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(X-Entertainment)   Researchers say more than a million people suffer from chronic fatigue ....... yaaawwwnnn. OK gotta go sleep now. Bye Fark   ( divider line
    More: Interesting  
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2985 clicks; posted to Main » on 04 Nov 2006 at 7:32 AM (10 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

41 Comments     (+0 »)
2006-11-03 08:45:49 PM  
It's not a disease. It's called being over-worked.
2006-11-03 10:00:03 PM  
god bless ambien.
pop one, and 30 minutes later, it's tomorrow

/once a week
2006-11-03 11:48:49 PM  
My guesses on CFS:
a) Continual overworking
b) Sleep problems
c) Depression-related problems
d) Unknown condition not yet diagnosed
e) Munchausens
f) Mild version of other diseases
g) Think they have something, look it up on the internets, see its generalized symptoms and think it's this instead of any of the other reasons

theres probably more, but yeah, thats about it for me.
2006-11-04 07:33:52 AM  
Me thinks neither X-Entertainment nor Ms. Pac Man have any relation to this article.

Wrong tag.
2006-11-04 07:37:08 AM  
My wife had a serious bout with this for 2 years while in high-school and relapsed in college. She's fine now, but saying that it is due to over-work is not the case. She was 16 years old, and the stress level in here life was quite low. And, seeing it in college, I know it was a real problem.
2006-11-04 07:39:36 AM  

pop 4 and you won't even remember tomorrow.
2006-11-04 07:39:46 AM  
I wonder how many cases of chronic fatigue syndrome are low level chronic infections, like Lyme Disease.
2006-11-04 07:40:04 AM  
I'm too tired to read the article.
2006-11-04 07:40:17 AM  
It's the commies stealing my precious bodily fluids that causes mine.
2006-11-04 07:51:37 AM  
The problem with "syndrome" diagnoses is that they don't actually even try to answer the question "what is wrong?" All they do is classify a patient population with a certain constellation of symptoms (with no clear indication that they are related; neither the patient population nor the grouping of symptoms).

"Syndrome" diagnoses are bad science and usually bad medicine (or, at least, lazy), if you ask me. And what ever happened to being able to tell a patient, "we don't really know why you are experiencing these symptoms"? Or "even though you came all the way to my office, I really don't see a need to prescribe you any medication" for that matter (another pet peeve)?

P.S. - Fibromyalgia is a syndrome diagnosis that tries to act like it isn't one by omitting the "syndrome" in its name. Reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD) was another before it got renamed (under duress) to Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (Type I). With any luck, the same fate awaits fibromyalgia if for no better reason than because the diagnosis is disingenuous. Of course, that assumes that people are smart enough to realize what a "syndrome" diagnosis even means...
2006-11-04 08:00:14 AM  
The answer to CFS is meth.

Wait, what?
2006-11-04 08:01:47 AM  
Clearly more and better drugs are needed.
2006-11-04 08:04:40 AM  
The makers of the treatment for Restless Leg Syndrome will come out with something for this. They're always looking after our health.

- rmjb
2006-11-04 08:19:39 AM  
Of course, that assumes that people are smart enough to realize what a "syndrome" diagnosis even means...

I've had doctors try to prescribe medication based on that sort of thing. Basically, they've told me "We really don't know what's wrong, but take this and see if it helps."

Sorry, man, but I don't shotgun debug my health.
2006-11-04 08:27:32 AM  
Not all syndrome diagnoses are disingenuous. One that comes to mind, for instance, is Marfan's syndrome. I can assure you that it is a very serious, very real disease.
2006-11-04 09:05:17 AM  
rmjb: The makers of the treatment for Restless Leg Syndrome will come out with something for this.

Still no cure for "Restless 3rd Leg Syndrome".
2006-11-04 09:06:49 AM  

I wonder how many cases of chronic fatigue syndrome are low level chronic infections, like Lyme Disease.

You're probably closer than some of these other Farkers when it comes to guessing how you happen to get it. I live in the boonies surrounded by woods. Lots of deer (ticks) and bats (guano spore) in my belfry (the one on the house).

