For years people thought Chronic fatigue was not real. They thought it was all in the patients head or it was caused by depression. Finally over the last couple years some serious research is being done on it.
Here’s what they found out so far – It may be an autoimmune disease. One research study recently found that the B immune cells might be going wacky in CF patients. When they gave the patients in the study a drug to suppressed that cell their CF symptoms went away http://discovermagazine.com/2013/may/01-are-b-cells-to-blame-for-chronic-fatigue-syndrome
The gray matter in our brain is reduced. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15955487
We have some 7 funky proteins in our spinal fluid that normal people don’t have – http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2011/02/umdnj_report_identifies_protei.html
They have found that we have inflammation in our brain – http://healthyliving.msn.com/health-wellness/brain-scans-spot-possible-clues-to-chronic-fatigue-syndrome-1
And they have found when we exercise our bodies muscles do not repair themselves like normal people. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2680051/
What does that all mean?
Here is a list of symptoms from the CDC webpage –
The fatigue of CFS is accompanied by characteristic illness symptoms lasting at least 6 months. These symptoms include:
• increased malaise (extreme exhaustion and sickness) following physical activity or mental exertion
• problems with sleep
• difficulties with memory and concentration
• persistent muscle pain
• joint pain (without redness or swelling)
• tender lymph nodes in the neck or armpit
• sore throat
The symptoms listed above are the symptoms used to diagnose CFS. However, many CFS patients and patients in general may experience other symptoms, including:
• brain fog (feeling like you’re in a mental fog)
• difficulty maintaining an upright position, dizziness, balance problems or fainting
• allergies or sensitivities to foods, odors, chemicals, medications, or noise
• irritable bowel
• chills and night sweats
• visual disturbances (sensitivity to light, blurring, eye pain)
• depression or mood problems (irritability, mood swings, anxiety, panic attacks)
No one knows for sure yet how you get the disease or how to treat it. Once I was diagnosed the Drs told me I was on my own because they didn’t know enough about it. For me I have found some things that helped. I changed my diet. I no longer eat anything with preservatives, sugar or caffeine in it. I started doing things daily to relax my over stimulated nervous system. I play classical music. I mediate. I burn lavender smelling candles.
I have okay days and I have bad days. After four years with it I’m doing a lot better over the last year and a half. My brain has been clear enough that I can write again which is the best news. But I still can’t tolerate much physical activity. I miss exercising, going for a walk, swimming. One day I hope to get well enough I can do those things again.
On good days I still feel tired like I haven’t slept for three days and sort of sick like I have a touch of the flu. I’m 70% mentally there. I can read, I can write. I can walk around. I have to take a lot of breaks and rest during the day, but I can function.
On the bad days – I can’t think straight, I feel like I have the worst flu of my life (I sort of ache all over and I’m so exhausted) and I’m so sick I have to lay down all day in bed. I can’t concentrate enough to write or read. But there are a lot more good days lately than bad days. Which is the best news.
So there you have it. Now you know a ton of stuff about Chronic fatigue. The next time you hear someone dismiss it or act like it’s not a real disease you can speak up and help us spread the word. It’s a real disease! 😉
Over and out,