The FAQs include

I feel tired all the time, what can I do?

Is there a test for the diagnosis of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?

How can the diagnosis of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome be made?

How many people have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?

Is there a cure for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?

Can I do any additional treatment?

Will the nutritional supplements help me?

How can I avoid the boom / bust fall cycle of my activities?

What if no one believes me?

Can people with Chronic Fatigue Syndrom continue working?

What can I do about anger, guilt and fear which are caused by my chronic condition?

 

 

I feel tired all the time, what can I do?

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If you feel tired all the time then the first thing to do is to visit your doctor and describe what you feel. Fatigue is a symptom that can occur in many situations and may be due to pathological or non-pathological causes. It may be, for example, that you work excessive hours at times without recognition of your efforts or in a job that is not of interest to you and has no prospects. The result is that you lose your motivation, but you continue to work long hours. In this case, you may be suffering from burnout. It may be that your fatigue is due to the long working hours but it is nothing more than exhaustion, which can go away with proper rest period. If you are an athlete, your fatigue may be due to prolonged hours of training, which is not weighted properly with the required hours of rest. Improper balance between workout and rest could lead to the appearance of more persistent fatigue and perhaps to the athlete burnout.

 

If you have a chronic disease, such as rheumatoid arthritis, Parkinson's disease, stroke, fibromyalgia or if you have (or had) cancer, your fatigue can be a symptom of the disease or its treatment. If you had some serious viral disease which has gone, but you are left with fatigue, you may need to have the appropriate tests done can determine the possible presence of chronic fatigue syndrome.

 

 

Is there a test for the diagnosis of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)?

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No, there is still no imaging tests, haematology or others that can diagnose Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. The diagnosis is made by exclusion of other diseases for which blood tests and urine tests are conducted. Only a doctor can make a diagnosis of CFS.

 

 

How can the diagnosis of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome be made?

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There are several international diagnostic criteria, based on which your doctor will make a diagnosis. It is important to know that the diagnosis of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome can be a lengthy process, which includes the exclusion of other conditions with similar symptoms and compare your symptoms against the international criteria. So far, there is no indication or diagnostic test that can directly identify the syndrome.

 

How many people have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)?

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It is estimated that 0.8% of the population is affected by CFS. Estimates vary, but it is believed that at least one million Americans and 250.000 English people have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. In Greece there are still no epidemiological studies that give us the prevalence of CFS.

 

Is there a cure for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)?

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Unfortunately, at present, there is no treatment that directly affects CFS. However, by treating the symptoms and helping the patient the symptoms as well as functionality and quality of life can improve. Graded Exercise Therapy is one of the two recommended treatments for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence in the United Kingdom.

 

Dr. Michailidou has years of experience in working as a physiotherapist, a specialist in the Graded Exercise Therapy, in specialized treatment centres for both Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and chronic fatigue which is the result of other diseases, such as cancer. With her knowledge and experience she can help you cope with the symptoms of chronic fatigue and the secondary problems caused by it by gradually raising the level of your activity.

 

Can I do any additional treatment?

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In the literature there is not, yet, sufficient evidence that complementary therapies are effective for CFS and therefore, they are not recommended. However, some people with CFS find complementary therapies useful to control their symptoms.

 

Will the nutritional supplements help me?

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There is insufficient evidence for the use of dietary supplements - such as vitamin B12, vitamin C, coenzyme Q10, magnesium, etc. or multivitamins and minerals - for people with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. As such, there is no need for them to be prescribed for the treatment of this particular condition. However, some individuals with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome consider them useful to manage some of the symptoms. If there is a lack of some nutrients they must be completed, as it would in every person, following the doctor's and nutritionist advice.

 

 

How can I avoid the boom / bust fall cycle of my activities?

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As you probably have noticed, there are days when your fatigue is more severe than others and you are not be able to do almost anything in those days. Yet again, on other days you feel somewhat better and you do more. But perhaps after such a good day after you have done several activities, you may have noticed, that the following day you feel worse. This is known as the boom and bust cycle of your activities.

 

With the help of Dr. Michailidou, and by using the techniques of Graded Exercise Therapy, you will learn how to manage experience and to avoid the boom / bust of your activities and your energy during the day. The existence of this cycle creates problems in everyday life and substantially delays progress. So dealing with it is of particular importance in order to improve your health condition.

 

 

What if no one believes me?

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It is possible, that friends and family members do not believe you when you talk about your symptoms. This can also happen with the healthcare professionals, including your doctor. Many doctors may not have learned about Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or may be hesitant to make the diagnosis because they either do not recognize this as a condition or because they believe that this will not help you.

 

So it is very important to visit specialists with knowledge in the diagnosis of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Even when fatigue is the symptom of a disease such as cancer, rheumatoid arthritis or others, there may be some health professionals or people around you, who believe that this symptom is not important and deserves no special attention. Once you have visited a specialist doctor, then it is necessary to visit other health professionals with special training and experience in treating the symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and chronic fatigue.

 

Dr. Michailidou has years of experience in working as a physiotherapist, a specialist in the Graded Exercise Therapy, in specialized treatment centres for both Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and chronic fatigue which is the result of other conditions such as cancer. With her knowledge and experience she can help you deal with the symptoms caused by your chronic fatigue, and the secondary problems, by gradually increasing the level of your activity.

 

Can people with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) continue working?

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Yes, some people with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome continue working. Staing at work depends on the severity of the symptoms and the demands of the job. Symptoms in patients with CFS range from mild, where patients are able to work, to moderate, where patients can work but part-time, and finally, to those who cannot work at all. In general, it is appropriate to encourage patients to stay in their jobs, when possible, because by doing so they maintain self-esteem and economic security.

 

Via the Graded Exercise Therapy program, you will have the chance to discuss with Dr. Michailidou a plan to help you maintain your job or return to it safely and effectively.

 

 

What can I do about anger, guilt and fear which are caused by my chronic condition?

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Many people who have a chronic disease develop feelings of anger about what has happened, fear of what is going to happen and often guilt, towards themselves and their friends and relatives. If you have such feelings, or others that trouble you, then discuss them with the specialist. In general, grief periods lasting one or two days are normal, but prolonged periods with these feelings create problems. So, it is important to seek help because depression that coexists with a chronic disease can worsen the symptoms and the quality of life. To be able to improve yourself physically it is important to improve emotionally as well. The choice of a particular therapist who will deal with your emotions and your thoughts is of primary importance, since they must be able to understand the impact of your symptoms, focusing on fatigue, on both your mental and physical health.