What is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is a complex illness impacting multiple systems in the body. CFS has also been referred to as Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME). A hallmark characteristic of CFS is an overwhelming and persistent fatigue that doesn’t improve with rest, lasting for at least six months. Because people with CFS may not look sick on the outside, it is commonly referred to as an “invisible illness” and many go to multiple physicians before receiving diagnosis. Not to be confused with tiredness, CFS is a deep-seated full-body physical and mental fatigue resulting in an inability to perform previously ordinary tasks.
What are the symptoms of chronic fatigue?
While the hallmark characteristic of CFS is debilitating fatigue, there are other symptoms that frequently occur in addition to this. These symptoms may include the following:
- Difficulties with sleep
- Muscle and joint pain
- Brain fog and poor memory
- Worsened fatigue after minimal physical or mental activity – called post-exertional malaise (PEM)
- Digestive issues
- New sensitivities to foods, smells, light, noise, or chemicals
What causes chronic fatigue?
CFS can have a number of potential contributing causes, such as chronic infections, hormonal imbalances, intestinal permeability (leaky gut), nutritional deficiencies, poor indoor air quality, and environmental toxins (such as heavy metals).
How is chronic fatigue treated?
The first step in treating chronic fatigue is to identify all potential causes. After collecting a full medical history from the patient and documenting all of the symptoms they’re experiencing, Dr. Thomas tests to identify contributing factors. Based on the evidence revealed by the testing, Dr. Thomas works with the patient to design a custom treatment plan to address the specific issues influencing their condition.