Constantly tired and run down. Is it CFS?

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Hi there.

I have been constantly tired and run down foraround 8 months.  I have been back and forth to the doctors - and had loads of blood tests which all come back fine - so I just keep being told "it's just one of those things".  Here are my symptoms:

Tiredness

Not feeling refreshed after sleep

Painful lymph nodes (sometimes swollen)

Backache

Headaches

General muscle ache

Disturbed sleep

Aching joints

Complete lack of energy

Recurrent coldsores (which I only used to get when I was run down)

Get burned out by the slightest physical exertion

I eat well and drink plenty.  I walk to and from work so get some exercise.  I don't burn the candle both ends and I rarely drink alcohol.  I take vitamins and generally look after myself, but nothing is making me feel better, if anything I feel like it's getting worse by the day.  The last year or so has been quite demanding - both physically and mentally - but my health is making me quite depressed, so it's a bit of a vicious circle.

From what I've read online, my symptoms fit with CFS.  Is this something I should raise with my GP?  I have a number of chronic illnesses (none of them serious) and I don't want them to think me a hypochondriac.  I just know I can't go on like this.  I'm getting to the point where I'm scared to do anything as the slightest pysical exertion seems to make me ten times worse.

Any advice gratefully received.  If there are any self-help things I can do, please let me know.  I really want to start feeling better.

Thanks.

Poppy x

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  • Posted

    Hello you, If all your bloods have come back normal it sounds like CFS/ME it hard to get doctors to actually say those letters dont know why. I doubt any one on here will be able to make you start feeling better but manage it and talk about it which helps.If it is either of the two you will just have to pace yourself and see what you can do before you have a relapse you will have many of those finding out how far you can go. Ive had ME for 7 years and i am still learning. good luck and i hope i may of help a little

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  • Posted

    Hi poppy,

    Seems like you have an awareness of what It maybe and so taking your concern to the doctor seems your next step? In regards the cold sores, a close friend who also has cfs/me has had multiple outbreaks since getting this Condition. I'd say you've nothing to loose in bringing it up with your gp. You dont say what your chronic illnesses are, so unsure if the symptoms are related. If you know they aren't, then explain your symptoms to gp as all your blood tests are ok. Ask for a referral to local cfs/me clinic.

    Hope this helps

    Best wishes

    B

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    • Posted

      Thanks Beverly 01.  None of my chronic conditions are related, as far as I know.  I've had them for years so I don't believe they are.

      Best wishes,

      Poppy x

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  • Posted

    You're not a hypochondriac! It makes me so angry that people try to make us feel like that, it's just cruel! It's just because the medical professionals don't understand this disease yet and can't treat it. They hate defeat so they shove us under the carpet, or try to. But we won't be shoved will we! cheesygrin

    Herbs helps me and try to have a very good diet, as much rest as you need, never mind anyone else, and be gentle with yourself, your mind and your body. Healing and recovery is very possible! razz

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  • Posted

    Hi Poppy.  I have had CFS for just over a year.  I find I am hyposensitive to most drugs so I have learnt to manage the condition by routine.  Its a bit boring - I work the same hours each weekday and each afternoon I do one of the household jobs.  At the weekend I do one extra job like cleaning a couple of windows, just to keep on top of things.  I take pregablin (only 1 5mg) at night which seems to help with the pains in my legs and helps me to relax. A huge part of the battle is accepting that you have CFS and finding a structure which you can manage. I always try to stay positive about the amount I have achieved. I stick by the rule - as long as I can see a difference it is ok to stop for a bit.  Hope this helps a bit.
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  • Posted

    It could be CFS, it could be something that you will just naturally recover from. At the moment, getting a diagnosis of CFS isn't likely to be that helpful unless you're seeking adjustments at work, etc. For treatments and advice it's not great. If you don't think you need the diagnosis then personally I'd avoid it, until there was some better quality research/treatments available.
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    • Posted

      You didn't explain why exactly it'd be a good idea to avoid a diagnosis, please explain?

      The fact that treatments and advice from the medical profession hardly exists doesn't mean that it doesn't exist or that you can't get benefits from elsewhere! rolleyes

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    • Posted

      It depends on the individual's circumstances, but there is still a fair ammount of prejudice and stigma around CFS, particularly within the medical profession, and a lot of advice/guidance given to patients is not supported by the evidence. There are times when a diagnosis is necessary or helpful, but those circumstances don't apply to everyone.
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  • Posted

    Yes, it sounds like ME/CFS. It's not just "one of those things." This is a serious illness, and needs to be taken seriously. You need to see a specialist with knowledge of ME/CFS. An infectious disease doctor is appropriate. in the meantime, you're doing way too much, which can only make the illness worse and lessen your chances for a full recovery. Rest and pacing yourself is critical. A break from work would be a very good thing. I didn't want to do this, but in the end, I got so ill I had no choice. Google "Solve ME/CFS Initiative." That's a good website from here in the U.S. Lots of good information. Best of luck to you.
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  • Posted

    Hi Poppy,

    I am at the early stages of getting a diagnosis for CFS after feeling unwell for 3 yrs. I wondered if your Dr has tested you for the Epstein Barr virus? It might be worth asking for this as I had bloods come back to say it was active in my body & my immune system is not responding in the usual way (glandular fever).

    I only mention it because you have had cold sores and the virus can cause these too. I have just been referred to a specialist CFS clinic and am awaiting an appt.

    I have felt like a hypochondriac throughout and it was not until I discovered this forum that I heard about CFS when I presented the idea to my GP they looked back at all my negative tests and gave me the referral. I think a diagnosis can be very helpful with learning to manage and understand this very complicated illness. My symptoms are mostly mental fatigue though also general sore throats, tiredness and aching muscles it is my mind that suffers the most. I get wonky vision and my head constantly feels wonky.

    I hope that you get to the bottom of what's going on with you xxx

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    • Posted

      Hi dlp,

      Found your comment about the cold sores and Epstein Barr interesting in relation to my friend and will pass this onto them.

      Thankyou

      B

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