It's easy to attribute unexplained tiredness and exhaustion as overwork or even a symptom of a psychiatric disorder like depression. But as Health reports, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is a real and serious issue, and because of its chameleon-like symptoms that tend to accompany a myriad of other illnesses, it's extremely difficult to diagnose.
Defined as a "complicated disorder characterized by extreme fatigue that can't be explained by any underlying medical condition" by Mayo Clinic, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome affects an estimated 2.5 million Americans, 84% of which have yet to receive a proper diagnosis. Of course, chronic fatigue syndrome isn't just the general tiredness you experience after a long workweek; sufferers are severely fatigued for six months to multiple years.
"Their ability to do functional activities—activities of daily living—are impacted dramatically,” said Betsy Keller, Ph.D., a researcher in the Department of Exercise and Sport Sciences at Ithaca College, to the magazine. "Most physicians are not trained in medical school to look at more than eight or 10 symptoms without thinking psychiatric disorder. They don't know what to do with it, and if they can't put a label on it, it creates problems." Read up on the five most common symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome below:
1. Your fatigue is debilitating and brought on by simple, daily activities that you could once do easily.
2. You feel even worse when you push your limits, like working out.
3. You often wake up tired, even if you slept for 12 hours.
4. Your brain feels foggy; sufferers have a delay in their ability to process information.
5. You get lightheaded just from standing up, and may even faint.
Head over to Health for more on Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.