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Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Narcolepsy – Differences and Similarities Explained

Do you feel tired all day long? Do you feel like resting throughout the day? Have you lost the enthusiastic to work? Do you feel tired right after waking up? If answer positively to any or all of these questions, chances are you have been struggling with chronic fatigue syndrome and you are unaware about the situation. Nonetheless, extreme tiredness is not only exerted by chronic fatigue syndrome; it can also be shown by narcolepsy. And chances are you might be confused between the two.
Chronic fatigue syndrome and narcolepsy are quite similar to each other along with having own different identities. Both the conditions show symptoms such as tiredness, urge to take naps restlessness, disturbed sleep pattern, etc. However, the two conditions also differ from each other in terms of a few symptoms. We are going to learn more about these conditions as we read further.

What causes chronic fatigue syndrome?

There are no causes known for chronic fatigue syndrome. But it is believed that it is triggered by an auto-immune system. Women between the ages 40 to 50 are at high risk of developing the syndrome. The symptoms shown by the syndrome include onset of severe tiredness, headache, poor concentration, joint pain, muscle pain, mild fever, forgetfulness, etc.

Causes of narcolepsy

It is difficult to blame any one factor to cause narcolepsy. It is believed to be an auto-immune disorder, like chronic fatigue syndrome. A spinal tap and checking for low levels of a chemical called hypocretin are the tests for diagnosing narcolepsy. Hypocretin is known to regulate wakefulness and REM sleep. People with severely low levels of hypocretin are known to have narcolepsy. Some people show high levels of hypocretin but they also show symptoms of narcolepsy such as excessive daytime sleepiness, sleep paralysis, cataplexy, hallucinations, etc. These people are known to have inactive hypocretin that leads to the onset of narcolepsy.
Role of Modafinil in the treatment of narcolepsy and chronic fatigue syndrome
Modafinil is a wakefulness promoter medicine and thus it plays a massive role in the management of excessive daytime sleepiness in people dealing with narcolepsy. Also, it is known to have an active role in reducing fatigue too. Thus, it is prescribed with other medicines to beat the symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome.

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