What is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?

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  • Written By: Sherry Holetzky
  • Edited By: L. S. Wynn
  • Last Modified Date: 23 September 2019
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A difficult to diagnose disease discernible by extreme exhaustion, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome can often become debilitating to its sufferers. Sometimes known as Chronic Fatigue Immune Dysfunction Syndrome, this chronic condition is frequently misdiagnosed or not taken seriously by some doctors, even though it can leave a person functioning well below normal capacity for months at a time.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is most frequently reported by women, but all demographics may be affected. The cause of the disease is not known, and therefore there is no cure. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is not simply feeling tired. It is severe fatigue, lack of stamina, an inability to concentrate, and an overall feeling of being unable to cope or function normally. It is often accompanied by discomfort and depression.

The symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome include but are not limited to headaches, sore throat, flu like symptoms, swollen lymph nodes, muscle pain, joint pain, inability to concentrate, light-headedness, prolonged malaise after even light exertion, and continuous fatigue. This serious form of fatigue keeps a patient from feeling refreshed, even after having plenty of sleep or rest.


If a person suffers from persistent fatigue and experiences four or more of the above-mentioned symptoms for at least six months, she may suffer from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. If the symptoms are not related to another illness, testing is indicated to determine whether or not Chronic Fatigue is the culprit. Since there is no proven cause for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, a battery of lab tests is conducted, as a way of ruling out other illnesses. The physician will arrive at a diagnosis of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome by eliminating other possible conditions.

It is difficult to determine how many sufferers fully recover, or even what the definition of full recovery might be. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome runs in cycles, which can include lengthy bouts of illness followed by periods of good health. "Remission" may last for years in some patients, making it difficult to establish whether the patient has recovered or is simply enjoying longer periods of well-being.

While there is no cure for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, treatment is available to help alleviate symptoms and make the patient more comfortable. The doctor, with input from the patient, will develop a detailed treatment regimen designed to meet that patient's specific needs. Diet and moderate exercise may also help improve symptoms.


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Post 5

There is no such thing as CFS. It was made up by the CDC to hide a major epidemic of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis. By naming the disease as such, it trivialized the disease and made ME sufferers outcasts. Maybe an unintended consequence is that now a lot of people with other serous illnesses are tagged with "CFS" and are being left misdiagnosed and untreated.

Post 4

I've just begun having most all of these symptoms. I find that taking B12 helps most days. I also get restless because of the b12 so i take melatonin at night to help me get to sleep. I think that if I can find a way to balance the two natural supplements I can beat this. Hope this helps some one.

Post 3

i am suffering from this disease and it stinks! the most unacceptable and bad thing is the lack of energy, fatigue and joint/ muscle pain! everything stinks!

Post 2

Response to hobit:

I also suffer from a large quantity of the above symptoms, currently being treated for depression and hypothyroidism too - which I'm sure does not help. But yes, I have the same issue with my eyes -I do wear glasses, although can function without them, however my eyes are worse in the mornings and at nights - sore for a prolonged period, often watery, but most noticeable they are especially sensitive to the light.

As I mentioned, I am fortunate to already be wearing glasses and a way round this, as suggested by my optician was to have a very light tint on my day to day glasses to ease the strain - has been great.

Is also interesting to see all the recent trial studies in the news regarding school students requiring coloured clear sheets to aid their sight - perhaps not such an uncommon thing after all!?

Post 1

I can relate to all the symptoms in your article. I have had most of these for around 15 years, but the most severe and long lasting symptom has been with my eyes. has anyone else had this problem. mainly feeling heavy, sore, puffy and very sensitive to light. Had variuos allergy tests - unconclusive, and currently taking antihystemines to try and help, but not working. My sense is that it may not be an allergy and could be stress related.

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