Chronic Fatigue syndrome, also known as CFS, has long been a complex and debilitating sleeping disorder in many Americans. Understanding some of the basis assumptions about CFS will help not only the CFS sufferer, but also the loved ones, understand, more clearly the impact CFS will have on both the short and long term approach to living.
Chronic Fatigue syndrome, commonly associated with the flu, is misdiagnosed in the United States the majority of the time. Not until symptoms become chronic in nature, leading to impaired activities of daily living, does the CFS sufferer usually obtain a diagnosis in close proximity to the true condition.
Because the symptoms of CFS commonly begin as muscle fatigue, lethargy, fever and disturbance in sleep, the medical practitioner will address the illness as the flu. Following several days and weeks of complications, the Chronic Fatigue sufferer will find the medical professional may turn the diagnosis into one in which depression is associated. The result is often a misdiagnosis and the CFS sufferer, needlessly, taking anti-depressants.
Additionally, when the CFS sufferer complains of chronic fatigue, this often leads to misdiagnosis. What is important to understand is that Chronic Fatigue syndrome is a syndrome, a group of ailments and conditions leading to fatigue and not simply a case of fatigue alone. So, how then, should a physician diagnose CFS?
For most Chronic Fatigue syndrome sufferers, an EEG can provide a clear view into the diagnosis. With CFS attributing to low levels of alpha and beta brain waves, the EEG will clearly demonstrate the findings that may link the condition back to CFS.
In addition to an EEG, a PET scan can provide information with regard to the sugar balance of the brain and, with this tool, the healthcare professional can ascertain the level at which the brain is utilizing sugar compounds to function. In the CFS sufferer, the glucose uptake levels will show the frontal lobe to be severely compromised, lending to impaired functional ability.
And, finally, a SPECT study, measuring blood flow of the brain, can be performed to address the abnormal flow of blood into and out of the brain. When these rates of flow are impaired, this may also be a sign of Chronic Fatigue syndrome.
As with any chronic ailment, researching symptoms and the diagnostic studies can provide a great benefit to the patient when working to obtain proper diagnosis. Discussing the use of EEG, SPECT and PET studies, when suffering from fatigue that is not alleviated, may provide the tools to obtain the proper, and early, diagnosis of Chronic Fatigue syndrome.