Chronic Fatigue

About Chronic Fatigue

Chronic Fatigue is a common symptom of a variety of Chronic illnesses including Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Encephalopathy (ME) and Fibromyalgia, which are encompassed in the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Spectrum, also Multiple Sclerosis, Lupus Disease, Auto-immune Disease and many more.

Thus CFU has been designed to be open to people who have a variety of illnesses, the symptom that bonds us is Chronic Fatigue.

For more information and specifics on a certain illness mention please see bottom of page.

Chronic Fatigue

This is not being tired all the time which will be miraculously cured by a good night’s sleep, which most unaffected people seem to assume, this is an overriding feeling of exhaustion that can be disabilitating and can occur physically, mentally or both. Many people describe this feeling of fatigue as though it is like a battery running on empty, or only partially full, it is the feeling of not having enough energy to carry on with a task. Sometimes this fatigue can be overwhelming and cause pain, sometimes severe pain physically and many people describe the physical fatigue as muscle fatigue. 

People vary in the spectrum of fatigue they have. Some people appear normal, but when at home away from prying eyes, they experience pain and exhaustion sometimes even having to spend days in bed recovering. Other people can be so severe that something as simple as sitting up in bed can feel like they have climbed Mount Everest, from this small amount of movement, their reward is severe exhaustion and pain. Others, have learnt that if they save up some of their limited energy, which is commonly called pacing, they may be able to use this reserve to do things, knowing their limits in what they can do to avoid complete exhaustion or knowing what the price is to pay afterwards.

Rest
 
Usually the only thing that appears to help those with Chronic Fatigue is complete rest, to stop what they are doing and rest, rest, rest.

Rest is not watching telly sitting on the sofa, or reading a book as these can cause fatigue. It is sitting or lying quietly, sometimes people cannot rest without the aid of an audio book, or an easy listening CD. Even talking to someone on the phone or in person can cause exhaustion in those affected, and they may have to take a rest, they are not being rude, they are simply too exhausted to talk. Many unaffected people suggest exercise, but this has been found to be ineffective and usually causes the person to become worse and if repeated can eventually cause a relapse in symptoms. Rest and pacing helps to gain the correct balance between activity and rest, thus learning to know your limits.

Cognitive Functioning/Brain Fog      

Encompassing Chronic Fatigue is Cognitive Functioning. This is problems with thinking, attention and even sometimes memory. Many people who have this refer to this as ‘brain fog’ as it feels like your brain is filled with a fog, making problems with concentration and memory. This can be very frustrating’ for the affected and the unaffected, only patience will help both, and rest for the affected is again advised.  

Explaining Chronic Fatigue to others;          

Gemma’s Nan once tried to describe this Chronic Fatigue to a lady on the bus, and from this Gemma came up with the very busy day analogy, also she then came up with on the petrol gauge analogy. These are two ways to describe to someone unaffected how it feels to have Chronic Fatigue. To see these analogies click here and use them to raise awareness to unaffected people how it feels to have Chronic Fatigue.   

Illnesses with Chronic Fatigue

Not all Chronic Illnesses are mentioned above, if you have an illness that cause Chronic Fastigue that you would like to let us know about please contact us. Listed below are the illnesses mentioned above. For further information about the illnesses mentioned click on the illness listed;

ME/CFS

Fibromyalgia

Multiple Sclerosis

Auto-Immune Disorder