Thanks for using the forum. I am happy to address your questions, and my answer will be based on the information you provided here. Please make sure you recognize that this forum is for educational purposes only, and it does not substitute for a formal office visit with your doctor.
Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a disease with unexplained, persistent and relapsing fatigue. The diagnosis is difficult as there are no objective clinical or laboratory findings. The initial goal is to look for a cause of the symptoms, and the diagnosis is made after excluding other possibilities.
Many therapies have been tried in CFS but only cognitive behavioral therapy and graded exercise appear to produce meaningful benefit. It is important to notice that most patients with CFS have an element of depression associated with their physical limitations and this component of the illness should be addressed as well.
Regarding medical therapy, a number of medications have been evaluated, but not one has proven to be very successful.
Examples of the medications that have been studied:
-Galantamine: medication used to treat Alzheimer’s disease, which was evaluated in CFS, and did not show significant benefit.
-Immune globulins: data was unimpressive and with a high incidence of adverse effects.
-Acyclovir: No significant benefit.
-Antidepressants: May be helpful in treating associated depression, insomnia or other mood symptoms of CFS, but is not a specific therapy for CFS.
-Methylphenidate: this medication has proven to have some effect on the fatigue component as well as on concentration, but is not a specific therapy for CFS.
-Steroids: the results are inconsistent, and the risks may be high.
As outlined above, the most successful therapies include cognitive behavioral therapy and graded exercise.
I can unfortunately not tell you whether or not you have a CFS, but seeing a neurologist may help you with your symptoms. Talking to your doctor, and making a plan for your therapy, discussing benefits and risks of each therapy is the best way to start your treatment for CFS.
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