Chronic fatigue syndrome

What is it?

Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) causes persistent fatigue (exhaustion) that affects all aspects of everyday life.

CFS is also known as ME, which stands for myalgic encephalomyelitis. CFS is a serious condition that can cause long-term illness and disability, although many people do improve over time.

Who does it affect?

It’s estimated around 250,000 people in the UK have CFS, with more women than men affected. It usually develops when people are in their early 20s to mid-40s.

Most cases of CFS are mild or moderate, but up to one in four people with CFS have severe symptoms – here are some of the levels of CFS:

  • mild – you’re generally able to look after yourself, but may need occasional days off work to rest
  • moderate – you may have reduced mobility, and your symptoms can vary; you may also have disturbed sleep patterns and need to sleep in the afternoon
  • severe – you’re able to carry out minimal daily tasks, like brushing your teeth, but have significantly reduced mobility, and may also have difficulty concentrating

It’s not known exactly what causes CFS. Various theories have been suggested, including:

  • a viral or bacterial infection
  • problems with the immune system
  • an imbalance of hormones
  • psychiatric problems, such as stress and emotional trauma

Some people are thought to be more susceptible to the condition because of their genes, as the condition is more common in some families.

What’s the treatment?

Some of the main treatments to help manage CFS include:

  • cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)
  • a structured exercise programme called graded exercise therapy
  • medication to control pain, nausea and sleeping problems

Most people with CFS improve over time, although some people never make a full recovery. It’s also likely there will be periods when symptoms get better or worse. Children and young people with CFS are more likely to recover fully.

Why BodyBilt for CFS?

BodyBilt chairs have often been recommended for people with CFS to help with the practical day-to-day alleviation of pain and fatigue. The 12 point posture control means chairs can be accurately adjusted for each person plus they offer totally bespoke options to further relieve pressure and provide the correct support where needed.

Get in touch to see how we can help if you have chronic fatigue syndrome.

Visit the NHS website for more information about: symptoms of CFS, causes of CFS, treating CFS.