It's NOT being tired or stressed. As a matter of fact, sleep was something I wish I could have done. When I got it, I was a healthy stay-at-home mom. I went to the doctor for the flu & with unbelievable body aches that I had already had for a month..he said I just had a bad cold and to wait it out. I went back two months later. The next doc gave me medicine for cough/congestion.

I waited until my regular doctor came back from maternity leave. By then she was testing me for MS and Lupus, TB, etc. After she ruled out all of the above (and it IS an immune dysfunction), CFIDS was her diagnosis which really is just a way of saying "hmmm..don't know what you've got, but your white cells are eating your white cells".
I took rounds of antibiotics and those helped alot with the fever & swollen lymph nodes, but I was still so congested that I slept sitting up for four years because the congestion was worse laying down.
2006-11-04 09:35:53 AM  
or possibly it is (in most but not all cases) laziness? Just a thought.
2006-11-04 09:42:56 AM  

Have allergies been ruled out?

Anyone can develop an allergy at any time and it can make you VERY sick....a severe allergy can cause a chronic secondary respiratory infection, migraines, swollen glands and lymph nodes, general feeling of malaise and fatigue. I've had some pretty rough allergies to several species of trees, grass, and also mold and ragweed since a year old, and have been getting shots since age 6. Life would be misery if not for the shots.

/27 now
//Don't suffer as much throughout the year as I used to
2006-11-04 09:46:46 AM  
I ain't lazy, I just be tired all the time. Sometimes I be so tired, I have to stop and catch my breath while I be walking to the mailbox to gets my welfare check.
2006-11-04 09:58:49 AM  
My sister was convinced she had CFS based on self-diagnosis and spent a year or more exhausted. Turns out she had Stage IV bladder cancer and died 3 months after she was diagnosed. Her doctor never bothered to do a urinalysis and only started paying attention after she dropped a bunch of weight really fast right before her diagnosis, and by then of course it was too late.
2006-11-04 10:11:21 AM  
I believe that there is a cause for a very small population, but that doctors are so scratching their heads that generalize much more of the population than they should. Having to work with someone who claims 'fibro' or 'cfs', visited 10 doctors till she found one that would lable her as such (the first 9 said it was depression, but her mother told her she had cfs or what ever she read on the internet). We're now stuck with a lame engineer who doesn't even work a full week, shows up at random (11am is a blessing, more like 2 and 3 in the afternoon).

While CFS/Fibro may be real, allowing quacks to lable anyone as having it only opens the flood gates for abuse. To those that actually have these symptoms, I'm sorry and I hope you get better. To the abusers: fsck off and get back to work.
2006-11-04 10:17:42 AM  
Everybody has SOMETHING.
2006-11-04 10:18:48 AM  
Isn't Ambien the drug where people sleep drive and sleep eat and all this weird stuff?
2006-11-04 10:29:18 AM  
I too was disappointed this was not an X Entertainment expose.
2006-11-04 10:38:17 AM  
I love Ambien too.

Great stuff--it works really well.

One problem though......

what if your house/apt catches on fire in the middle of the night?

I am scared that I won't be able to spring into action as may be needed.
2006-11-04 10:50:29 AM  
ShareBear: Not all syndrome diagnoses are disingenuous. One that comes to mind, for instance, is Marfan's syndrome. I can assure you that it is a very serious, very real disease.

Or how about AIDS - the S stands for Syndrome. It was since upgraded to a real disease, as its cause (HIV infection) was found (of course, not all African dictators agree with this pathogenesis).

As a diagnosis, sydromes aren't very useful. But they're very useful in saying "here's a huge group of people with the same problem, let's find out what's the matter with them". Over time, from this big population of sufferers, some will be found out to suffer from yet-to-be-discovered-disease X, others from yet-to-be-discovered-disease Y, some from already-known-disease Z, a small portion may be psychological or faking it, and some we'll never know what ailed them.

