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Chronic Fatigue in Men: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

  • Published:
    01 February 2024
  • Updated:
    15 March 2024

Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a medical condition that impairs one's quality of life, resulting in a person experiencing pronounced weakness despite prolonged rest and normal sleep. 

Understanding the cause of its occurrence is quite difficult. The problem has been known since the mid-1980s, and the number of people suffering from CFS is constantly increasing. Men often experience complications along with chronic fatigue syndrome, such as cardiovascular diseases and erectile problems.

Causes of Chronic Fatigue

According to various estimates, chronic fatigue syndrome affects around 2% of the global population (120-140 million). The disease often affects men whose work requires high stress and responsibility: teachers, businessmen, doctors, firefighters, directors, although people of other professions are also not immune to this unpleasant condition. Negative environmental conditions, viral infections, chronic diseases, emotional and intellectual overload increase the risk of developing chronic fatigue syndrome even at a young age.

The appearance of the syndrome is associated with a disturbance in the functioning of the central centers of regulation of the autonomic nervous system, a deficiency of L-carnitine in the body, and a lack of energy-producing ATP. There are situations when chronic fatigue syndrome occurs after surgical interventions or during prolonged stress. If not diagnosed and treated, CFS can lead to depression and become the cause of infectious and allergic diseases.

Risk factors

  • Unfavorable environmental living or working conditions can weaken the immune system. For example, prolonged exposure to hazardous substances or radiation.

  • Frequent stressful situations, both at work and in the family.

  • Constant stressful work requiring high concentration, and mental or physical effort.

  • Low physical activity or its excess.

  • Improper nutrition, physiologically unsuitable foods, excessive intake of sweets, spicy foods, etc.

How to Determine if You Have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?

It is necessary to pay attention to alarming symptoms to take measures for treatment and prevent possible complications.

  • A person constantly feels tired, and experiences a decrease in energy and work capacity for the past 6 months - this is the first and main sign. If you constantly feel tired even after slight physical or mental exertion, it may also indicate the development of chronic fatigue.

  • Unexplained muscle weakness and muscle pain.

  • Mood swings - if your mood often changes without any apparent reason, it may result from reduced energy and overload of the body.

  • Sleep disturbances - any sleep problems, such as daytime sleepiness, insomnia at night, or interrupted shallow sleep, may be associated with chronic fatigue.

  • Headaches that differ in intensity, nature, or duration from usual ones.

  • Problems with memory and thinking - difficulties with concentration, bad mood, difficulty remembering information, and increased irritability may indicate brain dysfunction.

  • Lack of desire for sex - a man does not want physical intimacy without any apparent reason.

  • Decreased immunity - susceptibility to infectious diseases, frequent sore throats, and exacerbation of chronic illnesses are associated with weakened immunity, which often accompanies chronic fatigue.

  • Increase in body temperature (in rare cases).

  • Enlargement of lymph nodes: cervical, axillary, or others.

It is important to note that the first symptom - constant loss of strength and efficiency - is key, and the rest only complement the overall picture. The sooner you pay attention to these signs and start treating chronic fatigue syndrome, the more chances you have to avoid dangerous health consequences and improve your quality of life.

Treatment for Chronic Fatigue

Treatment of chronic fatigue syndrome requires an individual approach. In this article, we will provide general recommendations:

  • Learn to recognize when you are tired and alternate daytime activity with rest to avoid exacerbating symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome, which can interfere with sleep.

  • Avoid drinks containing caffeine in the second half of the day and evening.

  • Avoid television, computers, and electronic devices before and after sleep (blue light from electronic devices worsens insomnia and fatigue).

  • Use warm baths, relaxing muscle ointments, physiotherapy, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, acupuncture, massage, yoga, mindfulness-based stress reduction methods.

  • Current recommendations for the treatment of chronic fatigue syndrome include cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and therapeutic exercise with gradual increases in workload.

If you notice alarming symptoms, reconsider your lifestyle and eliminate unfavorable factors, including those mentioned above. Then consult a doctor for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment of the disease.



Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Diagnosis and Management in Young People: A Primer

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