If you decide to apply for disability benefits, your doctor can help you by keeping good notes and using a simple assessment tool to track your health status.
Chronic fatigue syndrome refers to several poorly understood medical conditions that can cause extreme fatigue for at least six months. It is unknown what causes chronic fatigue syndrome, though researchers believe that the condition may be associated with viral infections or immune system issues. The condition affects all genders, but women are more likely to be diagnosed than men. Many of those diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome are around forty to sixty years old.
You may have chronic fatigue syndrome if you experience mental and physical exhaustion frequently over long periods of time. This fatigue will likely interfere with sleeping and other daily activities, often resulting in reduced cognitive functions. Other symptoms include muscle and joint paint, headaches, and depression. These other symptoms persist episodically for six consecutive months or longer.
Because so little is known about chronic fatigue syndrome, there is no definitive test to diagnose the condition. Doctors must first rule out other medical problems, including sleep disorders, mental disorders, and HIV/AIDS. This also means that there is difficulty in getting individuals or their families to accept the existence of the condition. Yet the effects can be debilitating; while some people with chronic fatigue syndrome can lead ordinary lives, others are unable to leave their bed and are left isolated.
Treatment for chronic fatigue syndrome varies, but many patients will receive antidepressants or pain relievers to treat the associated symptoms. Exercise and other physical therapies can improve functioning as well.