By naturopath Margaret Jasinska
Feeling tired occasionally is unpleasant. Feeling tired all the time is awful, but it’s a sad reality for a lot of people. Most of us have busy lives, with many demands and potential sources of stress. As the year comes to an end, accumulated stress can really wear you down and drain you of energy.
Long term fatigue is one of the most common reasons people seek medical help. The problem is, fatigue is a symptom of so many different health problems. Therefore getting to the bottom of the cause of fatigue can be very difficult.
Autoimmune disease and chronic infections typically cause long standing fatigue that takes a long time to resolve. Luckily some causes of fatigue are easily fixed; nutrient deficiencies and gut problems are fairly easy to remedy, and our patients start feeling better quickly.
Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is fatigue on an entirely different level. It means that fatigue is consistent and severe enough to reduce normal daily activities by at least 50 percent, for a minimum of six months. This type of fatigue is not resolved after a night’s sleep.
There are typically other symptoms associated with CFS, including sore throat, significant post-exercise or exertional pain; poor memory, foggy head, sleep disturbances, muscle pain, and tender lymph nodes. Sadly, the majority of patients with CFS remain functionally impaired for many years. There was recently an excellent episode about chronic fatigue syndrome on Insight, which you can view here.