Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Overview
We have all experienced some level of fatigue during our lifetime, but certain patients experience extreme fatigue or tiredness that is not alleviated with rest. These patients may be affected by a rare health condition known as chronic fatigue syndrome. Chronic fatigue syndrome can be a debilitating condition, causing patients to experience chronic pain, muscle pain, joint pain, frequent headaches and an unrefreshed feeling after sleep. The pain physicians at Pain Recovery Center of Tyler in Tyler, Texas are highly experienced at diagnosing and treating a number of chronic pain conditions, including chronic fatigue syndrome.
Chronic fatigue syndrome is a complicated health condition characterized by extreme fatigue that is not associated with an underlying medical condition. A patient’s fatigue does not improve with rest, but may worsen with mental and physical activity. Certain physicians link the condition with a viral infection, psychological stress or a combination of factors, such as hypotension, a weakened immune system and hormonal imbalances.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Symptoms
Chronic fatigue syndrome is more common in women than men, and most commonly affects adults in their 40s and 50s.
Symptoms vary for each patient depending on the condition’s severity. The hallmark symptom of this health condition is fatigue so severe it interferes with daily activities. Other common symptoms include:
- Chronic pain
- Muscle pain
- Joint pain with no swelling or redness
- Frequent headaches
- Loss of concentration
- Loss of memory
- Chronic insomnia
- Feeling unrefreshed after any duration of rest/sleep
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Diagnosis
To determine if chronic fatigue syndrome is the cause of a patient’s joint pain, muscle pain or chronic pain, a pain physician must rule out other illnesses or health conditions, such as sleep disorders, mental health disorders, hypothyroidism, anemia and diabetes.
In order to be diagnosed with the condition, a patient must not have an underlying medical condition. Patients must also display unexplained, consistent fatigue over 6 months with at least four of the following symptoms:
- Loss of memory or concentration
- Sore throat
- Enlarged lymph nodes in the neck or armpits
- Unexplained muscle pain
- Pain that moves from one joint to another without swelling or redness
- Headache of a new type, pattern or severity
- Unrefreshing sleep
- Extreme exhaustion lasting more than 24 hours after physical or mental exercise
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Treatment
At this time, there is no cure for chronic fatigue syndrome. The goal of treatment is to alleviate symptoms. Patients may be prescribed sleeping pills, antidepressants, physical therapy exercises and psychological counseling.
Patients will also be encouraged by a pain physician to create a healthy sleep schedule, reduce stress and keep activity on an even level at home.
For more resources on chronic fatigue syndrome, or to determine if the condition is the cause of your chronic pain, please contact the Tyler, Texas pain physicians at Pain Recovery Center of Tyler.