What is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is a condition in which general malaise and chronic fatigue that significantly impair daily life do not recover even after resting and continue for an extended period of 6 months or longer.

At the same time, infectious disease-like symptoms such as fever, lymphadenopathy, and sore throat, collagen disease-like symptoms such as headache, myalgia, arthralgia, weakness, sleep disorders, decreased thinking ability, depression, and anxiety, and various symptoms, also appear.

Chronic fatigue syndrome, also known as myopathic encephalomyelitis, is a disease concept proposed by the CDC (National Center for Disease Control) in 1988 as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS).

On the other hand, the same pathological condition is called ME (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis) in the United Kingdom and Canada. In recent years it is often described together with ME / CFS.

There are also reports that people prone to chronic fatigue syndrome have distinct psychological characteristics. The causes of the syndrome have not been clarified, but recent research has gradually revealed how it causes illness.

In our body, the autonomic nervous system, the hormonal system, and the immune system work balanced. However, when stress causes abnormalities in the autonomic nervous system, and hormonal system and the immune system is weakened, the virus latent in the body is reactivated.

Then, the body becomes overproduced with immune substances to suppress the reactivated virus.

This overproduced immune substance affects the brain’s work and causes inflammation of the brain. And the theory that inflammation of the brain causes a strong feeling of fatigue and various symptoms is predominant.

Therefore, chronic fatigue syndrome has been described as “myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome” and inflammation of the brain.

What is the difference from normal tiredness?

Normal fatigue can be relieved by getting enough rest, such as a good night’s sleep and a well-balanced diet, and by supplementing with the missing nutrients.

 What are the diagnostic criteria for chronic fatigue syndrome?

Fatigue in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is fatigue that does not recover even with adequate rest. The diagnostic criteria for chronic fatigue syndrome in SEID list three symptoms as essential conditions.

  • With chronic fatigue with a definite onset time, a significant decrease in pre-illness employment, educational background, social and personal activity levels is observed for more than six months.
  • Extreme fatigue that worsens after exertion.
  • Sleep disorders (sleep without a feeling of deep sleep or recovery)

  In addition, any of the following two symptoms is also a diagnostic criterion.

  • The decline in cognitive function
  • Orthostatic intolerance

 However, since the syndrome does not have exclusion criteria and a high prevalence rate, additional items may be added to establish clinical diagnostic criteria.

Treatment of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

No cure for chronic fatigue syndrome has been established at this time, but the following treatments are being considered:

  • Antioxidant therapy
  • Immunostimulatory therapy (Chinese medicine, etc.),
  • Psychotherapy (SSRI, antidepressant, antidepressant, etc.)
  • Psychotherapy (cognitive behavioral therapy, etc.)
  • Exercise therapy
  • In reality, drug therapy centered on Chinese medicine is often performed.
  • As an accompanying symptom, analgesics are prescribed for body pain and headache, gastrointestinal drugs for gastrointestinal upset, and sleep-inducing agents for sleep disorders.
  • These drugs do not cure the syndrome fundamentally but are just “symptomatic treatments” to get rid of the symptoms.
  • It may be shown that “antioxidant treatment” and “anti-inflammatory treatment” are effective in the future.
  • For example, it has been reported that treatment with supplements such as vitamin C and coenzyme Q10, which have antioxidant effects, effectively prevents cell damage caused by inflammatory substances such as inflammatory cytokines and active oxygen in the body.
  • It is necessary to supplement minerals and vitamins related to energy metabolisms, such as iron and B vitamins, as a treatment.

In recent years, as a new treatment for depression, TMS treatment (transcranial magnetic stimulation method) certified in June 2019 is being studied for fatigue syndrome.

To prevent Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

The cause of the syndrome is not yet known, and no preventive measures have been established. However, mental and physical fatigue accumulates when high-stress conditions continue. If you fall into a state of chronic fatigue, your immune system will be weakened, and you will be more likely to have physical and mental disorders. If you feel tired, try to take rest frequently. From a molecular nutritional point of view, it is also possible to regard chronic fatigue as mitochondrial dysfunction. Chronic fatigue manifests itself when mitochondrial function declines and cells do not get enough of the energy they need.

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