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Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

What is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?

Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a condition that is characterized by profound fatigue, muscle pain, decreased concentration and cognitive function, swollen and painful lymph nodes, headache, sleep disturbance, low grade fever, and sore throat. According the Centers for Disease Control, approximately 1 million Americans are afflicted. The condition affects women more than men. It is seen most commonly in individuals between the ages of 40 and 59. Although it is found in all ethnic groups and countries, Caucasians are most commonly affected. Studies suggest that people who suffer from chronic fatigue syndrome may improve over time; however, every patient responds differently. Although the cause of chronic fatigue is not presently understood, there are several theories that have been proposed. Some researchers suggest that patients with CFS have dysfunction of their autonomic nervous system and alterations of the cardiovascular response to mental, environmental and/or physical stress. The onset of this dysfunction may be due to a virus or other stresses. One study published in January 2009 indicates that there is an association between a gastrointestinal virus (enterovirus) and CFS. Other suggested causative factors include oxidative stress, hormonal imbalance, nutritional deficits, immune dysfunction, and chronic infection.

How is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome diagnosed?

Although CFS may be debilitating, it is not life-threatening. It is important to ensure there is not a serious underlying condition; profound fatigue is common to many disease processes. Unfortunately, there is no biochemical marker or specific test that confirms the diagnosis. Doctors determine whether a patient has CFS by listening to a patients symptoms and excluding the presence of other conditions.

What are the options for treating Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?

Effectively treating CFS requires a multimodal approach. When at all possible, find a treatment plan that is minimally invasive without drugs or surgery. More invasive options should only be entertained after the conservative methods fail to produce the desired result. Our clinic offers evidence based treatment strategies that consist of nutritional counseling, exercise programs, soft tissue techniques, physiotherapy, behavior modification counseling, biofeedback, and chiropractic joint adjustments (also known as joint/spinal manipulation). Other conservative methods that are not provided in our office are acupuncture and cognitive behavioral therapy. On the less conservative end of the spectrum are pharmacotherapeutic options such as Tricyclic drugs or Selective Serotonin Re-uptake Inhibitors. Talk to your health care provider about the strategy that will best suit your needs. The best approach to treating CFS is one that is individualized.

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This article is not a substitute for medical advice. The information provided is not intended to diagnose or treat any condition.







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Lehigh Valley Chiropractic, PC
2597 Schoenersville Rd, Suite 308
Bethlehem, PA 18017
Phone: 610-868-6800
Office Hours and Directions
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