Holiday Stress or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?

chronic-fatigueWhile enjoyable and festive, the holiday season has the ability to throw our lives into disarray. Irregular work and sleep schedules, overtime with extended family, financial stress and extensive travel can all take their toll on our general health.

But what does it mean when the last ornament has been packed away and the final Christmas cookie has been eaten … and you still feel that holiday stress sitting on your shoulders? It’s possible you’re suffering from more than sleepless nights thinking about your credit card bills.

According to a number of studies done by the Centers for Disease Control, between one and four million Americans suffer from chronic fatigue syndrome. Though many people go untreated, the sooner someone is consulted about the problem, the more likely the illness can be fully treated and resolved.

In addition to general fatigue, people with chronic fatigue syndrome may experience a loss of memory or concentration, sore throat, painful or mildly enlarged lymph nodes, unexplained muscle pain, unrefreshing sleep, headaches, pain that moves from one joint to another without swelling or redness, and extreme exhaustion lasting more than 24 hours after physical or mental exercise. For some people, symptoms peak and then stabilize early in the illness, then come and go in waves. Some find that they recover completely from the condition while others have symptoms that grow progressively worse.

Though there is no known cause for chronic fatigue syndrome, there have been some suggestions as to what might trigger it. These include depression, low blood sugar, a history of allergies, iron deficiency anemia, virus infections, hypotension, changes in the hormones and inflammation in nervous-system pathways. It occurs in women four times more often than it does in men, and while people of all ages can get chronic fatigue syndrome, those in their 40s and 50s are most likely to develop the condition.

Because of the mysterious nature of chronic fatigue syndrome, it may go undiagnosed and untreated for a long time. As a result, sufferers may fall into depression or suffer from side effects related to incorrect medication treatments or from lack of activity. Fatigue may cause social isolation and have an adverse effect on the normal lifestyle. People who have chronic fatigue syndrome may also end up missing work, which can have a ripple effect throughout many aspects of their lives.

The good news is that, once the holiday season is over, all the related stress will (hopefully) melt away for another 300+ days. Unfortunately for those suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome, there is no known medical “cure” that can wipe away the illness. However, Specific Chiropractic is delivering hope this holiday season to those who suffer from this condition. If you or someone you love suffers from chronic fatigue syndrome, sign up today for a workshop that will help return you to a normal and vibrant life … just in time for the holidays!


Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. (April 28, 2009) Centers for Disease Control. Retrieved December 1, 2009 from http://www.cdc.gov/cfs/

Mayo Clinic Staff. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. (June 19, 2009) Mayo Clinic. Retrieved December 1, 2009 from http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/chronic-fatigue-syndrome/DS00395