"It's just a syndrome, so it's not a real illness" is used to often by employers, governments and insurers to screw people over just because they're not obviously lacking a limb or something like that..
2006-11-04 10:51:43 AM  
I think the with syndromes they concentrate on treating symptoms, so "try this" might be a valid approach. If a person is spiking a high fever and you can't figure out why, you try ice. Treating symptoms doesn't solve the underling problem, but it can provide comfort and perhaps extend the life of a patient until a diagnosis / treatment of the disease is available. but you do have to be active in your treatment. You and your Dr. must both agree to be treating the symptoms while continuing to seek a diagnosis. Never let him / her think they are done just because you get drugs.
2006-11-04 10:57:35 AM  
What about Provigil? Take one of these and it feels like you've just woken up from a 12 hour sleep. Doesn't make you feel jumpy, jittery, or energetic, just awake and alert. Beats the hell out of caffeine. I wish I had this stuff when I was in school.

/Also good for long car trips
2006-11-04 11:10:28 AM  
you know what it feels like right when you wake up in the morning after only getting a few hours sleep? the physical sensation that you have before the morning stretch... you try to ball your hands into fists but you can barely do it, and it's achy... it usually fades rather quickly as you get up, move around, stretch, shower, etc. usually you take it for granted that it fades as your blood gets flowing, etc., or else you'd be SOL... now imagine that sensation but at inappropriate times and with no relief. that's kinda what it's like... i've heard some people compare to what it feels like after getting a moderate electric shock that leaves you kinda stunned, before your strength fades back into your muscles, except your strength doesn't return

i hope someday that scientists actually figure out the causes/triggers of the symptoms instead of just labeling it a "syndrome" and ignoring it....unfortunately western medicine is ruled by the god of Profit, and there's no money to be made in figuring out and properly identifying the disease.

i have a feeling it may have something to do with sensitivities to certain man-made chemicals that are found in common products that most people's bodies can cope with without much trouble.
2006-11-04 12:40:05 PM  
I have a friend who is convinced it has to do with the modern American diet.

The modern American diet, you see, is absolute crap. Refined sugar, high fructose corn syrup, bleached white flour, fried foods, meats meats meats, blanched and useless vegetables, and almost no fiber--it's like trying to run your car on cheap gasoline. Yeah, it'll work, but it'll sputter, stall, and strain trying to do the simplest things. Sound familiar?

She's Chinese. She eats TRADITIONAL Chinese food (none of this Americanized sugar laden sweet sour sauce. We're talking about a lot of vegetables and spices, here), is a 3rd degree black belt in wing chun, and basically bounces off the walls. In other words, she demonstrates how to do it right, and her boundless energy is proof of that. Oh, almost forgot what she does for a living--hotel executive, specializing in banquets. Some familiarity with nutritional science? Yeah, you COULD say that...
2006-11-04 01:16:46 PM  
I was diagnosed with CFS in my mid-20's (about 17 years ago) and, as has been mentioned, most physicians had no clue what it was or what to do about my symptoms. I had dozens of tests done for everything from leukemia to Lyme disease to Epstein/Barr... all of which turned out negative. I finally found a Dr who treated me with an anti-depressant (specifically Prozac), and it took about a year and a half to feel better, and several years to get my old energy back.

I've had a couple severe bouts of depression and/or anxiety attacks since then (one of which I'm recovering from now), but CFS-- whatever it really is-- was different. CFS, for me, included the symptoms of depression, but also a bunch of other debilitating shiat: severe muscle and joint pain, frequent low-grade fevers, constant colds & flus (presumably from lower-than-normal immune function), frequent infections like inner-ear and sinus, mononucleosis-like symptoms, and severe fatigue that didn't moderate with rest/sleep.

From my experience and reading I'd say there's a viral component that sets off the syndrome. You can get relief from many of the symptoms with anti-depressants, proper diet, and moderate exercise, for example, but it seems that the virus and/or syndrome just has to run its course.

There may be a genetic component to it, too. At least in the case of my depression/anxiety, it runs on my dad's side of the family, and other relatives have had it much worse than I have.

Yeah, I'm as big a smart ass as they come (this is my first serious moment on Fark), but I wouldn't wish CFS or depression or panic attacks on my worst enemy. I have, however, wished that many of my friends (and many former friends), co-workers, and previous bosses could experience, if only for an hour, some of my worst moments of the past 17 years. Then I'm sure they'd reconsider their ill-conceived judgments: I'm lazy, I'm useless, I'm not trying, I'm not doing everything I could, I just need to buck up and get with it, I'm not being proactive in finding the right medical help, etc. I've heard it all. It's like I tell my sister who has had the same problems I have, but a lot worse: If you fell down a flight of stairs and broke both legs, everyone would stop by with casseroles and flowers, asking what they could do to help out. But with CFS and the like it's usually, "Call me when you've decided to do something with your life."

