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It appears to be less common in Asian-Americans. Studies from the U. Although most cases of chronic fatigue syndrome do not occur during epidemics, at least 30 outbreaks of chronic fatigue syndrome have been reported, during which many people in the same area suddenly developed the illness at the same time. However, health experts have failed to identify a cause for their chronic fatigue syndrome symptoms.

Brain research sheds light on how fatigue becomes chronic

The most prominent symptom of chronic fatigue syndrome is an unexplained feeling of fatigue, which is not relieved by rest. In addition, the diagnosis requires that patients should have at least four of the following symptoms that also are present for at least six months:. People with chronic fatigue syndrome often have other symptoms that are not part of the official definition of the illness, such as nausea and difficulty tolerating alcoholic beverages or medicines that act on the brain.

Many people also have allergies, such as hay fever allergic rhinitis or recurring sinus problems. About half of people with chronic fatigue syndrome develop depression in the months and years after their illness starts. However, available evidence indicates that chronic fatigue syndrome is not a psychiatric illness. Rather, it appears to be a physical illness that leads to depression in some people.


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  • My daily routine living with . . . chronic fatigue syndrome.

Although there is a lot of evidence that chronic fatigue syndrome is caused by a physical problem involving the immune system, energy metabolism and the nervous system, there is no laboratory test or procedure to confirm the diagnosis. Until a better way is found, doctors must diagnose chronic fatigue syndrome based on whether a person has the symptoms of the illness and by eliminating other illnesses that can cause long-lasting fatigue.

For this reason, your doctor will ask about symptoms of other fatigue-causing illnesses including:. Your doctor will examine you and assess your mental status.

Some basic blood tests may be ordered, such as a red blood cell count hematocrit ; white blood cell count and differential white blood cell count, thyroid, kidney and liver tests. Additional, more specialized testing may be needed, including testing of your autonomic nervous system.

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To be diagnosed as chronic fatigue syndrome, symptoms must last for at least six months. Unfortunately, in many people, symptoms persist for years. Symptoms tend to be worst in the first one to two years, and most people's level of functioning gradually improves over time. However, only a small percentage of people recover to full health. There is no proven treatment for chronic fatigue syndrome.

Fatigue and tiredness with brain tumours

Both gradual aerobic exercise programs and cognitive behavioral therapy — counseling designed to change beliefs about the condition — improve level of function, but neither cures the illness. In patients with a similar condition, fibromyalgia, low doses of tricyclic drugs have been shown to improve symptoms, probably by improving a sleep disorder that is part of the illness. No one approach is best for everyone with chronic fatigue syndrome, and the condition rarely is cured. Call your doctor if you have symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome, especially if extreme fatigue prevents you from fully participating in activities at home, work or school.

People with chronic fatigue syndrome usually experience their most severe symptoms in the first one to two years of illness. After that time, a small number of people recover totally, and a smaller number become totally incapacitated.

My daily routine living with . . . chronic fatigue syndrome

For most people, there is gradual improvement, although they usually do not achieve the level of activity they were capable of before becoming ill. Recovery tends to be less likely among people who:. In simpler terms, this means there is a lack of calcium in the cells and in the cells ion channels, which affects their ability to function properly. Calcium ions are critical for a whole range of biochemical and genetic functions, and affected cells can be present in the cardiovascular, neurological, muscular, immune and other systems of the body. Which is why there's such a large spectrum of symptoms and severities among those living with the condition.

Professor Staines said they "still have some way to go before we get a diagnostic test," but he's confident a test will be ready in the future.

‘It was like being buried alive’: battle to recover from chronic fatigue syndrome

There's still a lot of doctors who don't understand it," she told Hack. Representatives from all sides of politics turned up to support research into the disease, including Greens Senator Jordan Steele-John. Such treatments have been discredited in the treatment of the disease, and supporters and sufferers hope the latest research goes a long way to lower the stigma of "just being lazy".

Lyn is hopeful the discovery will help her community gain access to better support and treatments.


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