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This is not a mental or psychological disease. It is very much physical. It might start with a viral infection and then just refuse to go away. But the problem is that doctors are yet to identify what causes it. A recent study, published in the journal Microbiome, has discovered that there might be some relation to CFS and the affected persons intestinal bacteria, also called gut microbiome. Maureen Hanson, professor of molecular biology and genetics at Cornell University and the senior author of the study said that patients with chronic fatigue syndrome have a different profile of bacterial species in their gut microbiome than healthy individuals. Hence, some doctors prescribe probiotics, or good bacteria, to change the disturbed gut microbiome profile in CFS patients. But it is not known whether this works.
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Not knowing the cause, doctors have been treating the other symptoms rather than the core CFS. There are also no diagnostic tests for the core disease. It is generally treated with pain relievers or anti-inflammatory drugs in the first case. Then, anticonvulsants and anti-depressants are also prescribed in some cases. Corticosteroids were also tried but not found effective and rejected as a line of treatment due to their dangerous side effects. Alternative therapies, such as acupuncture and stone massage, are also being tried.
There are certain things a patient can do himself to ease the symptoms. He can do regular exercise after consulting a doctor or physiotherapist. He can change his lifestyle to get more and quality sleep. He can identify things that cause pain or fatigue and try to avoid doing them or if necessary, then to do them at a relaxed pace. Remember, self medication is dangerous and often suppresses the symptoms so that the real disease is diagnosed much later and hence the treatment also starts at a late stage, aggravating the problem. Consult your physician as soon as the symptoms start.
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