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What is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?

Perhaps you have been from doctor to doctor and browsed countless books or websites trying to understand and reduce your symptoms. Maybe it has taken a very long time to receive the diagnosis of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). You may feel tired of not being taken seriously by friends, family and even doctors. You may feel weary of being judged by others as being lazy or as a hypochondriac. In fact chronic fatigue syndrome affects 250,000 people in the UK. It is characterised by chronic and persistent fatigue that does not go away with rest or sleep. It is unclear what causes CFS but some factors may be: immune system issues, viral infections, an imbalance of hormones, or psychiatric issues such as emotional trauma or acute stress.

Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is also known as ME or Myalgic Encephalomyelitis. Experts differ on which term to use. Some believe that ME is more accurate as fatigue is not the only syndrome. It is more likely to affect women than men and those in their early 20’s to mid 40’s. Young people can also be affected. The impact of CFS can be mild, moderate or severe. In mild cases the individual continues to function, working and socialising however with the increased need to rest. In moderate cases the individual needs to make significant changes such as reducing working hours, in order to function. In the most severe cases, assistance may be needed to carry out day-to- day activities and the individual may even be bed-ridden.

Symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

  • Persistent and chronic fatigue that does not improve after rest or sleep
  • Muscular pain
  • Joint pain
  • Headaches
  • Painful lymph nodes
  • Insomnia
  • Digestive issues such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
  • Sensitivity to light, noise, alcohol or other substances
  • Depression
  • Dizziness
  • Excessive sweating
  • Difficulty controlling body temperature

 

Treatment approaches to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
  • Graded exercise therapy
  • Medication

 

Psymplicity Healthcare approach to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

We have highly skilled and experienced CBT practitioners and counselling psychologists in our team who are trained to work with those suffering from CFS. Although they cannot cure you of CFS, they can help you feel less stressed by managing the symptoms more effectively. Feeling stressed can exacerbate symptoms. Professor Chalder of Kings College University has conducted extensive research into CFS. This indicates that the way we cope with CFS symptoms can perpetuate them. For example, too much resting which some experts advise for CFS, can lead to weak muscles, which in turn leads to more fatigue. The latest research suggests that continuing to exercise moderately is more likely to promote recovery from CFS. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy can be used to assist with identifying triggers for fatigue and also for re-evaluating beliefs that prevent recovery including concerns about the impact of exercising. Acceptance and Comm

At Psymplicity Healthcare, our caring practitioners have specific experience and a proven track record working with those experiencing chronic fatigue syndrome . They are ready and willing to discuss your specific symptoms, as each person is different,  and to collaborate on a tailor-made treatment plan that suits your needs and is adapted to your pace. They will support you patiently and steadily as you take gradual yet steady steps towards increased health and wellbeing.

 

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