Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment
Fatigue, sometimes even without objective reasons, is a complaint so common that patients don’t immediately rush to see a doctor and certainly don’t seek to start a course of rehabilitation treatment. Typically, in such situations, poor overall health is attributed to overwork. How to get out of this state, a person prefers to decide on their own, based on minimal knowledge. We need an adequate rest at night, a long vacation, a change of atmosphere and a decrease in the intensity of physical exertion — this is what people initially resort to, realizing that their fatigue is firmly holding them in their arms.
What is the real picture, what happens in the body actually leads to the development of chronic fatigue syndrome?
In 1984, Paul Cheney, a doctor from Nevada (USA), first introduced the term chronic fatigue syndrome, which, according to his observations, combined a complex of symptoms: rapid fatigue in the absence of significant changes in lifestyle, depression, mood deterioration. Earlier, changes of this nature have already come to the attention of physicians, in particular, the psychiatrist H. J. Freidenberg 10 years before Paul Cheney singled out such deviations into a separate category, which he called “emotional burnout.” He also noted for the first time that this complex mostly develops among people whose professional activities are connected with constant communication (patients, clients, wards, etc.). The merit of P. Cheney was the discovery of the connection of excessive fatigue with Epstein-Barr virus and other related herpes viruses. Later, this fact was carefully studied, and indeed doctors managed to confirm that viruses are one of the many reasons leading to the development of chronic fatigue syndrome.
Statistics on the incidence vary widely:
- from 10 patients per 100 thousand (USA) to 37 per 100 thousand (Australia);
- more susceptible to chronic fatigue syndrome women (they become sick 2 times more often than the male population);
- main age group 25-45 years;
- more often this pathology is diagnosed in megalopolises.
CHRONIC FATIGUE SYNDROME: DEFINITION, DIAGNOSTICS
Chronic fatigue syndrome is a disease and is listed in the International Classification of Diseases called myalgic encephalomyelitis. It represents a complex of symptoms among which dominate: a feeling of constant fatigue and excessive fatigability that does not stop even after a full sleep or prolonged rest, which is not commensurate with physical exertion. Also, chronic fatigue syndrome is diagnosed based on the presence of at least 4 signs from the following list for several months:
- pain and weakness in the muscles;
- sleep disorders;
- reduced ability to concentrate;
- memory impairment, excessive fatigue after intellectual work;
- long-term recovery from normal physical exertion;
- pain in the joints of a migrating nature;
- enlarged cervical lymph nodes;
- mental symptoms: anxiety, anxiety, depression, apathy, irritability, lethargy;
- physical symptoms: hand tremor, weight loss, decrease or excessive increase in appetite, suppression of appetite.
CAUSES OF CHRONIC FATIGUE SYNDROME
Chronic fatigue syndrome develops gradually and, as a rule, is the basis for seeking medical attention after the main and a number of additional syndromes appear clearly and worsen the quality of life. The etiology of this disease is multifactorial, and the following are among the main reasons for physicians:
- violation of the regime of work and rest for a long time;
- chronic lack of sleep;
- frequent and prolonged stress;
- the need to make difficult decisions and find a way out of difficult situations;
- physical exhaustion;
- excessive intellectual loads.
When exposed to the factors listed above, a chain of consecutive pathological processes is triggered: a metabolic disorder occurs and, as a result, self-poisoning by toxins, to which the body’s response is allergic. Accumulating in the tissues with such changes, lactic acid provokes the development of myalgia (muscle pain). The altered state of the nervous system has a negative effect on the functioning of the endocrine and immune systems. In addition, it is impossible not to emphasize the role of inflammatory diseases (especially chronic foci of infection) in the development of chronic fatigue syndrome.