Chronic fatigue syndrome is a disorder that causes extreme fatigue with little explanation. Doctors do not know what causes it, and it can become a frustrating experience for patients and their family members. It is a disorder that occurs more frequently in adult women. No specific ethnic or racial group is at a higher risk for CFS. The 2010 Canadian Community Health Survey found 1.4 percent of the country’s population reported having this condition, with two-thirds being women between the ages of 45 and 64. To help, the Canadian government offers the Disability Tax Credit for Chronic Fatigue.
What is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?
Chronic fatigue syndrome is a disorder with no known cause and no test that can easily diagnose it. Instead, doctors will use the process of elimination for other causes of intense fatigue. CFS is described as exhaustion that interferes with someone’s daily lifestyle for longer than six months. Signs that someone may have CFS include fatigue and eight other official symptoms:
- Loss of memory or concentration
- Unexplained muscle soreness and pain
- Sore throat
- Sleep that doesn’t refresh
- Enlarged neck or armpit lymph nodes
- Pain that bounces around from joint to joint
- Exhaustion that lasts longer than 24 hours after exercise
Fatigue is a symptom that can indicate many different illnesses and disorders, so it is important to see a doctor. If a physician determines a patient is suffering from CFS, that patient may qualify for a disability tax credit.
Facts about Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
While doctors have yet to pinpoint its exact cause, there are several possible explanations for CFS. Some medical professionals believe there is a genetic link that makes some people more likely to develop the disorder than others. Doctors have studied whether viral infections such as mononucleosis and rubella predispose someone to CFS, but have not found concrete links. Other potential causes include hormonal imbalances, bacterial infections, allergies, immune system deficiencies and lack of nutrition.
CFS can have a huge impact on a patient’s lifestyle and can be very disruptive in a number of ways. Some of those include dealing with unpredictable symptoms, losing stamina and motivation when performing everyday activities, and experiencing memory problems that makes classroom or work more challenging.
Disability Tax Credit for Chronic Fatigue and Other Support
CFS treatment is focused more on symptom-maintenance than curing the disorder, predominantly because there is no known cure for CFS. The key to managing CFS is working with doctors to develop a treatment plan that considers the overall health, lifestyle and abilities of each patient individually.
Here are some options for patients with CFS to consider:
- Disability Tax Credit for Chronic Fatigue. The Canadian government offers disability tax benefits for people who suffer from CFS. These grants are available through disability tax specialists. A doctor will need to evaluate the applicant and provide a diagnosis that indicates the disorder will be present for a minimum of one year.
- Medications. While there is no prescription drug cure for CFS, some medications will help certain patients, depending on the nature and severity of the most pressing symptoms. In some cases, sleeping pills or antidepressants may be appropriate for treatment.
- Therapy. Physical therapy and emotional counseling has proven to be effective for many people with CFS. A physical therapist can help develop an individualized exercise plan that may soften some symptoms, while a counselor can improve a patient’s outlook on life and help create for moving forward with daily activities that have become stressful.
It’s important to remember that unexplained and prolonged fatigue doesn’t mean a loved one is suffering from CFS. There are many possible underlying medical causes for fatigue, so seeing a doctor as soon as possible is advised.