Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

(CFS; Chronic Fatigue and Immune Dysfunction Syndrome)

Definition

Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a condition that causes chronic, debilitating fatigue that is not relieved by bed rest or explained by any other medical condition. People who have CFS perform at a significantly lower level compared to their activity prior to the onset of the illness.

Causes

The cause of CFS is unknown. Some believe there may be a link between CFS and stress, the immune system, toxins, the central nervous system, or activation of a latent virus.
Central Nervous System and Organs Including Endocrine Glands
CNS and Endocrine
Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

Risk Factors

Women are more likely to have CFS than men. It is also more common in people between 25-55 years of age.

Symptoms

Symptoms vary from person to person. They may include:
  • Unexplained, new onset, persistent fatigue that is not relieved with bed rest and often worsens with physical or mental activity
  • Unexplained muscle aches
  • Joint pain without swelling or redness over 6 months
  • Headaches over 6 months
  • Trouble with short-term memory or concentration
  • Forgetfulness or confusion
  • Irritability, anxiety , panic attacks, mood swings, or depression
  • Sore throat over 6 months
  • Tender lymph nodes over 6 months
  • Trouble sleeping or not feeling refreshed after sleep over 6 months
  • Visual disturbances—eyes sensitive to light, blurring, pain
  • Reduced activities—social, job-related, educational, and personal
  • Lightheadedness, balance problems, or fainting
  • Chills and night sweats
  • Allergies or sensitivities to foods , chemicals, odors, medications, or noise

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