Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: What Is It?


Chronic fatigue syndrome, which is abbreviated as CFS, refers to a long-term condition accompanied by incapacitating weariness or tiredness. This weariness occurs along with other non-specific symptoms. In severe cases, the condition renders patients totally unable to get out of their bed.

Who Can Get CFS?

You may fall victim to CFS irrespective of your age, sex, race, or other factors. However, if you are a woman in your 40s or 50s, your vulnerability is higher. Also, white people are more susceptible.

What Are the Symptoms?

Predicting the symptoms of CFS can be difficult sometimes. They may appear and disappear, or they may occur and last longer than you expect. They can improve with time or fail to improve at all. The most common symptom of CFS is debilitating tiredness. As a CFS patient, you may also develop difficulty thinking or sleeping. You may experience pain in your muscles and joints. The lymph nodes in your neck and armpits may swell, leading to tenderness.

What Are the Causes

No one knows what exactly causes CFS, not even scientists. However, the condition is possibly caused by more than one factor, including viral infections, genetic factors, hormonal imbalances, and an impaired immune system.

CFS Diagnosis

Diagnosing CFS is not easy because the condition shares similar symptoms with other conditions, such as AIDS, kidney disease, and rheumatoid arthritis. There is no specific test for CFS, and this explains why doctors conduct a series of tests to rule out other conditions. However, due to recent milestones in CFS research, scientists believe that diagnosing CFS through a blood test may soon be possible.

How Is CFS Treated?

Just like AIDS, CFS has no approved cure. However, symptom management is possible. The symptom management may involve adopting proper sleep habits and stress management techniques. Antidepressant medications and cognitive behavioural therapy are also suitable options for symptom management.