We Need More Awareness and Support for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought attention to a number of different rare conditions as medical professionals worked to understand the virus. Over the course of the last year, we have paid more attention to conditions that might be linked to it, such as Kawasaki disease, MIS-C, and now chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). CFS has been connected to recovery from COVID, which has led to a spike in diagnoses. Because so many more people are at risk or already have this condition, there needs to be a coinciding rise in awareness and support. An article published in The Gisborne Herald focuses on the effort to support those with CFS in New Zealand.

Support for CFS

May is designated as Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Awareness Month, making it the perfect time to increase the amount of awareness and support surrounding this condition. As many more people are affected by it after battling the coronavirus, this month is more important than ever.

The Associated New Zealand ME Society (ANZMES), alongside ME Auckland, are fighting for increased funding for treatment and research into CFS in an effort to help patients. They have pointed out that there is no assistance from the public health system for these patients, even though the estimated cost of treating and living with CFS lies around $40,000 annually. In addition, they have identified the main issues associated with this condition, which are education, stress management, and support.

ME Auckland aims to fight this problem by providing support for CFS patients. They employ a team of qualified caseworkers who help patients manage their illness, provide mental health support, facilitate support groups, help financially, and provide support with general physicians. Over the past year, the demand for their services has increased significantly. You can donate to ME Auckland here.

In the end, there needs to be more support and awareness for those living with CFS, especially as COVID-19 has increased this number significantly. To help CFS patients in New Zealand, you can donate to ANZMES through internet banking using the account number 01 0414 0276330 00.

About Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)

CFS, also referred to as myalgic encephalomyelitis, is a chronic disorder that is characterized by severe, unexplainable fatigue. This exhaustion greatly impacts patients’ lives, as it makes it difficult to accomplish daily tasks and does not lessen with rest. Females are more commonly affected than males, and it is most often seen in those between the ages of 30 and 50. Medical professionals do not know what causes CFS, but they suspect a number of different triggers like viral infections, genetics, issues with the immune system, and hormone imbalances. Most recently, it has been linked to COVID-19. Regardless of the cause, possible symptoms of CFS include:

  • Issues with concentration (brain fog)
  • Intense fatigue
  • Low stamina
  • Dizziness
  • Blurred vision
  • Sleep problems
  • Pain in muscles and/or joints
  • Headaches
  • Sore throat
  • Swollen lymph nodes in the neck and/or armpits
  • Depression
  • Bowel dysfunction

These symptoms often worsen upon sitting up or standing, and they can restrict affected individuals from performing daily tasks, maintaining a steady job, and having a high quality of life. In addition, this condition is most likely under-diagnosed due to the lack of awareness. If it is diagnosed correctly, treatment is aimed at lessening symptoms. Treatment options include avoiding overexertion, establishing good sleep habits, pain management, physical and cognitive therapy, antidepressants, and diet changes.

Find the source article here.

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