(CFS), is a serious disorder known for causing overwhelming fatigue that does not go away with rest or sleep. CFS is considered a close cousin of Fibromyalgia as they share some common characteristics.
Also referred to as myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), CFS can be very debilitating. Oftentimes, it leaves a sufferer confined to bed and incapable of performing daily activities. Reports say 1 out of every 4 people become bedridden or housebound due to CFS/ME. Perhaps the most disruptive thing that can occur when you have CFS/ME is the post-exertional malaise, or PEM. Any physical or emotional activity (even a minor one) may worsen your symptoms.
People who have chronic fatigue syndrome may look healthy physically, but they face a battle each day managing a complicated illness. They have to deal with these challenges every day:
- Inability to accomplish the things they found easy in the past
- Difficulty in carrying out daily tasks, such as preparing food or taking a bath
- The struggle to go to school or work, or have any social or family life
- The risk of being disabled for years
Who Is at Higher Risk for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?
Anyone may develop chronic fatigue syndrome at any time. It can afflict children, adolescents, and adults of all ages. However, it is often reported in adults between 40 to 60 years of age. Women are more at risk than men, and whites are diagnosed more than other ethnicities.
Facts and Statistics on Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
- As many as 836,000 to 2.5 million Americans suffer from CFS.
- CFS costs the United States economy a staggering $24 billion annually in medical bills and lost income.
- About 90% of CFS sufferers remain undiagnosed. The possible reasons for this can be:
- Little is understood about CFS and there is a stigma surrounding it. Many healthcare practitioners do not take the condition seriously.
- CFS/ME is not part of the training for doctors in the United States.
- Medical professionals need more training to allow them to give a better CFS diagnosis.
The exact cause of chronic fatigue syndrome is another mystery in the medical community. No diagnostic test is available to confirm nor deny the existence of chronic fatigue. Doctors need to rule out other conditions with similar symptoms to be able to give a diagnosis. They need to take a detailed patient’s history and comprehensive assessment before they can give a diagnosis.
Common Symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Core symptoms are those primary signs experienced by most CFS patients. To be diagnosed with chronic fatigue, these primary symptoms must be present:
- Fatigue: A huge decrease in ability to perform regular activities that you used to do before the onset of the illness. You must also experience fatigue for more than six months. The fatigue should be more than just tiredness. It must be:
- Not eased by sleep
- Not caused by unusual or strenuous activity
- Not part of your life before the condition
- Sleeping problems: Falling asleep and staying asleep is very difficult to achieve. Even if you feel like you have slept enough, the tiredness associated with CFS will not disappear.
- Post-exertional malaise (PEM): Aggravation of your symptoms after physical or mental exertion that would not have caused you a problem before. CFS sufferers describe this as a collapse, crash, or relapse, and may take days or weeks to get better. During the period, you may be left housebound. Predicting which activities will cause the crash is not possible. Day-to-day activities such as shopping at the mall, driving to work, or simply taking a shower can be incapacitating.
Apart from those symptoms, you must also experience at least one of the following:
- “Brain fog” or the feeling of being stuck in a fog and unable to think clearly. When you’re in this state, you struggle to pay attention to details, remember things, and think quickly.
- Orthostatic intolerance, or the worsening of your symptoms upon standing or sitting upright. It is often accompanied by blurry vision, lightheadedness, weakness, or dizziness.
More symptoms that could be present in chronic fatigue syndrome are listed below:
- Abnormal headaches
- Joint and muscle pain
- Tender lymph nodes in the armpits or neck
- Frequent sore throat
- Sensitivities and allergic reactions to food, odors, and chemicals
- IBS and other digestive problems
Upper Cervical Chiropractic as Natural Care for Chronic Fatigue
A lesser-known but effective relief option for chronic fatigue syndrome is upper cervical chiropractic care. There’s a study that has demonstrated this. It observed and examined 19 patients with CFS who were all given adjustments by an upper cervical chiropractor. The result was amazing! All patients reported improvement in their condition and better health after having their necks adjusted. How was it possible?
One of the contributing factors to the onset of CFS and other conditions is a misalignment in the bones of the upper cervical spine. The C1 and C2 vertebrae, the uppermost bones in this area, protect the brainstem. They are also responsible for the head’s movements in various directions. Due to their location, mobility, and function, they are prone to misaligning. Accidents and injuries can quickly move them out of position. When this happens, instead of protection, they put undue stress to the brainstem. In turn, it sends false signals to the brain. If the brainstem tells the brain that the body is always exhausted, the symptoms of chronic fatigue can persist.
Here at Ricks McClure Chiropractic in Charlevoix, MI, our goal is to gently move the misaligned bones back to their original position. We use a very gentle and accurate technique to achieve this. Our method is safe and painless as we do not crack or pop the neck. Our adjustments are designed to last and stay in place longer. If you prefer the nearest CFS or fibromyalgia treatment clinic in Charlevoix, head to Ricks McClure Chiropractic in Charlevoix, MI, and experience the similar results to those in the study we mentioned above.