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Chronic fatigue syndrome

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Chronic fatigue syndrome or CFS is a complicated disorder in which the patient experiences extreme fatigue without any underlying medical condition. This fatigue does not improve with rest, but it may worsen with physical or mental activity.

The cause of chronic fatigue syndrome is not yet known, but there are many theories. According to some it may be because of viral infections, while according to other people it is because of psychological stress. According to some other experts, chronic fatigue syndrome may be triggered by a combination of factors.

Till today, there is no single test is available which can confirm a diagnosis of chronic fatigue syndrome. You will need to go through several medical tests to rule out the possibility of any other health problems with similar symptoms.


Chronic fatigue syndrome has eight official signs and symptoms besides the main symptom.

  • Fatigue
  • Loss of memory concentration
  • Enlarged lymph nodes in the neck or armpits
  • Sore throat
  • Pain in different joints without swelling or redness
  • Unexplained muscle pain
  • Unrefreshing sleep
  • Different type of headaches. It is different in tight, patent or severity.
  • Extreme exhaustion that may last more than 24 hours after any type of physical and mental exercise.


As mentioned earlier, scientists still do not know what exactly causes chronic fatigue syndrome. It may be a combination of different factors. Some of the most common factors that may cause chronic fatigue syndrome are-

Viral infections

Some people may develop chronic fatigue syndrome after they had some viral infections. Sometimes such viruses may trigger the disorder. According to physicians Epstein-Barr virus, human herpes virus 6, and mouse leukaemia viruses may be responsible for this disorder. However, the conclusive link between the virus and the disorder has not yet been found.

Immune system problems

People who generally suffer from chronic fatigue syndrome tend to have an immune system which is impaired slightly. However, it is not yet clear if this impairment is the main reason for causing this disorder.

Hormonal imbalances

People who suffer from chronic fatigue syndrome sometimes find that blood levels of hormones in their body are abnormal. Hypothalamus, pituitary glands or adrenal glands in them produce an abnormal level of hormones in the body. Whether if it’s the main reason for the disorder, that is not yet known.

Risk factors

There are several risk factors which may possibly increase the risk of chronic fatigue syndrome in people. These risk factors include-


Even though chronic fatigue syndrome can occur at any age, it is most common in people are in their 40s and 50s.


Chronic fatigue syndrome is seen in women more in comparison to men. However, it is not very sure because it is more likely that women are more likely to report their symptoms to a doctor.


Stress can be a cause of chronic fatigue syndrome. If you are not able to manage your stress, it can contribute to the development of chronic fatigue syndrome.


There may be many complications resulting from chronic fatigue syndrome. Such complications may include depression, social isolation, lifestyle restrictions and increased work absences.

Tests and diagnosis

There is no single test that can confirm a diagnosis of this disorder. The symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome may be similar to symptoms of many other disorders and health problems and so it is very difficult to diagnose chronic fatigue syndrome. The doctor may need to rule out other illnesses first, before diagnosing this health problem.


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