Whether you have recently been diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome or have a loved one who is battling with it, the more you know about this health condition, the better. While much is still to be learned about chronic fatigue syndrome, there is also a lot of information that just isn’t common knowledge yet. We’re going to address 9 things that most people don’t know about chronic fatigue syndrome. The last of these 9 is a natural form of care that is bringing hope of improved quality of life to those who suffer from this chronic health condition.
#1 It Can Be Debilitating
If you think chronic fatigue is just about not getting enough sleep or doing too much, you are mistaken. Chronic fatigue syndrome does involve exhaustion and low energy levels, but the issue isn’t corrected by proper sleep or by doing less. At best, those are just ways to keep the condition from flaring up. Unfortunately, many chronic fatigue syndrome patients are unable to work, and some become bedridden if the condition is left unchecked.
#2 Chronic Fatigue Is Not the Only Symptom
Chronic fatigue syndrome is often confused with fibromyalgia. This is because fibromyalgia can present with fatigue and chronic fatigue syndrome does include many other symptoms such as chronic pain and cognitive problems (attention and memory). Other chronic fatigue symptoms include sleep disturbances and balance problems.
#3 It Is a Long Diagnosis Process
Because the symptoms of chronic fatigue are so similar to other conditions, it can take months to get a diagnosis. In fact, if you haven’t been having fatigue issues for over 6 months, a doctor is unlikely to even think about a chronic fatigue diagnosis. There is no shortcut to getting a diagnosis because there isn’t a definitive blood test to determine if you have the condition.
#4 It Is Probably One of the Must Underdiagnosed Conditions
Again, going back to how long it takes to get a diagnosis and how many similar conditions are out there, many do not wait around for an official diagnosis. According to the Institute of Medicine, there might be 2.5 million chronic fatigue syndrome patients in the US if they could just get diagnosed.
#5 Symptoms May Not Be Constant
Chronic fatigue seems to be able to go into remission on its own. It is not unheard of for a patient in his or her 20s or 30s to see symptoms dissipate only to have symptoms return a decade or two later. Even while chronic fatigue is still active, a person can have good days and bad days depending on whether any circumstances are encountered that can trigger a flare-up (usually exertion-related).
#6 Many Doctors Know Little About Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Unfortunately, there is not much written in medical books about this topic. As a result, your primary care physician may not even know what to look for to make a diagnosis. Because of this, many patients get bounced around to several doctors before being officially diagnosed with chronic fatigue.
#7 There Are No FDA Approved Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Treatments
If a doctor gives you a pill for your chronic fatigue, it is considered off-label use because the FDA has not approved any drugs for this condition. Most medications that are provided are used to attack particular symptoms such as sleep issues or balance problems.
#8 Graduated Exercise May Help
While physical exertion can wipe out a chronic fatigue syndrome patient for days at a time, a little bit of exercise can help to reduce pain levels and build up toleration levels. Graduated exercise involves starting with the simplest of physical activities, such as stretching, and gradually working your way up. When done properly, this may help a patient to be able to eek out a few productive hours per day.
#9 Upper Cervical Chiropractic Has Helped Many
In one case study, chronic fatigue syndrome patients saw an improvement in their quality of life after receiving upper cervical chiropractic care. What is upper cervical care and how may it help a chronic fatigue syndrome sufferer?
Upper cervical chiropractic is a subspecialty in the chiropractic field that involves precise and gentle adjustments of the C1 and C2 vertebrae at the top of the spine right where the brainstem meets the spinal cord. Misalignments in this sensitive area can have a wide range of effects on the body and may be responsible for many of the symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome.
The location of these vertebrae can affect blood flow to the brain, cerebrospinal fluid drainage, and even brainstem function. As a result, some patients see benefits when it comes to chronic health issues like fatigue, pain, cognitive issues, migraines, vertigo, and more! How can you know if you are experiencing an upper cervical subluxation?
Getting an examination from an upper cervical chiropractor is a good place to start. However, before you even undergo diagnostic imaging, a patient history can predict the likelihood of a misalignment. For example, if you have ever experienced head or neck trauma, a misalignment of the C1 or C2 is likely. These bones allow for the widest range of motion of the head, but it also leaves them subject to misalignments, even from seemingly minor accidents or injuries. Thus, the existence of the injury often goes undiagnosed, sometimes for years until other symptoms arise as a result.
If you are suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome and are looking for a natural solution, especially if you have a head or neck injury in your past, contact an upper cervical chiropractor in your area today.