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How to Diagnose Chronic Fatigue Syndrome


It is easy to tell when you are catching a cold or having an allergic reaction to something. When it comes to chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), however, making a diagnosis can be quite difficult. Most of the symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome are the same as other illnesses such as heart, lung, and psychiatric disorders.


The fact that there are no tests that can identify chronic fatigue syndrome makes it even more frustrating. This condition is also known as myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME/CFS) or systemic exertion intolerance disease (SEID). If you suspect that you or a loved one may be suffering from CFS, here are a few things that you can do to diagnose it:


Do self-checks

 

Although you are not a doctor and cannot determine whether or not you have CFS, it is still encouraged to check yourself for the symptoms. You need to be aware of the beginning times, frequency, and triggers of chronic fatigue symptoms.


If you are able to track the signs and conduct self-checks regularly, your doctors will be able to diagnose the illness more accurately and with more confidence. Things that you need to focus on are the duration of the symptoms, any difficulties that prevent you from performing activities, specific activities that make you feel worse, any sleeping or resting problems and your mental capacity during certain tasks.


Jot down everything that you have been suffering from and bring the notes to your next doctor visit. Do not hold back any information. Things that you think may not be important could be helpful to the doctor for a diagnosis. You may write these down on your phone or have a symptom diary to organise the patterns of the problems. It is also recommended to think back to the possible causes of the illness and write them down.


Go see the doctor for an evaluation

 

The doctor will look at all of the information on your notes and diagnose from it. Although medical tests will have to be performed, the most crucial part of the diagnosis is to see the history of your symptoms. This is the major factor that will indicate chronic fatigue syndrome.

The doctor will also evaluate chronic fatigue syndrome by checking the symptoms in-depth. If they find that you suffer from intense pain for more than 24 hours after performing either a mental or physical activity, chances are you have the disease and it has become worse.


Some of the common symptoms are waking up tired even from an 8-hour sleep, having difficulties in staying asleep throughout the night, experiencing insomnia, or having orthostatic intolerance. As for physical pain, most people who have CFS suffer from muscle or joint pain, chronic headaches, and enlarged lymph nodes around the neck or armpit areas.

Get the laboratory tests

 

Even though the lab tests cannot identify CFS explicitly, it can show the results of the other conditions caused by your symptoms. If the results come out saying that you have other illnesses, there is a high chance that you will be referred to the physicians in the other departments depending on the condition.

If they find heart disease, lung disease, or cancer, you will have to get a chest X-ray, MRI, or CT scan later on. To diagnose chronic fatigue syndrome, the doctor needs to explore other conditions that could be the cause of your symptoms and rule them out first.




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