Around one million people in the US suffer from a condition called Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and many others have similar issues that aren’t formally diagnosed. Although modern medicine is advanced, it can’t always address such issues because the causes and symptoms are so complex and varied. Here at 1st Choice Acupuncture & Integrative Medicine in Bellevue, WA, we use holistic methods like acupuncture to help you overcome your condition.
But what are the symptoms of CFS, and how do you know you have it? Although the most common and well-known issue is extreme tiredness, there are a host of other physical and emotional responses associated with this syndrome. You might have headaches, flu-like symptoms, and problems focusing at work or school. In today’s post, we will go over all the different symptoms that might indicate CFS and what you can do to resolve this issue.
What Are the Symptoms of Chronic Fatigue?
Almost everyone knows that people who suffer from fatigue syndrome are tired, but there are many other symptoms that you may not be aware of. If you have CFS, you might at first think that you’re just tired because of a situation at work or stress in your personal life, but persistent tiredness, when combined with some other symptoms, could indicate a more serious condition.
We generally distinguish between three stages of CFS. People who have a mild form can still complete all of their daily tasks, although they might have to give up some of their hobbies due to their lack of energy. Those with a moderate level of CFS will start to have problems with their routine activities, and those with a severe condition will be housebound and unable to perform any tasks beyond the basics. It’s crucial to get help as soon as possible.
The most common symptom is extreme tiredness. This can be physical fatigue, which is the inability to do activities like work or studying, but also mental fatigue, which means that sufferers feel worn out and their brain has trouble functioning. You can tell CFS apart from normal tiredness because it doesn’t go away with rest, so you will feel exhausted even when you’ve slept well.
In addition to this, you might also experience a different form of tiredness than you usually would. It might feel more profound, and you’re unlikely to be able to shake it with distraction or healthier habits. Although the level of fatigue can change throughout the day, people with moderate to severe CFS will feel tired almost all of the time.
Some people with CFS also suffer from insomnia and other sleep problems, although this isn’t necessarily the case. If you do have both CFS and insomnia, you won’t be able to fall asleep easily or you will wake up in the middle of the night and be unable to go back to sleep. This can make the extreme tiredness caused by your fatigue syndrome to get even worse, causing a vicious cycle.
Normal insomnia can often be addressed by a change in habits, such as having a very fixed routine your body can get used to, relaxing before bed, removing nighttime stimuli like light or noise, and exercising regularly. If none of these good habits help and your sleep problems persist for more than three months, it’s time to see a doctor and get tested for CFS.
Many people will also experience headaches when they suffer from chronic fatigue. When you visit your doctor about this, they might tell you to take over-the-counter or prescription painkillers, but this will only address the symptom, not the cause, of your pain. You might need to make use of the medicine in the short term, but it’s important that you look for a long-term solution, as well. A more holistic approach might be needed.
Muscle and Joint Pain
The causes of muscle and joint pain related to CFS aren’t very well-known yet, but this is a common symptom. It may be related to inflammation in your body. You can tell that the pain is caused by your fatigue syndrome because you won’t be able to see any swelling, redness, or other outward signs. Instead, your muscles and joints will hurt, but you and others won’t be able to see the issue.
This can make the condition harder to deal with, as you may not be taken seriously by your family, friends, and even certain medical professionals. Like with headaches, you may need to take painkillers in the short term while you’re working on addressing the underlying cause.
Chills, fever, and muscle aches can all occur when you feel constantly tired, and they can contribute to your inability to complete your daily tasks. When you constantly feel like you have a severe cold or the flu, you won’t feel up to doing any work or spending time exercising, which can affect your life in a significant way.
You might also suffer from a sore throat, but there won’t be any swelling or visible signs of a cold. If you have any of these symptoms and they don’t go away after a few weeks, you will need to consult a medical professional. They can tell you whether the issues are related to CFS or whether they have another cause.
Feeling Dizzy or Sick
As a result of your tiredness, you might feel dizzy or even sick. People who have severe CFS often can’t even get out of bed or out of a chair because they will start to experience dizziness when they do. Some people might feel a head rush, others won’t be able to walk straight, and some even run the risk of fainting due to their condition. Like the other symptoms, this can vary by day and also by time of day.
Fast or Irregular Heartbeat
Whether it’s due to the physical symptoms of sleep deprivation and fatigue or the mental anxiety related to the condition, sufferers of CFS often have a racing heart or variations in their heartbeat pattern. This can feel very frightening because the heart is so central to our body’s function, and some patients report that this is the most irritating of their symptoms.
In addition to your physical symptoms, chronic fatigue syndrome will also affect your mental health in a significant way. The most common issue is a lack of concentration and focus, as you won’t be able to keep your mind on the task at hand. Your pain and the extreme tiredness you feel will distract you, often to the point that your work suffers and you can’t achieve the results you used to.
All of these symptoms can be very disheartening, and many people start to experience depression and anxiety related to their CFS. They can’t see a way out because their fatigue is so permanent, and it seems that they are stuck in a destructive loop. If this sounds familiar, you should seek out the help of a kind and compassionate medical professional who will treat you holistically.
How To Address the Condition
Patients who have one or more of these symptoms and it affects their life in a significant way should seek out help as soon as possible to prevent the condition from getting worse. By employing Chinese traditional medicine, you can find out the cause of your symptoms, which often originate in a personal imbalance or the disturbance of your Qi.
Acupuncture can complement this approach by helping your energy flow more easily and clearing away any obstructions. With the help of this method, your body will start to heal itself, and you will notice how you rely on pills and painkillers less and less over time. By addressing the root cause, your issue can start to dissipate, and you can get your quality of life back.
Regain Your Vitality and Quality of Life Today
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is a serious condition because it can affect many different aspects of your life, from your ability to concentrate at work to how well you can sleep at night. You might also experience painful symptoms like headaches, muscle and joint pain, a sore throat, and dizziness. For all of these reasons, it’s important that you get the issue treated as soon as possible.
A combination of Chinese herbal medicine and acupuncture can work wonders for people with CFS because it will help them to let the energy flow once more, and they can let go of the issues that are bothering them. Contact us today at 1st Choice Acupuncture & Integrative Medicine in Bellevue, WA to find out how we can help you overcome your CFS and get back to normal life.