CFS is a serious and disabling disease that shows a multiplicity of symptoms that, according to each patient, can manifest in more or less quantity, and greater or lesser intensity (for more information see the posts: “Percentage of population affected by CFS and FM in Spain ”,“ Differences between asthenia, chronic fatigue and Chronic Fatigue syndrome ”,“ Bibliography on CFS, SQM and FM ”,“ Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia, in a few words ”, among others).
However, chronic fatigue (persistent fatigue that does not give way to rest) is the perennial and most intense symptom to all patients. Hence, this disease is called by its most characteristic symptom (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome), a meaning that the patient does not like, and that is very questioned in general, because this name makes that, in addition to being a little known disease , people think that it is “unimportant” and not what it is: a serious and serious pathology, multisystemic (see more in the post: “Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia in a nutshell”)
After years of experience with CFS sufferers, Dr. Joaquim Fernández-Solà, coordinator of the Chronic Fatigue Unit of the Hospital Clinic de Barcelona (public system), offered an assessment of fatigue at four levels, according to the degree of impact on quality of life and daily activities of the patient.
This table is currently the benchmark for measuring the level of severity of fatigue in CFS.
GRADE 1 (SLIGHT): allows the patient to lead a practically normal life, which does not limit him for work or leisure activities.
* fatigue (that is, “post-effort discomfort or fatigue greater than 24 hours”) appears when it is required to do an exercise or activity that goes outside of normal.
* It can be made more evident if there are processes that coexist with it (eg, an intercurrent infectious disease), or some circumstance that alters the normal vital rhythm (eg, not sleeping well for a straight season).
In general, the impact on the activities of daily life is less than 20%, and the patient’s environment does not notice this symptomatology easily .
GRADE 2 OF FATIGUE (MEDIUM): it already implies a more important and more constant interference in the vital situation of the patient.
* You have trouble doing your work activity.
* sometimes it cannot finish some tasks that it had begun, or it fails in some predetermined objectives (for example: studies or refresher courses).
* may require episodic work leave.
* This situation worsens even more when diseases or concurrent situations coincide (infections, mood changes, seasonal changes).
In general, it limits the activities of daily life between 30-50%, and is detected by the patient’s environment, which appreciates a substantial change of the patient with respect to the situation prior to the disease
GRADE 3 OF FATIGUE (SEVERO): it has an important and marked impact on the activities of daily life. Invalidates the patient for any activity that involves some continued effort
* the sick cannot work.
* You can only do minimal activities of mild intensity and transiently.
* affects all vital areas (work, leisure, sex life).
* It is usually kept constant, with exacerbations during concurrent diseases
It affects more than 50%.
GRADE 4 OF FATIGUE (EXACERBATIONS): It is a situation of transient exacerbation to the point that the patient cannot move out of bed and needs help for basic activities. It usually does not last more than ten days.
Source: Dr Fernández Solá J. (coord)
Surviving fatigue, an approach to the situation of chronic fatigue.Barcelona
http://www.sfc-em-investigacion.com/ Fernández Solà: Grades of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome SFC-EM Research.
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