Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is also called myalgic encephalomyelitis and is a chronic, complicated illness impacting around 1 million of those living in the USA. Women get it four times as often as men. Sufferers of chronic fatigue have a hard time completing their daily tasks because of the symptoms they are dealing with. Even simple things like dressing, bathing, or preparing food can be nearly impossible. Care for this condition is very limited, as it is not really understood.
Symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
There are primary or core symptoms that occur in almost all patients with CFS. There are three required to be diagnosed:
- The patient has an extremely lowered ability to do normal activities that he or she could perform before the onset of the syndrome. This happens along with major fatigue and lasts for at least 6 months. This fatigue is different from just being tired. It is described as:
- Not relieved by rest or sleep
- Not a problem before becoming ill
- Not a direct result of unusual or difficult activity
- Symptoms become worse after physical or mental activity that was not a problem before the illness. It is referred to as post-exertional malaise (PEM). CFS patients refer to this as a crash, a relapse, or a collapse. It can take days or weeks to recover. It can cause them to become housebound or even bed ridden. The bad thing is you may never know what causes you to crash. A crash may be caused by simple things you do regularly, but one day they affect you more than other days. Some examples are:
- Going to your child’s school event
- Shopping at the grocery store
- Taking a shower
- The patient has problems getting a good night’s rest. Even after a good night’s rest, those with chronic fatigue often do not feel rested. It may be difficult to fall asleep or stay asleep.
In addition to the above required symptoms, one of the following must be present to be diagnosed:
- Brain fog: Problems with memory and thinking. CFS patients have problems thinking quickly, remembering things, and paying attention to details.
- Orthostatic intolerance: This means your symptoms become worse when you are standing or sitting upright. You may even have visual disturbances, such as blurring or seeing spots.
Other symptoms that may be present with CFS:
- Muscle and joint pain
- New or worsening headaches
- Joint pain without redness or swelling
- Tender lymph nodes in the armpits or neck
- Re-occurring sore throat
- IBS or other digestive issues
- Night sweats and chills
- Allergic reactions or sensitivities to food, chemicals, or noise
To learn more about the connection between head and neck injuries and fibromyalgia download our complimentary e-book by clicking the image below.
An Interesting Discovery about Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
A new study published in Microbiome sheds some interesting light on chronic fatigue syndrome. This study backs up the fact that it is a physical disease with biological causes, not a psychological condition as was believed in the past.
The researchers studied 48 people with CFS and 39 healthy control subjects. They analyzed the types of bacteria and amounts in stool samples. They were also looking for markers indicating inflammation in the patients’ blood. They discovered that the stool samples of those with CFS had a much lower range of species when compared with those of healthy people. This is a similar finding to studies on people who have inflammatory bowel disease.
Another revealing finding was that those with CFS had a higher blood level of lipopolysaccharides. These are inflammatory molecules indicating bacteria has moved from the gut to the bloodstream where they can produce a number of symptoms of various conditions.
When researchers applied these findings to identifying people with CFS, they could accurately identify more than 83 percent of those with CFS. This is exciting news for those who suffer from CFS because finding a biomarker for it is a goal that is constantly being researched. While more research needs to be done, this study is a step in the right direction. It does help scientists and doctors to see there is a biological difference between healthy control subjects and those suffering with chronic fatigue syndrome. This shows that the idea of CFS being a psychological illness should be left far behind.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Ames IA
How the Neck is Connected to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
You may be surprised to learn the upper cervical spine area can be linked to the onset of chronic fatigue, especially if there is a misalignment located in one of the bones here. Ames upper cervical chiropractors, like us here at Read Health Center in Ames, Iowa, are well educated on how a misalignment of either the C1 or C2 vertebra can cause a number of serious health problem throughout the body.
The top bones of the neck were created to act as a protection for the brainstem. The brainstem is a major component of the central nervous system. The central nervous system is responsible for coordinating everything in our bodies — hormones, the sleep-wake cycle, the perception of pain, and many other systems. If a misalignment has occurred in these bones, they can put pressure or stress on the brainstem and cause it to malfunction. This means it cannot properly send signals to the brain about what is going on in the body, resulting in health problems such as chronic fatigue syndrome.
Our upper cervical chiropractors in Ames use a gentle method to help realign the bones of the upper neck. It does not involve cracking or popping the neck but rather naturally encouraging the bones to move back into place. Numerous case studies have confirmed that when this misalignment is corrected, many patients see an improvement or even an elimination of their CFS symptoms.
To schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. Read call our Ames office at 515-233-8880 or simply click the button below.
if you are outside of the local area you can find an Upper Cervical Doctor near you at www.uppercervicalawareness.com.