Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is characterized by extreme fatigue that cannot be explained by an underlying medical condition. The fatigue may increase with physical or mental activity, but it does not improve with rest. The causes of CFS are not known, but there are many theories, such as a viral infection or psychological stress Some experts believe it may be a combination of factors. There is no single diagnostic test for CFS, but rather, a variety of tests to rule out any other condition with similar symptoms. Treatment focuses on relief of symptoms rather than a cure.1
Impact of coffee and caffeine on Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Millions of people throughout the world rely on coffee to wake them up in the morning and keep them awake throughout the day. Coffee contains caffeine, which is a stimulant, therefore having that ability to provide temporary wakefulness and alertness. However, doctors overwhelming advise against individuals with CFS using coffee to keep themselves awake and alert. Caffeine’s awakening effects are very short lived, and when they have worn off can leave you feeling worse than before, leaving you craving more caffeine and sugar, until it turns into a vicious cycle of consuming caffeine, then crashing, then having more, then crashing more.
On top of that, Dr Teitelbaum, medical director of Fibromyalgia and Fatigue Centers, claims that caffeine can worsen other mechanisms in the body that can cause exhaustion. He says, “Caffeine actually aggravates adrenal exhaustion and low blood sugars, amplifying the anxiety and stress symptoms of fatigue”. However, he also makes it clear that this does not mean that all caffeine must necessarily be completely avoided, by emphasizing moderation saying, “one cup of coffee, or preferable tea, in the morning to get started is okay, but after that, I recommend decaffeinated”.2