PS: I don't mean any of that in a "poor me" way. It is what it is, and I think I'm a more well-centered, happier person because of my experiences.
2006-11-04 01:45:40 PM  
X-Entertainment? Has Matt moved on up to the big time?
2006-11-04 03:49:42 PM  
submitter obviously gave it the X-E tag due to lack of sleep. It's down there near the Ys but he gave up before making it to Yahoo. Poor widdle fella.
2006-11-04 05:47:43 PM  
Am I the only one who Ambien doesn't work for? I get better sleep when I take my Adderall on a regular basis. The Adderall turns my mind off at night, and I can sleep. The Ambien ("mm-bien..."), it does nothing.

/but I've always been backwards
2006-11-04 05:48:26 PM  
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is the medical term for "I don't know" since a doctor can't admit s/he doesn't know something. Hmm, you're tired all the time? Well, you have "tired all the time syndrome." Nothing we can do. Get the hell out of my office.

I've been exhausted for years and the half-dozen doctors I've seen can't be bothered to try to figure it out. If the answer is not obvious, they don't want to deal with it. The most frustrating thing is that there's no way you can convince a doctor that you're not unhappy and not depressed. Don't have any of the symptoms of depression? Then you have "atypical depression." I see, no symptoms of this illness, but I'm supposed to experiment with brain-chemistry altering medication.
2006-11-04 07:36:44 PM  
2006-11-04 05:48:26 PM Phins
If the answer is not obvious, they don't want to deal with it. The most frustrating thing is that there's no way you can convince a doctor that you're not unhappy and not depressed.

There's a detail you're missing--insurance.

Who is going to pay for their time or any treatment they prescribe, you? Straight out of your pocket? Say that going in, and they'll have PLENTY of attention for you.

Whip out your insurance card, and they'll be thinking 'how can I get this money drain the fark out of my office'. Because it's going to be a wrestling match with some non-medically-trained accountant idiot if the doctor gets inventive.
2006-11-04 07:40:31 PM  
Just a few weeks back, the CDC's number was 4 million. They also seem to be randomly switching between calling it CFS and "chronic fatigue", which are two completely unrelated conditions too. It'd be nice if they could make up their farking minds. One of those is a vague symptom of just about every chronic disease, and the other being something which was originally a very specific disease (called myalgic encephalomyelitis through most of the world, but has also had the names atypical poliomyelitis, Icelandic disease, Royal Free disease, epidemic phlebodynia, infective venulitis and "the disease with a thousand names" given to it), which the CDC have deliberately turned into a meaningless waste-basket diagnosis for anyone that feels a bit tired.

For people who actually do have that specific disease it originally was though, saying it's just over-working is ridiculously ignorant. It's been found many times to be more disabling on average than MS, AIDS, arthritis, end-stage renal failure, congestive heart disease and just about everything else bar end-stage terminal cancers and multiple strokes. There've also been thousands of studies conclusively proving against any claim of it being psychological, with objective neurological, immune, cardiological, vascular, digestive and endocrine systems.

And to the guy saying "moderate exercise" will be helpful, you could kill someone with that advice. The cardinal symptom is that it's made worse by exercise, anyone who is helped by it has clearly been misdiagnosed.
2006-11-04 09:14:52 PM  
Shrink just switched gave me from ritalin to dexedrine. And I'm still tired!

//can't afford adderall.
2006-11-05 10:16:28 AM  
When I saw that, I though 'man, X-Entertainment sure must be going downhill'
2006-11-05 01:08:31 PM  
Huh. This explains some stuff. I went through a really bad year where I was getting chronic sinus and lung infections every couple months. I was also exhausted to the point where I could hardly leave my bed. Antibiotics weren't helping much. I went to the doctor and had a blood test done after my infections cleared up, but nothing seemed wrong even though I was still wiped out.
Then again, depression runs in my family so that might have some part in it too.
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