Chronic Fatigue Syn…zzz…


Senior Margaret Dunne experiences symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

Senior Margaret Dunne experiences symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
Liza Connor ’13

It is exactly what it sounds like; Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, often referred to as CFS, leaves those affected exhausted and in pain. According to the Medical Encyclopedia, “Chronic Fatigue Syndrome refers to a severe, continued tiredness that is not relieved by rest and is not directly caused by other medical conditions.” Because of the unusual characteristics of CFS, it is difficult to test for and treat.
Everyone gets tired in his or her everyday life. From school to work to physical activities, people experience exhaustion, but those who are afffected by CFS experience exhaustion on a level that makes it difficult for them to carry out daily activities.
“I like to take a nap everyday after school because I’m so tired, but it never crossed my mind that people could be suffering from their fatigue,” senior Meggie Purcell said.
People with CFS have often been diagnosed after experiencing severe fatigue for up to six months, according to Medline Plus. Symptoms of the syndrome include forgetfulness, concentration problems, confusion, depression, irritability, joint paints, unusual headaches, and fevers.
Doctors and scientists alike are searching for what exactly causes CFS. According to PubMed Health, some believe it is a result of inflammation in the nervous system, while others theorize it may be some sort of virus. There are other leading factors, however, that are agreed upon by doctors, like age, stress, genetics, or the environment.
“It sounds like a really complicated disorder, but it also seems like something doctors should be able to figure out,” sophomore Kate Burkett said. “It seems like a pretty extreme problem.”
Because the cause of CFS is not yet known, it is difficult to treat. According to Mayo Clinic, people who have been diagnosed with CFS benefit from sleeping pills, but it is more valuable for people to change their lifestyles. Therapy is an important factor in the lives of those affected by Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Therapists can recommend different exercises and stretches that will help patients build up strength and endurance. In addition, therapists can help on a psychological level through therapy and assisting with life changes.
As a whole, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is extremely difficult to live with, but there are steps people can take in order to help deal with such a diagnosis. According to the Mayo Clinic, reducing stress, improving sleeping habits, and pacing oneself will keep people relaxed, rested and organized.
 – Liza Connor, Arts & Entertainment Editor