative article, well done.
Apr 13, 2012 1:15pm
toebunkers
my brother had this. He used to sleep 20 hours a day. I'm so glad that he eventually got over it.Good article.
Apr 13, 2012 6:07pm
Prosperity
Very good article...I find the suggestions are quite useful. Nutritional therapy is quite powerful, making a transition to a vegan/vegitarian raw food lifestyle.
Apr 15, 2012 12:20am
mregans
The article is well written. I have had a dear rfiend who seems so long ago we used to enjoy going outdoors and riding our atv's and bikes and having a lot of fun. Now they are the shell of the person they used to be. This is a very difficult disease and I do hope that it gets more attention and help.
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Bibliography

  1. "Chronic fatigue syndrome fact sheet." WomensHealth.gov. 22/9/2009. 2/3/2012 <Web >
  2. "Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) Treatment and Management Options." Centers for DIsease Control and Prevention. 12/03/2012 <Web >

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