The cause of this complicated disorder is unknown although there are many theories, ranging from viral infections to psychological stress with some experts believing Chronic Fatigue Syndrome might be triggered by a combination of factors.
CFS cannot be diagnosed easily and is usually identified by ruling out other health issues with similar symptoms. Treatment is usually based on the relief of these symptoms.
As I am not a doctor, this article is therefore about chronic fatigue
Most people feel overtired from time to time, and these temporary episodes of fatigue usually have an identifiable cause which means it’s more likely to find a remedy.
Alternatively, chronic fatigue is more long-term and has a greater effect.
It’s a nearly constant state of weariness that develops over time to diminish your energy and mental capacity, therefore impacting your psychological and emotional well-being.
Fatigue isn’t the same thing as sleepiness (although it’s often accompanied by a desire to sleep), and a lack of motivation to do anything else.Sometimes fatigue is a symptom of a medical problem that requires medical treatment, however it can usually be traced to the habits that form your way of living.
Once you have identified that fatigue is an issue for you, it’s a good idea to take a look at yourself and your lifestyle, to see if there are any obvious causes for your fatigue and what you can do to help the situation.Look at the amount of water you are drinking as dehydration can make you feel tired and lethargic
Do you sleep at night? Are you gutting enough rest?
What are you eating and when?
What stressors do you have in your life and what can be done to mitigate them?
When in your day could you take a few minutes to take a step back from whatever is going on to relax, take a few deep breaths and think?
Have you put any “you’ time in your diary recently?
Do you need a break? – a few days off the hamster wheel of your life or a ‘proper’ holiday? Sometimes even booking can make you feel better.
Do you ever take the time to exercise?
You may decide to seek help if:
You have done the above, made some changes and your fatigue persists
You have persistent severe headaches
* You have chronic pain
You start to feel unable to get out of bed in the morning
You recognise you have stressors that you cannot fix on your own
Future articles will look at other aspects of fatigue, such as sleep, eating and nutrition.