Chronic fatigue syndrome, also called myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS), refers to long-standing severe and disabling fatigue without a proven physical or psychologic cause and without objective abnormalities found on physical examination or laboratory testing.
Unexplained fatigue lasts for 6 consecutive months or longer.
Sometimes symptoms begin during or after an illness that resembles a viral infection.
Although as many as 25% of people report being chronically fatigued, only 0.5% of people (1 in 200) have chronic fatigue syndrome.
Chronic fatigue syndrome affects people primarily between the ages of 20 and 50 and is more often described among young and middle-aged women than men, although it has been noted in people of all ages, including children.
People with chronic fatigue syndrome have real and often disabling symptoms. Chronic fatigue syndrome is not the same as pretending to have symptoms (a disorder known as malingering).
Our individuality or uniqueness as a person, which is influenced by our genetic make-up, upbringing and life situations, is the reason why some people experience fatigue more than others. Homeopathy understands and values this uniqueness.
Do you know …
Homeopathy can help you overcome fatigue quickly and permanently.
In 2015, the Institute of Medicine (now the Health and Medicine Division of The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine) proposed a new name for this disorder, Systemic Exertion Intolerance Disease (SEID)
I don’t think I’d still be around today if it weren’t for Homeopathic medicines. I was sick with an Epstein-Barr virus which led to chronic fatigue, and I couldn’t work effectively for two years.Cherilyn Sarkisian, Queen of Pop
Causes of chronic fatigue syndrome
Despite considerable research, the cause of chronic fatigue syndrome remains unknown. Controversy exists as to whether there is a single cause or many causes and whether the cause is physical or mental, but either way the symptoms are very real to the person.
Some researchers believe the syndrome ultimately will prove to have several causes, including genetic predisposition and exposure to microbes, toxins, and other physical and emotional factors.
Some studies have suggested infection with the Epstein-Barr virus, cytomegalovirus, the bacteria that causes Lyme disease, or Candida (a yeast) as a possible cause of chronic fatigue syndrome. However, current research indicates that these infections do not cause this syndrome. In addition, no evidence indicates that other infections (such as infections due to rubella virus, herpesvirus, or human immunodeficiency virus ([HIV]) are related to the syndrome.
Some people who have recovered from COVID-19 infection are “long-haulers” with persistent symptoms. Some of these symptoms are the result of organ damage from the infection and/or treatment, and others may be from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In addition, in some people, COVID-19 seems to trigger typical chronic fatigue syndrome. Currently, there are limited data and information about the long-term effects of COVID-19, so further studies are needed to determine whether some people with delayed recovery develop chronic fatigue syndrome.
Some minor abnormalities of the immune system are possible. They can collectively be called immune system dysregulation. However, no abnormalities are specifically characteristic of the disorder. People with chronic fatigue syndrome do not have a medically serious problem with their immune system. No evidence indicates that allergies are the cause, although about 65% of people with chronic fatigue syndrome report previous allergies. No hormonal abnormalities or mental health disorders have been shown to cause chronic fatigue syndrome.
Genetic and environmental factors
Chronic fatigue syndrome seems to run in families, possibly supporting a genetic component or an environmental trigger. Alternatively, members of the same family may respond similarly to physical and psychosocial stress and/or may have been exposed to the same substances.
Symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome
Most people who have chronic fatigue syndrome are successful and function at a high level until the disorder begins, usually abruptly, often following a stressful event.
The main symptom is fatigue that usually lasts at least 6 months and is severe enough to interfere with daily activities. Severe fatigue is present even on awakening and persists throughout the day. The fatigue often worsens with physical exertion or during periods of psychologic stress.
However, physical evidence of muscle weakness or of joint or nerve abnormalities is absent. Extreme fatigue may begin during or after recovery from an illness that resembles a viral infection, with a fever, runny nose, and tender or painful lymph nodes. However, in many people, fatigue begins without any such preceding illness.
Commonly may occur together are difficulty concentrating and sleeping, sore throat, headache, joint pains, muscle pains, and abdominal pain. Depression is common, particularly when symptoms are severe or worsening. Symptoms often overlap with those of fibromyalgia, a possibly related disorder.
ME/CFS can prevent people from doing what they usually enjoy and starts to affect the physical, mental, emotional and social well-being. They may develop various physical symptoms. They may stop their activities, withdraw socially, and become preoccupied with health. The mind-body complex is now fully affected and becomes a vicious circle which keeps an individual in suffering mode.
Diagnosis of chronic fatigue syndrome
A doctor’s thorough evaluation which includes physical; mental; emotional; social health and environmental influence. Through this evaluation doctors try to identify the causes, factors modifying it and the impact of such symptoms on the daily life quality of a person.
Doctors also check to see whether symptoms could result from use of a drug or another disorder that can be inter-related, such as anxiety disorder, depression or a sleep disturbance. Doctors also ask whether relatives have had similar symptoms, because disorders tend to run in families.
Doctors ask how the person feels; eats; sleeps and goes through a routine day. Identifying these changes is critical because they can make the situation better or worse and, if present, must be treated for the disorder to be treated effectively.
Laboratory tests to exclude other causes of symptoms. No laboratory tests are available to confirm a diagnosis of chronic fatigue syndrome. Doctors therefore must rule out other diseases that may cause similar symptoms. Sometimes doctors do tests to rule out disorders such as anemia, electrolyte abnormalities, kidney failure, inflammatory disorders (such as rheumatoid arthritis), sleep disorders, or thyroid or adrenal gland disorders. The diagnosis of chronic fatigue syndrome is made only if no other cause, including side effects of drugs, is found to explain the fatigue and other symptoms.
The criteria require that the person have the following 3 symptoms:
A substantial reduction or impairment in the ability to engage in pre-illness levels of occupational, educational, social, or personal activities that lasts for more than 6 months and is accompanied by fatigue, which is often profound, is of new or definite onset (not lifelong), is not the result of ongoing excessive exertion, and is not substantially relieved by rest.
- Symptoms worsened with physical activity.
- Unrefreshing sleep
At least one of the following manifestations is also required:
- Difficulty thinking
- Feeling of light-headedness or dizziness when standing up that is relieved by lying down
The frequency and severity of the symptoms should be assessed by a doctor. If people do not have these symptoms at least half of the time with moderate, substantial, or severe intensity, doctors reconsider the diagnosis of chronic fatigue syndrome.
Criteria for diagnosis are important mainly because they help doctors communicate clearly with each other when they study a problem. However, when treating a specific individual, doctors focus more on that person’s symptoms rather than the criteria.
Homeopathic Treatment of chronic fatigue syndrome
After a thorough evaluation, each case is worked upon and a set of similar medicines is derived from which one single medicine which fits the patient’s presentation at that time, in relevant intensity and repetitions is given.
Some need only one medicine throughout the duration of treatment and some need few in sequence one after another across the treatment.
Timely follow-ups are essential to keep moving forward towards the goal of treatment and to identify, manage and overcome any obstacles to the outcome.
Outcome of Individualized Homeopathic Treatment
With Individualized Homeopathic treatment focused on the person who is suffering, the outlook is as follows:
- Relieves stress.
- Boosts metabolism
- Improves sleep.
- Improves alertness.
- Relieves fatigue.
- Restores function.
- Better moods
- Improves quality of life
Each person is unique and hence the time taken for treatment and the results achieved are also unique.
Try to consult a well-qualified professional homeopath who practices adhering to the tenets of Hahnemannian Homeopathy for Best Outcomes.