Constant fatigue, poor quality sleep and frequent headaches can be symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome. However, other diseases such as depression, diabetes, anaemia as well as mineral and vitamin deficiencies should be excluded before it is diagnosed. Special attention should be paid to vitamin D deficiency.
Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a disorder manifested by the feeling of extreme exhaustion, which lasts at least 6 months.
Chronic fatigue syndrome – causes
The first diagnostic assumptions indicated that in some people chronic fatigue syndrome developed after a viral infection. The most likely hypothesis is about the infectious agent that causes the immune disorder. That is why CFS began to be classified as an autoimmune disease.
In previous studies chronic fatigue syndrome was found in patients who underwent muscle biopsy.
The presence of RNA enterovirus was detected in 20%. At the same time, disorders of lactic acid metabolism in muscles were observed in these patients.
The observed increase in lactic acid concentration after physical effort causes a feeling of fatigue and muscle fatigue. Therefore, changes in muscle tissue metabolism associated with a viral infection are currently the most attractive concept to explain this condition.
What is CFS?
Symptoms that should alert patients and doctors include:
- a sore throat;
- enlarged cervical or axillary lymph nodes;
- muscle pains;
- sleep that doesn’t bring rest;
- feeling extremely exhausted after physical or mental effort;
- memory impairment or concentration disruption;
- pain moving from one joint to another (without accompanying swelling);
However, chronic fatigue can be a symptom of other conditions, such as:
- thyroid hypothyroidism,
- kidney disorders.
After eliminating them, the doctor looking for the causes of chronic fatigue syndrome should pay special attention to the problem of sleep apnea and vitamin D deficiency.
Many people underestimate vitamin D deficiency
The concentration of vitamin D is rarely determined in blood tests, and the test itself is not very common. Unfortunately, it is a mistake, because more than 90% of our society suffers from its lack, and chronic vitamin deficits may result in the appearance of more serious diseases after years. Therefore, it is worthwhile to perform blood tests to determine the level of vitamin D in the body, i. e. the determination of 25-hydroxyivitamin D in plasma. Taking it “blindly” and without control of the plasma concentration, especially in high doses, may be toxic to our body.