By Ben Greenwood
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), also known as ‘Myalgic Encephalomyelitis’ (ME), is a form of illness in which the sufferer continuously feels fatigued and is not aided by sleep or rest. Whilst there is no recorded cure for CFS, there are plenty of treatments available to soothe the symptoms. Though the effects will cease over a prolonged period of time, the symptoms associated with CFS can be quite restricting to the victim, and some are listed here:
As with many illnesses, one of the earliest indicators of CFS is nausea; it’s likely that the onset of CFS will inflict flu-like symptoms on the sufferer, quickly followed by a persistent fatigue that will not go away. These are the first signs of the syndrome starting to act and there are a number of additional effects that it can cause, with some people experiencing more than others.
The term ‘myalgic encephalomyelitis’ means pain within the muscles and inflammation of the brain and spinal cord; so another effect of the syndrome is particularly sore muscles throughout the body, rendering the victim unable to do much in terms of daily chores and activities. This lack of social activity can cause psychologically-jarring effects as well, such as depression, irritability, anxiety and panic attacks. The isolation from family and friends means that the victim usually won’t even be able to get out of bed, due to tired and aching muscles and the lack of motivation.
Other short term effects include loss of concentration and in some cases, loss of memory for specific periods. Physical effects can range from migraines to sore throats, the usual symptoms of a bad cold/flu; however the addition of rest does not hinder these symptoms, which can cause further issues with more important organs.
Palpitations, an increased heart-rate and shortness of breath in certain situations is likely to occur in more severe cases and the body is sometimes unable to adapt to sudden changes in temperature or the victim may begin to suffer from allergies which they have not experienced before.
In regards to long-term effects, many symptoms of CFS begin to clear up with the passage of time, but the illness can still take its toll. Though the fatigue may not be as persistent, it’s likely that it will still remain and be activated after strenuous activities and excessive assertion. Away from the physical effects, and in addition to the social problems it can lead to, CFS also affects those who cannot earn a living and have to get by on disability benefits. Younger sufferers may have problems at school and have to be independently educated which can naturally affect their social growth as well as their academic balance.
CFS can affect anyone, at any age, of any background; though the effects and symptoms can vary, the social and personal hindrance it sets on the victim is the most drastic. It is an unusual illness which can work in very unusual patterns and this can really affect a person’s life and work. Though it can’t be cured, it can be softened through treatments, special diets and pain managements, and it doesn’t have to control your life.
About the Author: Ben Greenwood is writing on behalf of