International CFS Awareness Day 2017

What is the CFS Awareness Day

International CFS Awareness Day falls on May 12 which offers a worldwide opportunity to evoke a greater awareness and understanding of M.E. /CFS amongst the educationalists, medical profession, employers, politicians and the entire society at large.


The importance of May 12 event is evident with the fact that it provides individuals across the world an opportunity to explain the devastation of M.E./CFS on the same day.


May 12th date was selected to celebrate the birth date of Florence Nightingale, the British nurse who encouraged the founding of the International Red Cross. She developed a paralyzing M.E./CFS-like illness in her mid-thirties, and passed the last fifty years of her life literally lying on the bed. In spit of her illness, Florence Nightingale she found the first ever School of Nursing.

Prevalence and Costs

Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) also referred to as chronic fatigue and immune dysfunction syndrome (CFIDS), myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) and by a few other names, is a complicated and weakening chronic illness that attacks the brain and various body systems. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) is a complex, multi-systemic ailment jeopardizing the lives of nearly 1-4 million people in the United States and almost 200,000 individuals in Canada.  ME/CFS usually costs families nearly $25,000 a year in lost jobs and medical expenses. Total expense to the US economy range from 19-25 billion dollars each year.

Burden is Cumbersome

Researchers at DePaul University evaluate that each year CFS costs the burden of $17-24 billion to the U.S. economy. Its prevalence, disabling factor, economic impact and chronicity make it one of the most onerous conditions of present time.

What Research Says

Several studies have been conducted in the U.S. and different other countries, but the glitch in ascertaining a number arises from the various definitions and case variations used over time and between research bodies. More than 80% of people considered in community studies of CFS have yet to be diagnosed and offered proper medical attention for their illness.

Women and Teens are at Greater Risk

CFS seldom discriminates. It attacks people of all age, country, and gender ethnic and socioeconomic community. Research has reported that it attacks women 3-4 times more as compared to men, a proportion identical to that of autoimmune conditions like lupus and sclerosis. Teens are at more risk to develop CFS than younger children, and adults are more prone to get C-FS than teens.

Who Gets Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS)?

Albeit, people of every age, gender and socioeconomic background develop CFS, middle-aged women seem they are at a greater risk. Some evidence indicates that people having lower income are also prone to higher risk of developing this disease.

Several researchers think enhanced rates of physical and/or psychological stress may catapult ones risk of developing CFS. Many CFS patients are unable to identify a stimulator for their illness. Chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) does not seem to be contagious but some evidence indicates there is a genetic component to the ailment and that it can run in some families for years.

Symptoms and Diagnosis

  • Only nearly 20% of chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) sufferers in the U.S. have been diagnosed. As no laboratory tests specific to the disease have been considered patients are detected using symptoms and by eliminating other disorders.
  • According to the International Definition (1994) CFS is termed as unexplained severe fatigue prevailing for over six months that is not actually alleviated by rest.
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome patients also experience unrefreshing sleep, post-exertional malaise, memory and/or concentration disorders, muscle and/or joint pains, sore throat, headaches, and tender lymph nodes.
  • As diagnosing ME/CFS needs ruling out several other diseases (thyroid disease, depression, multiple sclerosis etc) that could lead to identical symptoms, this disease can only be detected by a physician.
  • Patients generally also experience a wide spectrum of other symptoms.

Causes of CFS

A wide number of endocrine, immune, cardiovascular and central nervous abnormalities have been witnessed in CFS. Among the causes considered for CFS encompass trauma to parts of the brain handling cognition, mood, memory, energy and perception, an altered stress reaction, immune system disorder, a hidden chronic infection, malfunction of the interferon routes, rampant free radical production, unusual sympathetic nervous system activity, cardiac malfunction and others.

Treating CFS

There is no guaranteed cure for CFS. Nevertheless, physicians administer a great variety of pharmaceutical drugs, change therapies, nutritional supplements and coping strategies to lessen the symptoms of CFS.

The Future

Chronic fatigue syndrome has traveled a long way in acquiring legitimacy over the past five years. In 2006 the Assistant Secretary and Lead of the CDC floated a comprehensive media campaign crafted to inform the public and physicians of the severe nature of CFS. ME/CFS researchers have of late unearthed immune, nervous system and endocrine abnormalities in CFS sufferers. While the disease's authenticity in the professional and public area has enhances research funding remains surprisingly low and in some areas has cut down.

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