Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Also called: CFS, ME/CFS, Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, SEID, Systemic Exertion Intolerance Disease

Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a disorder that causes extreme fatigue. This fatigue is not the kind of tired feeling that goes away after you rest. Instead, it lasts a long time and limits your ability to do ordinary daily activities.

The main symptom of CFS is severe fatigue that lasts for 6 months or more. You also have at least four of these other symptoms:

  • Feeling unwell for more than 24 hours after physical activity
  • Muscle pain
  • Memory problems
  • Headaches
  • Pain in multiple joints
  • Sleep problems
  • Sore throat
  • Tender lymph nodes

CFS is hard to diagnose. There are no tests for it, and other illnesses can cause similar symptoms. Your doctor has to rule out other diseases before making a diagnosis of CFS.

No one knows what causes CFS. It is most common in women in their 40s and 50s, but anyone can have it. It can last for years. There is no cure for CFS, so the goal of treatment is to improve symptoms. CFS affects people in different ways. You should work with your doctors to create a treatment program that best meets your own needs. It may include therapies to manage your symptoms, such as medicines to treat pain, sleep disorders, and other problems. It may also include coping techniques, and ways of managing your daily activities.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

The following features are indicative of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome:
  • fatigue
  • loss of memory
  • sore throat
  • enlarged lymph nodes in the neck or armpits
  • unexplained muscle pain
  • headache
  • unrefreshing sleep
  • extreme exhaustion lasting more than 24 hours

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Common Causes of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

The following are the most common causes of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome:
  • Epstein-Barr virus infection
  • human herpes virus infection
  • mouse leukemia virus infection
  • weakened immune system
  • hormonal imbalancement

Risk Factors for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

The following factors may increase the likelihood of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome:
  • being women
  • more stress
  • age between 40 and 50

Prevention of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Yes, it may be possible to prevent Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Prevention may be possible by doing the following:
  • reduce stress
  • improve sleeping habits

Occurrence of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Number of Cases

The following are the number of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome cases seen each year worldwide:
  • Very common > 10 Million cases

Common Age Group

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome can occur at any age.

Common Gender

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome can occur in any gender.

Lab Tests and Procedures for Diagnosis of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

The following lab tests and procedures are used to detect Chronic Fatigue Syndrome:
  • Symptoms analysis: Analyse the symptoms of loss of memory or concentration, sore throat, enlarged lymph nodes in the neck or armpits and unexplained muscle pain

Doctor for Diagnosis of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Patients should visit the following specialists if they have symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome:
  • Primary care paediatrician
  • General practitioner

Complications of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome if untreated

Yes, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome causes complications if it is not treated. Below is the list of complications and problems that may arise if Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is left untreated:
  • depression
  • social isolation
  • lifestyle restrictions
  • increased work absences

Self-care for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

The following self-care actions or lifestyle changes may help in the treatment or management of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome:
  • Reduce stress: Avoid or limit overexertion and emotional stress
  • Improve sleep habits: Go to bed and get up at the same time each day

Alternative Medicine for Treatment of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

The following alternate medicine and therapies are known to help in the treatment or management of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome:
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy: Helps in improving quality of life
  • Exercise therapy: Helps in improvement in quality of life
  • Pacing: Helps in energy management

Patient Support for Treatment of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

The following actions may help Chronic Fatigue Syndrome patients:
  • Emotional support and counseling: Help you and your loved ones in dealing with the uncertainties and restrictions of chronic fatigue syndrome

Time for Treatment of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

While time-period of treatment for each patient may vary, below is the typical time-period for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome to resolve if treated properly under an expert supervision:
  • More than 1 year

Related Topics

Last updated date

This page was last updated on 2/04/2019.
This page provides information for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

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