After Hours GP Perth Pro Spotlight on Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Posted: Apr 27, 2019
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or as it is sometimes known Myalgic Encephalitis is a complex condition causing extreme fatigue, pain, issues with sleep and other symptoms. CFS patients often feel extremely tired and overexerted without feeling any relief from an adequate amount of rest. In fact, patients may feel far worse after even a small amount of physical or mental activity. CFS remains a mystery to many, so here the After Hours GP Perth based team have prepared a spotlight to help you determine if you are affected by this complex condition.
The CFS Basics
While CFS is known to affect the nervous system, the true cause of CFS is not yet fully understood. The term "myalgic encephalomyelitis" or ME as CFS is sometimes known translates to the phrase "pain in the muscles." CFS patients can also present with brain and spinal cord inflammation. The condition can develop in both children and adults, affecting any age group, but it is most common in those aged 40 to 60 years old.
While there is a lack of availability on the numbers of people affected by CFS, it is thought that the condition does have a significant impact on Australians.
Research has determined a number of CFS subtypes, which means that management plans are usually individually developed for specific patients.
Approximately a quarter of CFS patients have a mild form of CFS and can perform their regular daily activities with minimal interruption. Half of CFS patients have a moderate to severe type of CFS, which disrupts their day to day routine and the final quarter of patients have a severe form that requires staying at home.
Studies have shown CFS patients responding with different physiological reactions to exercises and activities compared to those without CFS. These abnormal responses include worsening of CFS symptoms such as abnormal exhaustion. Depending on the extent and amount of exercise, this post exertional malaise could last several days, but severe relapses could last weeks.
Since CFS is a complex syndrome affecting multiple systems, leading to a chronic illness, there are symptoms that need to be present to confirm a medical diagnosis of CFS.
Lowered blood pressure and a feeling of dizziness
Muscle and joint pain
Palpitations with shortness of breath and an increased heart rate
Flu like symptoms, such as tender lymph nodes and sore throat
Inability to cope with temperature changes
Gastrointestinal changes, such as diarrhoea, constipation, and nausea
Neurocognitive problems including muscle twitching, memory loss, concentration problems, clumsiness, and vision disturbances.
Symptoms can appear to fluctuate over short periods, and patients can notice symptoms changing hourly.
The Causes of CFS
Although scientists are still researching the biological causes, genetics seem to play a role in CFS cases. Over 4,000 research studies and articles have associated CFS with problems and symptoms including neurological, hormonal and immune system issues, digestion problems, viral and bacterial infections, biochemical abnormalities and issues producing and transporting energy throughout the body.
If you would like to know more about CFS or need a GP After Hours, Perth based After Hours is here to help. The After Hours GP team would be happy to discuss any of your queries or concerns.
If you would like further guidance to improve your health and wellbeing from an after hours GP, Perth residents should call us.