Friday, 7 March 2014

What is Chronic Fatigue?

Chronic fatigue is a condition characterised by a persistent feeling of tiredness or weakness. It lasts for more than six months and is not attributed to any specific medical diagnosis. For this reason, it is often misdiagnosed and so it is difficult to determine exactly how many people are afflicted by this condition.

It is often accompanied by one or more of the following symptoms: short-term memory loss or reduction, difficulty concentrating , sore throat, general muscle pain, multiple-joint pain , headaches, insomnia or poor sleep and malaise.

Unfortunately not a great deal is known about the causes of chronic fatigue. Some researchers have suggested that it may be due to a virus but presently there is no evidence to suggest that this is the case.

What is known is that women tend to get chronic fatigue more than men, although this may simply be because they go to see a doctor for it than the men do. In reality, chronic fatigue can occur in men, women, adults, children and any race, income level or geographic area. Hereditary and genetic factors have so far not been found to be associated but in most cases it occurs when people are in their 40s and 50s.

There is no ‘one cap fits all’ treatment for chronic fatigue as doctors tend to employ a combined approach and treat the symptoms as well as help sufferers with a lifestyle change.

Treatment modalities often employed include counselling to develop coping skills, alleviating symptoms like headache, sore throat and muscle pains, cognitive behaviour therapy to help develop habits to manage symptoms, exercise and diet. Some patients have found relief with alternative therapies such as acupuncture, massage and yoga.

Chronic fatigue can certainly be alleviated if you employ strategies that will improve your life and enable you to function at a higher level.

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