Chronic Fatigue Syndrome


Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a complex condition that involves extreme exhaustion lasting longer than six months and that cannot be explained fully by an underlying medical condition. Activating the body or mind worsens fatigue, but rest does not improve it.

Symptoms of the disease include

  • Sleep that doesn’t refresh
  • Memory, concentration, and focus problems
  • Standing or lying down causes dizziness that gets worse

Myalgia encephalomyelitis (ME) is another name for this condition. ME/CFS is also a common abbreviation. SEID is the most recent term for systemic exertion intolerance disease.

Although there are many theories about chronic fatigue syndrome, it’s not clear what causes it — from viral infections to psychological stress. A combination of factors may trigger chronic fatigue syndrome, according to some experts.

Chronic fatigue syndrome cannot be diagnosed with a single test. Other health problems with similar symptoms may need to be ruled out with a variety of medical tests. CFS is most commonly treated by improving symptoms.


People with chronic fatigue syndrome experience different symptoms, and the severity of those symptoms can change from day today. Signs and symptoms may include:

  • Tiredness
  • Memory and concentration problems
  • Throat ache
  • Having headaches
  • Your armpits or neck lymph nodes are enlarged
  • Pain in the muscles or joints that cannot be explained
  • Standing or lying down causes dizziness that gets worse
  • Sleep that is unrefreshing
  • Exercises that cause extreme exhaustion

Seeing a doctor when necessary

There are many illnesses that can cause fatigue, including infections and psychological disorders. When you feel fatigued or persistent, you should see your doctor.


CFS has yet to be identified as a cause. A variety of factors can trigger the disorder in some people, but in others, the disorder is triggered by a predisposition. Potential triggers include:

  • Infections caused by viruses. Scientists question whether some viruses may cause chronic fatigue syndrome since some people develop the disorder after having a viral infection. Epstein-Barr virus, human herpesvirus 6, and Epstein-Barr virus are suspected viruses. Currently, no conclusive link has been established between these viruses.
  • Insufficiencies in the immune system. Chronic fatigue syndrome patients may have weakened immune systems, but it is unclear whether this is enough to cause the disorder.
  • Unbalanced hormones. The hypothalamus, pituitary, or adrenal glands are also sometimes abnormally active in those suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome. It is not known how these abnormalities are related to chronic fatigue syndrome.
  • Trauma, either physical or psychological. Symptoms of depression or anxiety could have been triggered by injuries, surgeries, or significant emotional stress.

Factors that increase risk

Chronic fatigue syndrome can be caused by a number of factors, including:

  • The condition can affect anyone, but it is most common in young to middle-aged adults.
  • CFS is diagnosed far more often in women than in men, but it may be that women are more likely to seek medical attention for their symptoms.


The following are possible complications of chronic fatigue syndrome:

  • Restrictions on lifestyle
  • Absences from work have increased
  • Isolation from others
  • Anxiety
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