Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) and CBD

Overview

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) or Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) is a well-known and debilitating medical condition – estimates are that 250,000 people in Britain suffer from it. As it is a medical diagnosis, with no measurable tests to confirm it, many people don’t see it as a real disease. There are many theories on the causes including proposed mechanisms such as biological, genetic, infectious it is also linked with anxiety and depression and mental disorders.

What is CFS/ME?

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is a long-term illness that has a wide range of symptoms – it is also known as Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME). This illness can affect anyone at any age, but it is more common in women and develops between the mid-20s and mid-40s.
 
It is has a range of neurological symptoms and signs, muscle pain with intense physical or mental exhaustion, relapses, and specific cognitive disabilities
Chronic fatigue syndrome and cbd

Symptoms of CFS

 
The most common symptom of CFS is extreme tiredness and a general feeling of being unwell. Some sufferers of CFS may also experience symptoms like:
 
  • Sleep problems
  • Muscle or joint pain
  • Headaches
  • Sore throat or glands (that aren’t swollen)
  • Problems thinking, remembering or concentrating
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Feeling sick or dizzy
  • Fast or irregular heartbeats
 
Often people find that over exercising makes their symptoms worse. The severity of the symptoms people may experience can vary from day to day or even change within one day. In addition, some of the symptoms complained of can be quite vague to describe.
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Diagnosing Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

 
Currently there is no specific test for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome – it is typically diagnosed if a person has at least 6 months of extreme fatigue that is not relieved by rest. The disorder often begins following on from a flu-like infection or an episode of physical or psychological trauma (anything from surgery, to the death of a loved one, or an accident). After consulting your GP, other illnesses are often excluded, leading onto a diagnosis of CFS.
 
The symptoms of CFS are similar to those of many other common illnesses which usually get better on their own. A diagnosis of CFS only comes into consideration if a person doesn’t get better as quickly as expected.

Treating Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

 
The treatment for CFS aims to relieve the symptoms. The treatment will depend on how CFS is affecting a person and each person experiences CFS differently, so each treatment is unique.
 
Some of the most common treatments for CFS include:
 
o Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)
 
o Medication to control pain, nausea and sleeping.
 
There is no medication that is specifically for CFS, but the medication given is for the relief of the symptoms caused by CFS.
 
People can get over the counter painkillers to try and help ease headaches or muscle and joint pain. A GP may prescribe stronger pain killers, although people should only take these on a short-term basis.
 
Antidepressants can be useful for people with CFS who are in pain or having trouble sleeping, however, they do come with some unwanted side effects

How does Chronic Fatigue Syndrome affect the body?

 
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome can affect the body in many different ways. The most prominent is fatigue. Fatigue can cause the brain to function incorrectly (brain fog), leading to difficulty sleeping, headaches or fainting spells.
 
Testing on people who suffer from CFS found they have abnormalities in the brain. These abnormalities are primarily found in the hypothalamus (the area of the brain which regulates hormones and vital functions).
 
Testing patients can find abnormalities in the area of the nervous system called the autonomic nervous system (ANS). The ANS controls blood pressure, heart rate and body temperature. Many people who suffer with CFS have unusually high heart rate and low blood pressure.
 

How does CBD work for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?

How does CBD help with CFS?
Previous research about the Endocannabinoid System shows how CBD may be able to help Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and ME. It can be a natural relief for many of the symptoms people experience with the disorder. For example, many studies have shown the effects CBD has on sleep disorders, a common CFS complaint. CBD is a natural anti-inflammatory, so it has high pain-relieving qualities. It also exhibits relaxing properties which reduce pain from muscular tension.
Many of the symptoms are in common with Fibromyalgia and there is more accumulated evidence relating to this condition. From studies, cannabis-based products link to providing relief for sleep problems heightened pain perception and chronic diffuse pain.
 
While there remains controversy around whether or not CFS is an actual disorder, people do live with some to all of the symptoms.