According to CDC estimates, 3.3 million Americans suffer with chronic fatigue syndrome. The following information relates to symptoms and therapy

According to CDC estimates, 3.3 million Americans suffer with chronic fatigue syndrome. The following information relates to symptoms and therapy

According to recent statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 3.3 million adults in the United States suffer from chronic fatigue syndrome.

According to the Associated Press, the statistic is the first nationally representative estimate of the number of Americans with the disorder, and it’s more than prior studies have revealed, probably due to some people with lengthy COVID.

Based on a poll of 57,000 American adults conducted in 2021 and 2022, the CDC report was released on Friday. A question about whether they still had chronic fatigue syndrome and whether a medical expert had ever informed them of it was posed to the participants. Approximately 1.3% of American adults answered “yes” to both questions, or 3.3 million people, according to CDC statistics.

A co-author of the report, Dr. Elizabeth Unger of the CDC, stated that the sickness “is not a rare illness.”

Women were found to have more cases than men, and those between the ages of 50 and 69 had greater rates.

The paper describes myalgic encephalomyelitis, or ME/CFS, as a “complex, multisystem illness characterized by activity-limiting fatigue,” which is another name for chronic fatigue syndrome.

Chronic tiredness syndrome symptoms

There is more to chronic fatigue syndrome than just exhaustion.

According to Dr. Eric Ascher, a family medicine physician at Northwell Lenox Hill Hospital in New York, “symptoms are extreme exhaustion after physical exercise and mental effort, unrefreshing sleep, trouble with memory, weight changes, extreme emotional stress, headaches, and muscle pain.” “Because symptoms mirror many other syndromes, it may be hard to diagnose.”

As per the CDC, a diagnosis can only be made if there are three primary or “core” symptoms.

six months or more of exhaustion combined with a significantly diminished capacity to do formerly routine tasks.
worsening of symptoms following mental or physical exertion; this condition is called post-exertional malaise, or PEM. Patients frequently refer to this as a “collapse” or “crash” that occurs after even the most basic activities, including going to the grocery store or having a shower, and can leave them bedridden for days.
issues with sleep, such as feeling exhausted even after getting a full night’s rest.

The CDC states that in addition to these primary symptoms, patients must also have cognitive difficulties (sometimes referred to as “brain fog”) or a worsening of symptoms while seated or standing, which may include fainting, dizziness, or lightheadedness.

Why does chronic fatigue syndrome occur?

ME/CFS can follow “viral or bacterial infections, can be due to genetics, chronic illness (or) autoimmune disease and physical or emotional trauma,” according to Ascher. However, the precise origin of ME/CFS is still unknown.

Herpes simplex, dengue, and Epstein-Barr virus infections are just a few of the viruses that might cause cases, according to Dr. Hector Bonilla, a clinical associate professor of infectious diseases at Stanford.

“Now we see similar cases after coronavirus infections such as SARS, MERS, and SARS-CoV-2,” Bonilla stated.

Furthermore, because there are no specific blood tests or scans to detect ME/CFS, it might be challenging for medical professionals to make a diagnosis even with these criteria. Additionally, medical personnel may not be well-informed about the illness.

Dr. Daniel Clauw, director of the Chronic Pain and Fatigue Research Center at the University of Michigan, told the AP that experts believe that a small percentage of patients with chronic fatigue syndrome are diagnosed.

Since no medications have been licensed for it, the diagnosis has never been clinically common in the United States. There are no recommended treatments for it, according to Clauw.

Treatment for chronic fatigue syndrome

There are ways to control or treat some of the symptoms of ME/CFS, even though there isn’t a solution as of yet.

For pain and sleep issues, for instance, doctors might recommend medication or other therapy. Creating an activity management strategy or pacing plan can help with post-exertional malaise by reducing flare-ups. The ideal ratio of work to relaxation may differ for every person.

“Treatment is usually to manage symptoms and is multidisciplinary, including movement (yoga and stretching), gentle massages, hydration, a healthy, anti-inflammatory diet (meaning less processed and prepackaged foods) and therapy (both behavioral and physical),” Ascher said. According to him, the objective is to foster healing and mindfulness while lowering tension and anxiety.

“Sometimes medications are used as well if these other treatment options do not provide relief,” he continues. “Many patients may be turned off when offered an antidepressant, but these medications have shown to improve symptoms and allow suffering patients to live a more fulfilling life.”

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