Everyone with fibromyalgia knows what chronic fatigue feels like. You know the sense that you just can’t get enough rest and so you spend all day feeling like a zombie? You drift off constantly during the day and then struggle to get enough sleep at night. It’s a pretty horrible aspect of the disease and an all too common one.
But did you know there’s actually another condition that mirrors these symptoms and that you might actually have it already? It’s called chronic fatigue syndrome, and it’s a lot more common than you might think.
But what is chronic fatigue syndrome? Let’s find out, and you can even take our chronic fatigue syndrome quiz to find out if your symptoms are a sign that you have the condition.
What Is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?
Chronic fatigue syndrome is a little-understood condition that causes you to feel tired constantly and for no obvious reason. Where there are many conditions that cause people to feel fatigued, such as fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue condition is diagnosed only when there is no other explanation for the constant fatigue.
Someone with chronic fatigue syndrome suffers from a constant feeling of being exhausted regardless of how much sleep they get, and they may drift off during the day. Often, this fatigue is worse after periods of physical activity. And these days it seems like everyone is tired. I mean, what adult can really remember a time when they felt completely alert and well-rested? But for someone with chronic fatigue syndrome, it goes beyond feeling a little tired.
Someone with this kind of fatigue has a hard time keeping their eyes open every day. And the fatigue makes it hard to function on even a basic level as their mind is constantly clouded with extreme fatigue.
And though there is no official explanation for chronic fatigue syndrome, the symptoms suggest that the immune system may play some role in the condition, since it often presents with enlarged lymph nodes or a swollen throat. But as yet, there is no good evidence one way or the other for what chronic fatigue syndrome might even be. And there certainly is not much that doctors can do to treat it.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Quiz
If this description of the condition sounds familiar to you, then it might be worth taking a look at our chronic fatigue syndrome quiz to see if you may have the condition. The quiz is simple, just answer truthfully, and tally up your “yes” responses at the end.
- Are you constantly tired and for no reason? That means you aren’t simply sleepy, or lacking energy, but are fatigued to the point that it seriously limits your ability to live a normal life?
- Does this fatigue persist for days or weeks at a time regardless of how much sleep you get?
- Is the fatigue worse after you exercise or do something particularly vigorous?
- Do you suffer from a loss of memory or concentration on a daily basis?
- Do you often have a sore throat?
- Is your throat often swollen?
- Are the lymph nodes in your armpits or neck swollen?
- Do you often have unexplained muscle pain?
- Does your pain move from one joint to another without obvious signs of inflammation?
- Do you have frequent headaches that seem to change in severity?
Now, count up your responses to these questions and give yourself one point for every time you answered “yes” to one of the questions. If you have 7 or more points, there is a good chance that you have chronic fatigue syndrome.
If so, you should set up an appointment with a doctor as soon as possible. They will be able to give you a more accurate diagnosis and an expert opinion on what your condition is. And it’s important to remember also that there are a large number of other conditions that can cause similar symptoms, like cancer or fibromyalgia.
Thus, if you ever feel that you have persistent and serious fatigue, you may be suffering from another, possibly even serious disease. So even if you don’t have chronic fatigue syndrome, a trip to the doctor is still very much worth your time.
But let us know, do you struggle with chronic fatigue syndrome? How did you know it was time to visit a doctor? How did you feel after you were diagnosed? Do you have any tips for people who just took our chronic fatigue syndrome quiz and are worried about their symptoms? Let us know in the comments.