Chronic fatigue syndrome usually develops from a trigger which can be anything from an infection such as Epstein-Barr virus or Lyme disease, to physical trauma, an environmental event, or major social stress. If one takes a detailed history, the how the chronic fatigue develops can often be identified.
Typically, an infection, hospitalization, a bad surgical outcome, financial and marital stress, or the loss of a loved one can also be the mitigating event in how chronic fatigue develops. If you believe you may be suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome, it is pertinent that you consult with a doctor as soon as possible.
Causes of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
There are a multiplicity of causes of chronic fatigue syndrome which are not well known to patients or even to physicians. Since there may be a combination of immunologic, hormonal, neurological, infectious and coagulation defects of varying degrees, it becomes very difficult to sort out the causes of CFS and how it develops.
Several severe bacterial infections, known viral infections such as Lyme disease along with their co-infections, cytomegalovirus, Epstein-Barr virus, cannot trigger symptoms of CFS. Mycoplasma pneumonia has also been implicated as a cause of chronic fatigue syndrome.
Virtually any chronic stress to the body can precipitate some aspects of CFS. That may range from physical trauma, the loss of a job, marital difficulties, dealing with a child with disabilities, and other forms of emotional trauma. There are many causes for how chronic fatigue syndrome can develop, which can be best described by a doctor. However, most people can pinpoint the cause of CFS to a specific physical or infectious event.
It is unlikely to see chronic fatigue syndrome as a genetic association. It is rarely seen in families unless the cause of the event precipitating CFS is the same. For instance, if several family members were infected with Lyme disease, it is possible some of them may experience symptoms beyond those of Lyme disease.
However, one aspect of CFS is hormonal imbalance or deficiency. In that regard, thyroid hormone deficiency, which may occur in families, can be a contributory factor to how chronic fatigue syndrome develops. Hashimoto’s disease, which is an autoimmune disease seen in almost 10% of women, can also work worsen symptoms of CFS.
From a general standpoint, it is important for an individual to have a healthy diet, exercise, and try to control any life stresses. There should be avoidance of environmental toxins in particular smoking, or being around secondhand smoke and industrial toxins. If an individual likes to hike, it is important to be aware of tick bites and early treatment of Lyme disease and its co-infections. Over 300,000 new cases of Lyme disease are diagnosed each year, and they are a major contribution to how chronic fatigue syndrome can occur.
If a person is chronically sleep deprived, it may have a major impact on their immune system, which can be just predisposed to CFS. Sleep deprivation is a major component of this disease, and needs to be aggressively addressed to determine if it was how the chronic fatigue developed.
Points to Note
Patients with CFS usually have a multiplicity of symptoms. Primarily, the symptoms are of major sleep deprivation, arthralgia or joint pain, muscle aches and pain, severe recurrent headache, and cognitive dysfunction such as brain fog memory, memory loss, focusing, and poor concentration. Oftentimes, one or two of these symptoms can occur unrelated to CFS but when there is a constellation of symptoms, it can be how chronic fatigue syndrome develops.