Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, CFS, is a debilitating condition that currently has no definitive cause identified and can result in unemployment and disability from the symptoms.
Sufferers have specific symptoms that they identify and experience over time. There have been several causative agents theorized to have an effect on the condition or to cause the condition but up until this time there have been no definitive research studies that are conclusive.
Until this time there has also been no conclusive test that can either rule in or rule out the condition. One of the biggest reasons that physicians don’t have a definitive test for the condition is because they don’t have a conclusive cause. There is, however, a list of symptoms and signs that are associated with the condition.
These specific symptoms are a necessary part of the diagnosis. And, because these symptoms are also indicative of other medical diagnoses it is important that your physician rule out other medical problems. Only after all other potential conditions are ruled out can a diagnosis of chronic fatigue syndrome be made.
Because the diagnosis is one of exclusion, when all other possible diagnoses are ruled out before the diagnosis can be made, it is essential that if you believe you may have chronic fatigue syndrome you should be evaluated by a physician. Other diagnoses that have similar symptoms are diabetes and thyroid conditions. Both of these are treatable but without treatment can cause significant long-term damage to the body.
A Chronic Fatigue Syndrome self test would include a knowledge of the symptoms and time line of the patients experience. If after taking this self test you believe you have a problem please see your medical practitioner for an evaluation.
To diagnose CFS the symptoms must be present for 6 months or greater without other medical conditions diagnosed with similar symptoms. If you suspect you have a problem don’t wait six months to see if the symptoms remain. Instead, visit your doctor to rule out other medical conditions that may respond to treatment. In fact, one of the criteria for this self-test is that you have visited your physician and have had other medical conditions ruled out.
If you have been tired or fatigued for 6 months or greater that isn”t relieved with sleep or rest you may have CFS. Patients with CFS complain of non-restorative sleep. In other words, they sleep but awaken exhausted and unable to function well during the day.
Sufferers will also have four of the following symptoms that have been present for six months or greater and have caused an impairment in the daily living activities of the sufferer: impaired memory, impaired concentration, sore throat, tenderness or pain in the lymph nodes around the arm pits or neck, muscle pain, feeling tired even 24 hours after exercise, non-restorative sleep, pain in multiple joints with swelling or redness or a different type of headache with different pattern and severity.
If you have suffered at least four of these symptoms for six months or greater and have had other medical problems ruled out then the likelihood is that you may have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Self-tests aren’t always accurate but they do give both patients and doctors a starting point for diagnosis and recommendations for treatment protocols.
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