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What is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?


Marianna Hernandez

Imagine waking up one morning and having absolutely no energy to get out of bed. Imagine feeling so fatigued that you can't even move your body. Imagine living each day with throbbing, pulsating headaches that never cease. Imagine feeling constantly repressed
because you just can't seem to concentrate or think clearly.

Imagine having to sleep dozens of hours a day and still wake up feeling unrefreshed; having your muscles and joints constantly bother you with killer pains. Imagine having your whole life put on hold and all your dreams and expectations just shattered in one
simple moment.

Now, imagine, going to the doctor to find out what you have, and after doing millions of tests, the doctor tells you that you have absolutely nothing and that it's all in your head. Frustrating isn't it?
Well, I go through this every day, and especially during dad days, that's when I really feel bedridden.

I have suffered with this for two years and never completely recovered.

What is it??

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Today, over 10 million people suffer with a very mysterious chronic illness referred to as "Chronic Fatigue Syndrome". The most common symptoms of this illness are debilitating fatigue, malaise, headaches, sore throat, tender lymph nodes, unrefreshing sleep,
loss of memory and concentration, joint & muscle pain, etc.

Starting from the 1980's, this illness has become a national epidemic. The cause for this illness is yet to be found. Because of its terrible uncertainty, many medical physicians doubt its real existence and treat CFS patients with great scepticism. This causes a lot of CFS sufferers a great deal of frustration. Many sufferers become so depressed and so fatigued that they no longer have the ability to function workwise, causing hundreds to lose their jobs, quit school, get divorced, and even attempt suicide. 

Three CFS patients have been reported dead, one of them by suicide. Since Chronic Fatigue Syndrome usually starts off as a
viral infection, such as the flu, it is suggested that the primary cause of this disease is some type of a virus or stress, which triggers the onset. 

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is an immune dysfunction disorder.
Therefore, it is also believed that it has an immunology origin. This illness has been closely associated with mononucleosis and Epstein-Barr Virus for years. However, as more and more research has been done, that theory has been proven false.

There are some possible treatments for this disease, but many have no proven effectiveness. The most helpful treatment besides herbal remedies, such as Gingko Biloba, Echinacea, Siberian Ginseng, is
developing coping skills. 

The most important thing for a CFS patient is to recognize and understand his/her illness and learn to ways to deal with it. There are also many books written on this topic, many support
groups which help CFS sufferers to communicate with each other and a number of specialized doctors and research centers that try tirelessly to come up with a possible cure for this debilitating disease.

Even though we do not know the cause or a possible cure for this disease, we have to try to keep hoping that there will be one in the near future. For now, the only practical thing that CFS sufferers can do is to learn to deal with their illness and cope with it as much as they can. Even if a lot of CFS sufferers take a lot of long and painful years to recover, if they recover at all that is, some do get better and recover very fast.

Hopefully, some day there shall be a resolution to this terrible mystery, and modern medicine will finally find a cure for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

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