Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
By Mariana Diniz
Chronic fatigue syndrome (CSF) is a condition characterized by severe fatigue which is not necessarily caused by any underlying medical condition and that lasts for more than 6 months. The fatigue does not improve with rest and may get worse after physical or mental exertion.
There is no single test for diagnoses for the syndrome – medical tests are used to rule out other conditions like adrenal exhaustion, hypothyroidism, malabsorption disorders, hormonal imbalances, lupus, multiple sclerosis, major chemical depression and others.
The main symptoms, in addition to the fatigue that significantly interferes with daily activities, are poor memory or concentration, frequent or recurring sore throat, enlarged and sore lymph nodes in neck or armpit, muscle pain without apparent reason, pain that moves from one joint to another without swelling or redness, headaches, unrefreshing sleep and extreme exhaustion lasting more than 24 hours after physical or mental exercise. The symptoms may not present all at once and some people will not have some of them at all, but the criteria for diagnosis is to present with at least 4 of the symptoms above.
There are many theories addressing possible triggers chronic fatigue syndrome, from viral infections to emotional and psychological stress and even though the cause is unknown it is believed that CSF arises from a combination of factors.
The main contributing factors are:
• Viral infections – provoking the immune system imbalances
• Hormonal imbalances – Thyroid/ Endocrine disruptors/ Adrenal – HPA axis
• Sleep disorders – Chronic sleep deprivation
• Toxicity and poisoning – Medications/ Heavy metals/ Pesticides/ Tooth canals
• Psycho-Social – Depression/ anxiety
• Gastrointestinal disorders – nutritional deficiencies/ malabsorptions syndromes ! • Auto-immunity/ immune system dysregulation