We are experienced in treating chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS/ME)
This is a long-term illness with a wide range of symptoms. The most common symptom is extreme tiredness. CFS is also known as ME, which stands for myalgic encephalomyelitis.
CFS/ME can affect anyone, including children. It’s more common in women, and tends to develop between your mid-20s and mid-40s.
The main symptom of CFS/ME is feeling extremely tired and generally unwell. In addition, people with CFS/ME may have other symptoms, including:
- sleep problems
- muscle or joint pain
- a sore throat or sore glands that aren’t swollen
- problems thinking, remembering or concentrating
- flu-like symptoms
- feeling dizzy or sick
- fast or irregular heartbeats (heart palpitations)
Most people find over exercising makes their symptoms worse. The severity of symptoms can vary from day to day, or even within a day.
Sometimes there is a crossover between chronic fatigue syndrome and myalgic encephalomyelitis.
We are experienced in treating fibromyalgia (FMS)
Fibromyalgia (FMS) has many symptoms that tend to vary from person to person.
The main symptom is widespread pain.
There may be periods when your symptoms get better or worse, depending on factors such as:
- your stress levels
- changes in the weather
- how physically active you are
Treatment is available to ease some of the symptoms, although it’s unlikely they’ll ever disappear completely.
The main symptoms of fibromyalgia are outlined below.
If you have fibromyalgia, one of the main symptoms is likely to be widespread pain. This may be felt throughout your body, but could be worse in particular areas, such as your back or neck. The pain is likely to be continuous, although it may be better or more severe at different times.
The pain could feel like:
- an ache
- a burning sensation
- a sharp, stabbing pain
Fibromyalgia can make you extremely sensitive to pain all over your body, and you may find that even the slightest touch is painful. If you hurt yourself, such as stubbing your toe, the pain may continue for much longer than it normally would.
You may hear the condition described in the following medical terms:
- hyperalgesia – when you’re extremely sensitive to pain
- allodynia – when you feel pain from something that should not be painful at all, such as a very light touch
You may also be sensitive to things like smoke, certain foods and bright lights. Being exposed to something you’re sensitive to can cause your other fibromyalgia symptoms to flare up.
Fibromyalgia can make you feel stiff. The stiffness may be most severe when you have been in the same position for a long period of time – for example, when you first wake up in the morning. It can also cause your muscles to spasm, which is when they contract (squeeze) tightly and painfully.
Fibromyalgia can cause extreme tiredness (fatigue). This can range from a mild tired feeling to the exhaustion often experienced during a flu-like illness. Severe fatigue may come on suddenly and can drain you of all your energy. If this happens, you may feel too tired to do anything at all.
Poor sleep quality
Fibromyalgia can affect your sleep. You may often wake up tired, even when you have had plenty of sleep. This is because the condition can sometimes prevent you sleeping deeply enough to refresh you properly. You may hear this described as non-restorative sleep.
Cognitive problems (‘fibro-fog’)
Cognitive problems are issues related to mental processes, such as thinking and learning, you may have:
- trouble remembering and learning new things
- problems with attention and concentration
- slowed or confused speech
Fibromyalgia can cause you to experience pain and stiffness in your neck and shoulders, you may also have frequent headaches. These can vary from being mild headaches to severe migraines, and could also involve other symptoms, such as feeling sick.
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
Some people with fibromyalgia also develop irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). IBS is a common digestive condition that causes pain and bloating in your stomach. It can also lead to constipation or diarrhoea.
Other symptoms that people with fibromyalgia sometimes experience include:
- dizziness and clumsiness
- feeling too hot or too cold – this is because you’re not able to regulate your body temperature properly
- an overwhelming urge to move your legs (restless legs syndrome)
- tingling, numbness, prickling or burning sensations in your hands and feet (pins and needles, also known as paraesthesia)
- in women, unusually painful periods
In some cases, having the condition can lead to depression. This is because fibromyalgia can be difficult to deal with, and low levels of certain hormones associated with the condition can make you prone to developing depression.
Depression can cause many symptoms, including:
- constantly feeling low
- feeling hopeless and helpless
- losing interest in the things you usually enjoy
With both of these conditions each patient is effected slightly differently so all treatment approaches are tailored to the individual.
In many cases those suffering for stiffness and pain can benefit for massage techniques, massage is also beneficial in helping to ease the stress component.
With long-term inactivity due to the chronic tiredness, physical strength can deteriorate and cause more physical discomfort. Advice can be given for a graduated exercise programme to help manage this, massage can also help to maintain muscle tone.
Acupuncture can be helpful to those suffering from stress, headaches, cognitive problems and IBS.
Herbal medicine can also be especially beneficial in managing stress and IBS.