Is it chronic fatigue?

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Hello,

I turn to these forums after a series of unhelpful visits to the doctor. Since about November (it is now April) I have struggled with low energy levels and fatigue. I have been to the doctors numerous times but all blood tests etc show that I am extremely healthy. Before I was sick I exercised atleast 4 times a week, I still eat and drink very well, and I also make sure to sleep as well as possible every night.

Other symptoms- I have recently been diagnosed with IBS, but i'm taking probiotics and those seem to be helping lots. I have had headaches on and off, but only for 2 days have I had bad headaches. I have had stiff neck/neck pain on and off too, and that is beggining to annoy me.

I keep feeling like I am getting better, for example, the last time I went to the doctor was under two weeks ago, after a relapse of sorts. He said he thought it was just a virus stickng around a long time and I should be better in a week. I started to feel better and was feeling really positive etc and then for some reason in the last few days I have started to feel crap again and have spent most of the time in bed.

The fatigue isnt 100% dehabilitating but it is making my life a lot worse than it should be. Unviersity work is nearlly impossible, I've stopped playing football which I love, and my social life is really suffering.

So.. my question to you lovely people...

Is it chronic fatigue syndrome?? I haven't really had any musclar aches or anything, and the fatigue isnt so bad that I can't function. But it has been happening for months, and it seems to relapse as soon as i think im getting better!! what could it be?? It's really making my life suck..

thanks heaps,

alex

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7 Replies

  • Posted

    P.S.

    I am a 19 year old male with no previous record of ill health, except for a bad case of glandular fever about 3 years ago

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  • Posted

    It's really hard for anyone here to say. It could be that you have suffered from an infection which has left you feeling wiped out for long than usual, but you will go on to recover. If could be chronic fatigue syndrome, which can be triggered by viral infections, and which you may not recover from. Unfortunately there's very little good research in this area so it's hard to say much.

    At the moment, CFS is just a label which is applied to people likely to be suffering from a wide range of different problems. Many of the people making money in this area like to pretend that they have more understanding than it seems they do, and the evidence often does not support their claims. Hopefully you will find that you imprve, but be sure to be good to yourself while you are feeling ill. Good luck.

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  • Posted

    Hi Tiredboy,

    I'm sorry to hear about your plight. I think Fidd summed up the syndrome, which manifests differently in people. A point of interest is that had Mono (gladular fever)  three years ago - did you have overwhelming exhaustion with in? Need to stay in bed? Does this feel like the same? Your bloodwork should be showing antibodies for Epstein Barr. Remind your doctor about the glandular fever and use that to explain how you feel now.

    There is no definitive test for ME/CFS.  You might want to go online to read more on ME/CFS, there's an excellent website in the UK. FYI: In Feb. a decision was made in the USA to re-name the illness and outline a new set of criteria. Systemic Exertion Intolerance DISEASE - it is moving from a syndrome to the classification of disease. 

    I hope that you can find some answers, this is a good site. I think that the other UK site has a listing of doctors working with ME / CFS.

    Good luck to you, try not to get discouraged. Even if you have the illness, young people are inclined to recover. Check out pacing -  measure your day in units of energy and don't exceed you baseline. 

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  • Posted

    You may well have ME/CFS. Many in this forum have reported that glandular fever preceded onse of ME/CFS, sometimes by years. Some core symptoms of ME/CFS: fatigue, postexertional malaise (fatigue after doing any tasks/exercise), orthostatic intolerance, and brain for (hard to concentrate, etc.). Try to see an ME/CFS specialist, like an infectious disease doctor.
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  • Posted

    Your story sounds familiar and I can relate to much of what you say. Depression is another factor they might want to exclude. As others have said, a diagnosis usually comes when everything else has been excluded so it's a long time coming. Then when you get it, there is no magic pill to make you better. 

    If it is CFS I am doing a lot more now because I pace myself, check out the UK web site which has lots of useful info

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  • Posted

    Thanks for the replies guys. I understand that it is very hard to diagnose CFS and it is a possibility that I have it.

    I guess what i'm really wondering is this -

    my fatigue isnt thaaaaaaaaaat bad. It is just bad enough to be annoying. Is that a positive sign in that it means its easier to fix or can CFS involve a long period of time with fatigue where you can function but are negatively effected?

    Also I have this weird thing where I will feel like i'm getting better then I will relapse or something. This happens in cycles of about 2 weeks.

    Thanks guys

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  • Posted

    Not everyone who has CFS is confined to home and can't work, I certainly fit into that category. I was able to hold a job because I was allowed to work from home and pace myself. I was still diagnosed with the condition by a consultant. My levels of fatigue went in cycles but I do think that if you are not house bound there is a hope. I don't think I will ever get back to where I was but my level of activity has seriously increased in the last 12 months since I decided to seriously pace myself.

    I also suffered with really bad cognitive problems and have been used games on my ipad to get my brain going again and that side has definitely worked. For me that was the real troublesome part after the fatigue.

    I feel that I am on the road to recovery but I did it all myself, no help from any professionals neither NHS and some private ones I paid for as well.

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