People can die of exhaustion

Tired to die

For some people, fatigue becomes a permanent condition. That is very stressful psychologically

Fatigue is usually a result of insufficient sleep or physical overexertion. As a rule, the state of exhaustion goes away again at the latest when the overnight and overexerted people get a good night's sleep. But fatigue can also be a stressful permanent condition: Doctors know it in this form as a symptom of chronic fatigue syndrome, also known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS).

This is a complex disease that manifests itself primarily in extreme exhaustion, explains the Federal Association of Chronic Exhaustion Syndrome Fatigatio, a self-help organization for CFS patients. In addition to the "paralyzing exhaustion", CFS makes itself felt through head, neck, muscle and joint pain as well as concentration and memory disorders, nerve twitching, allergies, depression, fever and other symptoms.

According to Fatigatio, immune dysfunctions, viruses, hormonal disorders, fungi, psychological factors, stress or environmental influences are discussed as triggers. The core of the disease is apparently a weakening or chronic activation of the immune system.

But the diagnosis of CFS is very complicated, says Wolfgang Wesiack, President of the Professional Association of German Internists (BDI) in Wiesbaden. First of all, organic or psychosomatic diseases would have to be ruled out. He has to check whether the patient is not exhausted due to intense physical exertion or an exhausting operation, explains Wesiack. If people have lost relatives, had to witness a serious illness in their children or have to endure constant trouble at work, this can also cause such side effects. According to Wesiack, treating CFS patients is just as difficult. The biggest problem for the attending physician is that there is no clear diagnosis. So where should he start with therapy? There are therefore no generalizations about the treatment. Prof. Wolfgang Huber, internist, nephrologist and environmental doctor in Heidelberg has had good experiences with the administration of antioxidants in CFS patients. Vitamins are especially important. "It's about recharging the battery," he says, explaining the necessary processes in the cells.

This condition is often very stressful for those affected. They not only suffer from the disease, but also from social consequences. According to Fatigatio, even some doctors do not take them seriously and label them as mentally unstable.

Prof. Peter Falkai from the German Society for Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and Neurology (DGPPN) in Berlin recommends that you be examined by a specialist in psychiatry and psychotherapy if you have the above-mentioned feeling of illness for at least 14 days and your family doctor cannot find a cause . Because if nothing changes, there is even a risk of suicide for some patients.