Unexplained fatigue, possible CFS?

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Last year I was feeling really poorly, constantly exhausted, brain fog, couldn't concentrate, felt like in a dream-like state or daze, headaches, palpitations and shortness of breath, and legs aching when i went up stairs.  I had blood tests taken and it showed my ferritin level was very low.  I had iron tablets for a good number of months (finished them in december) and felt much better.  However, around beginning of March this year, i started to feel much the same way as I was feeling, constantly tired, feeling like I'm in a dream, not being able to focus on more than one conversation at a time at work, and sensitive to light and loud talking, sleep is not really refreshing, even though I get a solid 8.5 hours sleep most nights (some nights can be up to 11 hours!!). I believed that perhaps my ferritn levels had dropped again and went to the doctors for a blood test - which all came back within normal ranges.  As far as I'm aware, all the usual were tested, B12, thyroid, iron and ferritin etc.  I had a follow up appointment with GP and I've been for another blood test (awaiting results), this time for C-reactive protein, ESR, Haemolysis check, lactate dehydrogenase and Vitamin D. Now i must confess that means little to me! The GP said he was trying to get to the bottom of this tiredness and it was like a jigsaw to fit all the pieces together!  However, I am wondering if I may be suffering from possible CFS, and wondered if my symptoms feel like some of you feel?  The tiredness is now beginning to feel like it's ruling my life, in that I plan routines around what time I need to be in bed by!  I'm 30 years old, and don't believe I'm in too bad health apart from this currently unexplained fatigue! Any help or advice will be gratefully received!  

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8 Replies

  • Posted

    Were there any previous triggers? (Flu, injury, stress). I know you mentioned your age, which can be relevant. Are you healthy weight? What are your eating habits? Did you take any antibiotics prior to the symptoms starting? How is your overall mood?
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    • Posted

      No triggers that I can specifically think of. As I mentioned I thought it was iron that was the issue again but the doctor says not. Work is possibly slightly more stressful than normal but I wouldn't say I felt more stressed. My mood is quite irritable because I'm fed up of feeling not right and constantly tired, so I probably do have a shorter fuse than usual! I lack motivation to much of anything because of the tiredness x

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  • Posted

    Hi nat-152001

    i sympathise, it's hard to get to the root of Tiredness...it is such a misunderstood and poor description of something that is totally overwhelming when you have it.

    Yes, I was diagnosed with CFS/ME and Fibromyalgia eight years ago and the feelings you describe are similar, plus in my case I also had sore throat, voice loss and swollen neck glands.

    However I also have chronic Sleep Apnoea, in treatment with  CPAP nightly, so I wonder if in your case the 8.5hrs of sleep are good quality sleep or f you too have apnoeas which would severely impair your ability to function normally during the day.

    Your GP should be able to refer you for tests. 

    Good luck, it takes a long time to have all the necessary tests for CFS/ME as it is a "diagnosis by exclusión" ... all other possible diagnosis have to be checked out and discarded first.....then you are left with the very vague term " Chronic Fatigue".

    Best wishes.... it's great your GP is not dismissive. 

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    • Posted

      Thank you I'd never thought of sleep apnoea, as it seemed I was getting enough sleep! But perhaps it's not the case! I'm back at the gp on Tuesday so I will enquire!

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  • Posted

    It's possible that you have a condition that I was recently diagnosed with called May-Thurner Syndrome (Left Iliac Vein Compression). It's been causing me CFS for the past 25 years. Then about 2 years ago I started getting the brain fog, concentration and memory problems, Dizziness and Balance Issues, difficulty Breathing, and achy legs. It can also cause Pelvic Congestion Syndrome in Women and Vericocele Veins in Men.

    This is how I discovered I had May-Thurner Syndrome. After I had a Vericocele Embolization about a year ago, an Interventional Radiologist told me I had severe compression of my Left Iliac Vein. Since I didn't have any of the "classic" symptoms of this condition such as blood clots and swelling of the legs, no doctor would ever think of this condition.

    After a simple stenting procedure for this condition, almost overnight every problem I was having started to disappear. Blood began flowing normally again and the brain fog was gone, I could breathe so much better, my legs didn't ache anymore and the fatigue started to fade away.

    I've read at least one other story of another lady with almost the same identical story. She went in for what she thought was an unrelated vein procedure and ended up getting diagnosed with May-Thurner Syndrome. After she had a stent placed her CFS was gone overnight. I also met another lady that I've become good friend with that was recently diagnosed with May-Thurner Syndrome and another similar condition called Nutcracker Syndrome. She has CFS as well and knows that May-Thurner Syndrome can cause Chronic Fatigue, Cognitive Dysfunction, Anxiety and Depression, all problems I've had most of my life. So there's obviously more to May-Thurner than blood clots and swollen legs, especially if you don't have blood clots. I asked my doctor about MTS and CFS. He told me he didn't know of any connection but that MTS "Can certainly drain you of energy".

    It's just my personal opinion but I would recommend at least ruling out this condition as well as the Nutcracker Syndrome (Left Renal Vein Compression). This condition has also been linked to CFS as well. It might just save you 25 years of Extreme Fatigue and misery. An Interventional Radiologist or Vascular Surgeon are the kind of doctors that deal with these conditions. A Pelvic Venogram is the gold standard for diagnosing this condition. They can measure the exact amount of compression of this vein and place a stent if needed. Hope this might help as I know from personal experience many doctors don't even know what this condition is let alone the many problems it can cause.

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    • Posted

      Thank you for your reply. I will certainly look in to this, though I don't have any incline I have a blood clot, but it's certainly worth looking in to! I'm hoping The dr might be able to get to the bottom of it soon! Glad to hear you got a diagnosis and treatment to make you feel better

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    • Posted

      Sorry if I wasn't very clear. I was trying to say I Didn't have any blood clots with this condition but still had severe compression of this very large vein. That's why no doctor has every thought of it. If you're leg is swelling up 3 times the normal size then you have a pretty good chance of getting diagnosed with May-Thurner. But if not, then there's no obvious sign that doctors can see so it often gets missed. That's what May-Thurner is known for though, tired achy legs. Whether you're exercising or climbing stairs there is an increase in blood flow. If you have significant compression of this vein, the blood gets trapped and has nowhere to go but back down into the legs and pelvis. It also means there less blood flowing back up to the lungs, heart and brain. Pretty soon blood is flowing every which was but normally and causing problem from head to toe. At least that's what was happening to me.

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