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Fatigue Awareness Is Key
Monday 4 June 2018
From South Australia newspaper The Courier (via email):
Fatigue awareness is key
Imagine experiencing severe bouts of tiredness but no amount of rest or recuperation improved your energy levels.
For people living with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), also referred to as myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), this is just one aspect of their struggle.
In the wake of ME/CFS and Fibromyalgia International Awareness Day on May 12, 22-year-old Nathan Holliday and his mother and full-time carer Denise are urging people to find out a little bit more about the difficult condition.
"One of the biggest issues is that most people don't actually know much about it at all," Ms Holliday said.
"A lot of people look at it as 'oh you're a little bit tired' but it is just so much more than that."
Sufferers can also experience memory loss, disrupted sleep, muscle pain and heightened sensitivities to light, sounds, touch and smells.
Mr Holliday has experienced several of these symptoms throughout his battle with the condition.
"Luckily Nathan's muscle pain isn't extreme unlike a lot of other people's, but he gets bad headaches, confusion and dizziness," Mr Holliday said.
It was managing a life, particularly a social life, which Mr Holliday said was one of the condition's most difficult aspects.
"I don't like having to cancel any plans at the last minute, social or otherwise," he said. "After a while people get less tolerant of me cancelling.
"It's really hard wanting to get up, go out and do something but just not being able to."
maintaining energy was always "tricky" because her son never knew where his levels would be on any given day, Ms Holliday said.
"Activities that might seem trivial and like nothing to someone could take Nathan days to recover from," she said.
"It's a day-to-day struggle and that's what makes this disease so hard on its sufferers and the people around them."
The cause of ME/CFS is unknown, but is thought to include environmental, genetic factors, viral infection, psychological stress, or a combination of factors.
Experiencing fatigue, that often worsens with activity, for over six months is the main symptom, and there is no cure or approved treatment for this condition, nor are there specific tests for diagnosis.
Potential triggers include viral infections, immune system problems and hormonal imbalances, and possible complications include depression, social isolation and lifestyle restrictions.
The original article:
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