Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is a complex disorder and is characterized by extreme fatigue that does not improve with rest. Unfortunately, the exact cause of this condition is not known. However, it is commonly thought that the symptoms may be due to an immune system disorder or by some type of virus.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is not like the normal fatigue, which occurs due to everyday life. The early sign of this illness is severe fatigue that comes on suddenly, and may be short termed or last for a prolonged period of time (over six months). With this condition you may feel too tired to participate in normal activities, such as work, or sports activities that you have always enjoyed.

Unlike general fatigue the profound weakness felt with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome does not go away with a few good nights of sleep. It instead slowly robs your body of energy over a period of months and sometimes years. It is estimated that approximately 500,000 people in the United States are affected by this condition. This disease most often occurs in adults between the ages of 25-45, and women are twice as likely as men to acquire this condition. In some cases however, this condition does occur in teenagers who have had the mononucleosis virus previously.

Our minds play a big role in what our bodies are sensing. Certain physical illnesses can be made worse or made better depending on emotional factors. Your symptoms of fatigue are real, and are your body’s response to a combination of both emotional and physical factors. In today’s society fatigue is a very common problem and can have many possible causes. It can be caused by stress, lack of sleep, lack of exercise, illness or another health condition. However, fatigue caused by chronic fatigue syndrome will not improve with rest. People who suffer with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome may also experience other problems such as,

F Sore throat

F Tender or painful lymph nodes in the neck or armpits

F Pain that moves from joint to joint, but does not include redness or swelling

F Headaches that are different from the kind you usually get or headaches that make your whole head hurt

F Trouble with short term memory or concentration

F Trouble sleeping

There is no evidence to support that Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is contagious, although some of the symptoms are similar to flu like symptoms.

In some instances chronic fatigue syndrome can be a hard condition to diagnose. There are no lab or imaging tests that can definitely diagnose Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. However, it is very important to work closely with your physician to rule out any other disease or condition that may be causing your symptoms. Medication may be prescribed to reduce your symptoms and allow you to be more active, not cure the fatigue. The lack of any proven effective treatment can be frustrating to both you and your doctors. However, there are certain things that you can do to help treat yourself such as,

F Eat a balanced diet.

F Keep a daily diary to identify times when you have the most energy.

F Keep up some level of activity and exercise.

F Plan your activities for when you have the most energy.

F Ask for support from family and friends. Look for support groups or counseling in your community.

F If your memory and concentration are affected by chronic fatigue, keep lists and make notes to remind yourself of important things. Also, give yourself more time for activities that take concentration.

This condition can be very frustrating and can affect you physically, emotionally and socially. If you have noticed that you have been fatigued for more than six months even when rested or seem to only be able to perform half the things you used to do be sure to schedule an appointment with your family physician. It is important to discuss your symptoms with your health care provider, so that they can correctly diagnose your condition, and help manage your symptoms.

Dr. Glen R. Tessman owns and operates Tessman Family

Chiropractic at 306 Granbury St., Ste. B, in Cleburne.

He can be reached at

817-641-9700 or by e-mail at

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