Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is a difficult disease for several reasons. First, the cause is unknown. Second, in order to identify that CFS is the problem, many other similar diseases need to be ruled out as possibilities. Some of these disorders that resemble the symptoms of CFS and need to be determined not to be the problem include Liver Disease, Lyme Disease, Kidney Disease, or Thyroid Disease.
CFS is also difficult to deal with because it interrupts a person’s regular activities. And in some cases, a person with CFS can’t take care of him or herself and will likely need assistance, such as home care.
The fatigue can become so intense that a person merely wants to sleep rather than do things he or she had been used to doing. Though there are a number of signs of fatigue, some may include:
- Tiredness at all times of the day
- No energy to do much physical or mental work
- Muscles wearing out and frequent periods of needing to stop and rest
- Lack of attention or focus
With regard to CFS, these symptoms tend to last more than six months.
As previously mentioned, the cause of CFS isn’t known. However, there are a couple of suggested possible contributions to increasing the likelihood of contracting CFS such as:
- Infections such as mononucleosis or rubella
- Extremely low blood pressure and ongoing issues maintaining regular blood pressure (contributing to lightheadedness)
- Having had the flu or flu-like symptoms with the symptoms not going away
- Besides fatigue, other signs of CFS may be:
- Painful muscles and joints
- Being in a mental fog or having a hard time concentrating
- Problems with balance and dizziness
- Depression or panic attacks
- Constantly feeling unrested
- Hot sweats or feeling extremely cold
There aren’t a lot of ways yet known, to manage CFS. Avoiding extreme activities and stress are a couple of ways which have been suggested, at least to help ease the symptoms of fatigue.
The symptom of depression can be very debilitating for a senior with CFS. Aside from wanting to constantly sleep, depression can keep a senior from reaching out for help such as from a physician or getting assistance from home care. So it’s useful for caregivers to check in on seniors now and then. This is especially the case if they haven’t done so in a while and the senior claims to be sleeping a lot.