Coping with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Despite how family, friends and possibly even your own doctor may make you feel, chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is not all in your head. This is a systemic disorder that affects hormonal levels, the immune system and the brain itself. Studies find lesions on the white matter in the brains of people with CFS, as well as poor blood flow to the brain, elevated levels of inflammatory immune cells like T-lymphocytes and cytokines and low levels of other immune cells, like natural killer cells and immunoglobulin, in the blood.
No one knows for sure what causes the disorder. Some researchers theorize a virus triggers it, but no particular virus has been pinpointed as the culprit. As with many syndromes, there is no definitive diagnostic test for the condition.
Although there is no cure for CFS, researchers have uncovered some promising therapies. Just as symptoms differ from patient to patient, however, so will effective treatments. Be patient as you work to find the right ones for you.