Chronic fatigue syndrome, whose clinical name is myalgic encephalomyelitis, is a health condition that affects numerous systems in the body. While medical scientists do not know the exact cause of chronic fatigue, it is possible that multiple triggers unite to cause this chronic condition.
In someone with this condition, their fatigue may worsen with physical activity, but getting rest does not help to improve it. There is no single test to either confirm or rule out a diagnosis of chronic fatigue syndrome, but rather a battery of tests will help a doctor to narrow it down by eliminating other conditions with similar symptoms.
Symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
There are a number of common signs that characterize chronic fatigue syndrome, but they do overlap with many other illnesses. Some of the main symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome include:
- A feeling of constant exhaustion that does not improve with rest
- Memory loss
- Difficulty concentrating
- Enlarged lymph nodes in the neck and/or armpits
- Sore throat
- Sudden joint pain or muscle pain
Many infections or psychological disorders can cause fatigue, but these generally go away within a week or so. If the fatigue is consistent and lasts a week or more, or if it has been bothering you for a while, see a doctor for an evaluation.
How Can It Be Diagnosed?
The doctor will test you for similar disorders. A sleep study can help to identify whether or not fatigue is actually caused by a sleep disorder, such as sleep apnea, restless legs syndrome, or insomnia.
Feeling fatigued is a common symptom in medical issues like anemia, diabetes, and an underactive thyroid. Lab tests and blood tests can reveal the presence of these.
The doctor will also see if the fatigue is caused by a problem with your cardiovascular system, as issues with the heart or lungs can cause fatigue. A stress test can gauge those organs’ functionality.
Certain mental health issues can also cause chronic fatigue, such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and even schizophrenia. Your physician will determine whether any of these are contributing factors to your chronic fatigue.
Are There Treatments for Chronic Fatigue?
There is no specific treatment for chronic fatigue syndrome, so your doctor will treat the symptoms you’re experiencing. Doctors often achieve the greatest success in relieving people with chronic fatigue by using a dual approach: both cognitive training and progressive exercise.
Cognitive training involves psychological therapy. Many people also begin with light stretching and range-of-motion activities for a few minutes every day, as guided by a physical therapist. The hope is that, over time, it will lessen your hypersensitivity toward exercise.
Family Doctor in the Dallas-Fort Worth area
If you think that you or someone you love might be suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome or a similar condition, contact our friendly team at Star Medical Associates here in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Dr. Rani Anbarasu has many years of experience and training in how the mind and bodywork together, so she is adept at pinpointing and diagnosing issues and providing treatment that works.
If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment with Dr. Anbarasu, call our Denton office today at (940) 382-6900 or our Frisco office at (469) 301-2300. You can also fill out our appointment request form online now. Let us help you get a handle on your chronic fatigue syndrome and keep it under control for good!