Monday 12 October 2015

Marla Ahlgrimm on the “Never-ending Hangover,” Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Marla Ahlgrimm
Occasional tiredness is to be expected, acknowledges pharmacist Marla Ahlgrimm. However, women with a certain invisible condition experience that feeling permanently. Here, the pharmacist and women’s healthcare pioneer answers questions about Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and offers information on how to manage its symptoms.

Q: What exactly is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is a medical condition that presents with flu-like symptoms. These may include headache, muscle aches and pains, loss of concentration, tender lymph nodes, and an extreme feeling of fatigue or weakness. It has been compared to feeling hung over constantly with no respite.

Q: Is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome more common in women than men?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Women are two to four times more likely to receive a diagnosis of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome than their male counterparts. This may be due to various factors including social influences. Women are typically more likely to discuss their symptoms without fear of judgment with their doctor than men are. Some doctors have speculated that chronic fatigue syndrome is psychosomatic, but many experts doubt that diagnosis.

Q: Are there any physical factors that may lead to CFS?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Although science has yet to pinpoint the cause, many people, and especially women, that complain of prolonged fatigue often do so in conjunction with low iron or blood sugar, environmental allergies, or candidiasis - a yeast infection that affects the entire body.

Q: Is it possible to successfully manage the symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?

Marla Ahlgrimm: CFS sufferers may benefit from eating a carefully constructed diet to ensure a proper nutritional balance. Additionally, going to bed a half an hour earlier each night and exercising throughout the day may help as well. Some sufferers report that their symptoms subsided without attempted intervention while others are forced to live with the syndrome indefinitely.


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