Chronic Fatigue Immune Deficiency Syndrome

A Debilitating Disease that Might be Transmitted by a Virus

Copyright © 2014 ; all rights reserved; content may not be copied, rewritten, or republished without author’s written permission; Author’s Google profile; Posted January 25, 2014

A woman experiencing a migraine headache; photo courtesy Sasha Wolff


Chronic Fatigue Immune Deficiency Syndrome (CFIDS) is thought to be not one but a collection of diseases together manifesting the primary symptom of persistent and debilitating fatigue. Of course it is tightly-bound to chronic fatigue syndrome.

The organization known as the CFIDS Society International has proposed three criteria to be used in establishing a positive diagnosis of Chronic Fatigue Deficiency Syndrome. They are as follows:

  1. There must be a new and distinct case of relapsing or persisting fatigue with an activity reduction level of a minimum of fifty percent for a minimum of six months.

  2. Of these conditions, six are currently being experienced: a sore throat, a mild fever, non-localized joint pain, complaints of a neuropsychological nature, disturbed sleep, weakness of the muscles, discomfort of the muscles, headaches, sore lymph nodes, and (verified by the doctor) slight fever, inflammation of the throat, and palpable lymph nodes.

  3. The exclusion of other diseases made by examination.

Chronic Fatigue Immune Deficiency Syndrome Symptoms a Patient Might Experience

Finding a doctor who is well-versed in this condition and understands the diagnosis protocol can be difficult. How can a prospective patient justify her suspicions that she might be afflicted? According to The CFIDS Association of America, simply confirm these symptoms:

  • Post Exertional Malaise (PEM) PEM is a prime indicator of ME/CFS. PEM manifests after mental or physical exertion. It is described as worsening symptoms that last 24 hours or longer.

    Malaise is defined as a condition of general bodily weakness or discomfort, often marking the onset of a disease and a vague or unfocused feeling of mental uneasiness, lethargy, or discomfort.

  • Unrefreshing Sleep Sleep that is disrupted and unrefreshing is yet another indication of ME/CFS which causes patients to awake with a tired feeling even after periods of rest, to experience excessive daytime drowsiness, and to have problems falling asleep as well as staying asleep.

  • Concentration Problems A good number of ME/CFS patients find concentration issuess to be the most serious and debilitating indicator. They live with difficulties with attention, concentration, and memory that have been linked to problems in ways the brain handles information—particularly processing speed and complex information processing.

  • Pain Historically, pain was not concieved to be a prime indicator of ME/CFS, but muscle pain, joint pain, and headache are now understood to be common in ME/CFS patients.

    It’s quite likely that these four major symptoms of ME/CFS are interwoven, each building on the other and potentially exacerbating the disease. This is why doctors who understand ME/CFS focus on treating pain and sleep disturbances with medications, attempting to give some solace to the severity of the overall ME/CFS symptom complex.

History, Causes, and Coping with CFIDS

No one is sure exactly when Chronic Fatigue Immune Deficiency Syndrome first arose but it became defined late in the 1970s. This was also the time frame when AIDS began its rise.

It is unclear exactly what causes Chronic Fatigue Immune Deficiency Syndrome. It seems likely that it may be caused by a virus, but mysteriously, it has yet to be established how it migrates from person to person.

The condition afflicts women in the majority of cases, estimated at 75% to 80% of total cases. The age range in which it first strikes is 25 to 50.

The triggers for Chronic Fatigue Immune Deficiency Syndrome are thought to be digestive system stress, depression or emotional stress, exposure of the immune system to some toxicity, and an over-work/under-exercise situation.

Although there is no known cure at this point, there are some things that are beneficial in the coping process. Mild exercise is a great help. It allows the blood flow to increase and boosts the immune system.

The elimination of certain things from your diet may minimize the effect of Chronic Fatigue Immune Deficiency Syndrome. Some items include caffeine, alcohol, and highly refined flour and sugar.

Counseling is another technique to cope with this disease. Having moral support can be a huge asset when coping with depression and stress. Utilizing these techniques and working for solutions under a doctor’s care and supervision will keep the patient on the road to good health.

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