Myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) is a complex disorder that causes debilitating fatigue that lasts for at least six months. While the exact cause of ME/CFS remains unknown, it's believed to be triggered by a combination of factors, including viral infections, genetic predisposition, and immune system dysfunction.
Symptoms of ME/CFS
ME/CFS manifests in a wide range of symptoms that can vary in severity from person to person. The hallmark symptom is extreme fatigue that worsens with physical or mental exertion but doesn't fully improve with rest. Other common symptoms include:
Post-exertional malaise (PEM): A delayed and often severe worsening of symptoms following physical or mental activity
Cognitive impairments: Difficulty with thinking, concentrating, remembering, and making decisions
Sleep disturbances: Unrefreshing sleep, insomnia, or excessive daytime sleepiness
Muscle or joint pain: Widespread aches and pains that are not attributed to specific injuries or conditions
Dizziness: Lightheadedness or vertigo, often exacerbated by changes in posture
Headaches: Frequent, severe headaches that may be accompanied by other symptoms
Sore throat: Persistent sore throat that is not caused by an infection
Tender lymph nodes: Swollen lymph nodes in the neck or armpits
Diagnosis of ME/CFS
There is no single definitive test to diagnose ME/CFS. Diagnosis typically involves a thorough medical evaluation to rule out other conditions that may cause similar symptoms. This may include blood tests, imaging studies, and neurological evaluations.
At Altair Integrative Wellness, we take a comprehensive approach to diagnosing ME/CFS, considering not only physical symptoms but also emotional, mental, and environmental factors that may contribute to the condition. Our experienced practitioners utilize a combination of diagnostic tools and techniques to accurately assess each patient's unique case.
Treatment for ME/CFS
While there is no cure for ME/CFS, various treatment approaches can help manage symptoms and improve overall quality of life. These treatments may include:
Lifestyle modifications: Identifying and modifying activities that trigger PEM is crucial for managing ME/CFS. This may involve pacing oneself, breaking down tasks, and incorporating rest periods throughout the day.
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT): CBT can help individuals with ME/CFS develop strategies for managing fatigue, improving sleep, and coping with emotional distress.
Graded exercise therapy (GET): GET involves gradually increasing physical activity over time to improve physical endurance and reduce PEM.
Medications: Medications may be prescribed to manage specific symptoms, such as pain, sleep disturbances, and depression.
Altair Integrative Wellness: Your Path to ME/CFS Management
At Altair Integrative Wellness, we understand the challenges faced by individuals living with ME/CFS. Our team of experienced practitioners is committed to providing compassionate and personalized care to help patients achieve optimal health and well-being.
Our integrative approach focuses on addressing the underlying causes of ME/CFS, not just managing symptoms. We utilize a combination of conventional and complementary therapies, tailored to each patient's unique needs.
Embark on Your Journey to Improved Well-being
If you are struggling with ME/CFS, Altair Integrative Wellness is here to help. Contact us today at 907-357-1818 to schedule a consultation and take the first step towards reclaiming your life.