Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Symptoms and Causes

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Symptoms and Causes

People with CFS experience very profound fatigue worsened by exertion (physical, mental), as well as poor sleep and a range of other symptoms, that wax and wane from day to day. Symptoms experienced by people with CFS overlap with symptoms experienced by people with Multiple Sceloris (MS). Studies show that symptoms and functional limitations can be more severe in people with CFS than MS.

CFS Symptoms

Symptoms of CFS can be made worse by psychological and social stress, Activity that is not paced, Medications, toxicants and environmental triggers and sensitivities including:

  • Allergies
  • Food Intolerance
  • Pollutants
  • Weather Changes
  • Sensory Stimuli

 CFS and Mental Illness

CFS is not a mental illness, however up to 50% of people with CFS experience severe anxiety or depression.

While treatment of comorbid mental illness is important, the failure of the doctor or therapist to consider CFS in treatment can lead to a worsening of symptoms associated with CFS.

Causes of CFS

Causes of CFS are not fully understood yet. However a large body of scientific researh indicates that it is intiated by a trauma (usually a very bad infection or toxic/chemical injury) in people with vulnerable genetics or in people who are already quite exhausted due to high or long term stress. It is very complex neuroimmune condition that causes a multitude of symptoms related to the dysfunction of the stress (fight/flight) system and of:

  • The brain
  • Gastro-intestinal system
  • Immune system
  • Endocrine and cardiac systems

Which can result in the body going into a state that can be likened to hibernation, in order to protect itself from death and disease. In this state there is enough resources for basic survival, but not much else.

Many people with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) also have fibromyalgia or multiple chemical sensitivity. Also common to people with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is sinitus and vasomotor rhinitis. Up to 30% have pseudo allergies (aka food chemical intolerance).

Alterations in the brain, nervous system (sensitisation) and immune system (glia, mast cells – toll like receptors. are associated with Chronic fatigue Syndrome. This impacts the Autonomic Nervous System, gut, hormones other.

Some people with CFS are actually dealing with toxic brain injuries or a mild traumatic/acquired brain injuries (due to other causes), which are being misdiagnosed and hence mistreated. The most common symptom of brain injury is fatigue!