Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is a complicated disorder characterised by extreme fatigue that can’t be explained by any underlying medical condition. The fatigue may worsen with physical or mental activity, but doesn’t improve with rest.
As a Clinical Exercise Physiologist I see many disabling chronic conditions and chronic fatigue is up there as one of the most debilitating and mis-understood. Those who suffer with fatigue are usually at the receiving end of comments like “if only you did more” “just push through” “you’re being lazy” and “its all in your head”
I have had the privilege of working under a Professor of Infectious Diseases in a Fatigue Clinic and alongside a Psychologist to help people with diagnosed CFS. As an exercise physiologist – the handing of fatigue is very different to the usual exercise physiology approach to other chronic conditions. With chronic fatigue – you just can’t go out and exercise – and for many a short 5 minute walk can mean they spend the next hours or day unable to get out of bed.
Managing fatigue involves a detailed initial assessment, activity pacing, Cognitive Exercise Therapy (CET), Graded Exercise Therapy (GET).
Steps for diagnosing chronic fatigue
Primary symptom is fatigue
Symptoms present for longer than 6 months and present more than 50% of the time
Usually a definite onset – after a virus – glandular fever, Q Fever – even years or decades earlier
Fatigue is disabling and affects cognitive and physical function
Other symptoms present – in particular pain, mood and sleep disturbances.
- Other medical conditions that could cause fatigue are ruled out or stable – anxiety, depression.
If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with or is struggling with the symptoms of fatigue – then please make contact – Sue – 0433151795.