Chronic Fatigue Syndrome may be one of the least understood disorders doctors have to deal with.
In this week's Health Matters report Dr. David says recent research doesn't seem to be getting us any closer to finding a cause or a cure.
Shannon Aston runs a retail wedding store. It's hard work but because she also suffers from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome the days can become unbearable. And few around her really understand because the disorder is so misunderstood.
"No one can really understand unless you felt it. It's not like you're tired and you just need a nap. To me it's a different kind of fatigue and it's undescribeable. "
Shannon's been fighting that profound fatigue for over 15 years and along the way she's also had to battle some some doctors.
"It's very frustrating, because I think there are some doctors that believe Chronic Fatique Syndrome doesn't exist."
Make no mistake... the disorder is very real.. But problems like a sleep disorder, depression, or prescription drugs can often make patients feel like they have chronic fatigue. Shannon's doctors have eliminated those causes... but so far they really can't do more than make a diagnosis.
"Nothing helps medicines don't help, Exercise doesn't help, diet hasn't helped."
"Adding to the frustration is that hope appeared to be on the horizon. Researchers believed they'd isolated a retrovirus that caused the problem... But now, new contradictory studies say the XMRV virus does not cause chronic fatigue. More research is ongoing, but now Shannon may have to wait even longer to get relief."
"It's just something that I know I'm going to have to live with and deal with, but hopefully it will be much more manageable."