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3 reasons why you are always tired and what you can do to stop it

Dr. Lala .A.

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Ever heard of CFS (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome)? probably not.
The other medical names for this condition are;
-Myalgic encephalomyeitis

-Systemic Exertion Intolerance Disease (SEID)

-Chronic Fatigue Immune Dysfunction Syndrome (CFID)

-Post Viral Fatigue Syndrome (PVFS).

What is CFS?
Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a disorder that causes extreme fatigue. This fatigue is not the kind of tired feeling that goes away after you rest. Instead, it lasts a long time and limits your ability to do ordinary daily activities.

What are the causes of CFS?

No one knows what causes CFS. It is most common in women in their 40s and 50s, but anyone can have it. It can last for years.
CFS may be as a result of;
1. Viral infections; Some people develop chronic fatigue syndrome after having viral infections like EBV, HHV6 and mouse leukaemia viruses, consequently it has been suggested that viruses may cause this condition.
2. Immune system problems; may be a cause because the immune system of people with CFS has been found to be slightly impaired.

3. Hormonal imbalances; People who have chronic fatigue syndrome also sometimes experience abnormal blood levels of hormones produced in the brain.

Who are those most likely to have CFS?
Factors that may increase your risk of chronic fatigue syndrome include:
1. Age; CFS can occur at any age, but it most commonly affects people in their 40s and 50s.
2. Sex; Women are more likely to be diagnosed with CFS than men probably because they are more likely to report their problems to the doctor.
3. Stress; If you are engaged in stressful work and you are unable to manage stress properly, you are more likely to develop CFS.

How do I know I may have CFS?
The main symptom of CFS is severe fatigue that lasts for 6 months or more. You also have at least four of these other symptoms:
-Feeling unwell for more than 24 hours after —physical activity
-Muscle pain
-Memory problems
-Headaches
-Pain in multiple joints
-Sleep problems
-Sore throat
-Tender lymph nodes
Other symptoms include; problem with vision, food allergies, difficulty standing upright, depression.

What tests can be done?
There’s no single test to confirm a diagnosis of chronic fatigue syndrome. Because the symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome can mimic so many other health problems, you may need patience while waiting for a diagnosis from your doctor as other diseases will need to be ruled out.

What are my treatment options?
There’s no known cure for chronic fatigue syndrome. However the following have been found to be helpful;
1. Reduce stress; Develop a plan to avoid or limit overexertion and emotional stress. Allow yourself time each day to relax.
2. Improve sleep habits; Go to bed and get up at the same time each day. Limit daytime napping and avoid caffeine, alcohol and nicotine.
3. Pace yourself; Keep your activity on an even level. If you do too much on your good days, you may have more bad days.
4. Graded exercise; Exercise therapy with gradual increase is also beneficial.
5. Diet; People with CFS benefit from a well-balanced diet and eating regularly (eating little and often), including slow-release starchy foods in meals and snacks.
6. Psychological counseling; Talking with a counselor can help you figure out options to work around some of the limitations that CFS imposes on you. Feeling more in control of your life can improve your outlook dramatically.

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Dr. Lala .A. is a graduate of University of Ilorin who also holds a Diploma in Computer Engineering. She is an MDCN (Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria) certified doctor who aspires to be a plastic surgeon involved in creating awareness about women's rights and responsibilities and also training would be surgeons. She is a proud member of various reputable bodies including the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) and Young Africa Leaders Initiative (YALI). She loves to read, write, sleep and play the drums in her spare time.

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