Chronic Fatigue – Fibromyalgia Syndrome (CFS/FMS)

fatigue2There are two main fatigue syndromes, namely chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia syndrome.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)

The most commonly used diagnostic criteria for CFS indicate that three of the following criteria be fulfilled:

  1. A new onset of severe fatigue for at least six consecutive months unrelated to exertion and not substantially relieved by rest, and is not a result of other medical conditions.
  2. The fatigue causes a significant reduction of previous activity levels.
  3. Four or more of the following symptoms that last six months or more:
  • Impaired memory or concentration
  • Post-exertional malaise, where physical or mental exertions bring on extreme, prolonged exhaustion and sickness
  • Non restorative (unrefreshing) sleep
  • Muscle and joint aches and pains
  • Headaches
  • Sore throats
  • Tender lymph nodes.

Other common symptoms include:

  • Irritable bowel, abdominal pain, nausea, diarrhoea or bloating
  • Chills and night sweats
  • Brain fog
  • Chest pain
  • Visual disturbances (blurring, sensitivity to light, eye pain or dry eyes)
  • Sensitivities to foods, alcohol, odours, chemicals, medications or noise
  • Psychological issues.

Fibromyalgia Syndrome (FMS)

FMS symptoms are similar to CFS but in addition individuals have widespread severe pain often with so-called painful trigger sites. This is predominantly an adult condition.

Both conditions need to be recognised with exclusion of underlying conditions such as underactive thyroid, autoimmune conditions, anaemia, coeliac disease etc. Professor Powell has considerable experience managing both conditions and can assist in managing any associated food sensitivities. Understanding the background to these fatigue conditions is paramount to successful management.