Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a complicated disorder characterized by extreme fatigue that doesn't improve with bed rest and may worsen with physical or mental activity.
Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is one of several names given to a poorly understood, highly debilitating disorder of uncertain cause/causes, which is thought to affect approximately 4 per 1,000 adults. People previously healthy and full of energy may experience a variety of symptoms, including extreme fatigue, weakness and headaches as well as difficulty concentrating and painful joints, muscles and lymph nodes. Typically CFS follows a viral infection (e.g. cold or viral stomach bug), and is sometimes found after mononucleosis infections. Non-specific symptoms of fatigue , tiredness , exhaustion , and aches make CFS difficult to diagnose and similar to other conditions such as lupus , multiple sclerosis , fibromyalgia and Lyme disease. People with CFS are often unable to perform normally at work and home because of their long-term fatigue and problems with short-term memory. Chronic fatigue syndrome affects tens of thousands of people. It occurs more commonly in females than in males. This condition occurs most commonly in young to middle-aged adults. People with CFS are often unable to perform normally at work and home because of their long-term fatigue and problems with short-term memory. This can lead to depression, but depression is not a cause of CFSCauses of Chronic Fatigue SyndromeThe cause of CFS is not yet known. Current research is exploring the possibility that people with CFS may have a dysfunction of the immune and central nervous systems. Scientists are also studying various metabolic abnormalities and risk factors (including genetic predisposition, age, sex, prior illness, environment, and stress) that may affect the development and course of the disease.Symptoms of Chronic Fatigue SyndromeChronic fatigue syndrome shares symptoms with many other disorders. Fatigue, for instance, is found in hundreds of illnesses, and 10% to 25% of all patients who visit general practitioners complain of prolonged fatigue. A CFS diagnosis should be considered in patients who present with six months or more of unexplained fatigue accompanied by other characteristic symptoms. These symptoms include: * cognitive dysfunction, including impaired memory or concentration * postexertional malaise lasting more than 24 hours (exhaustion and increased symptoms) following physical or mental exercise * unrefreshing sleepTreatment of Chronic Fatigue SyndromeThe first step is to see if there is any other explainable cause for your fatigue. Your doctor will probably want to review your symptoms and medical history, and give you a physical exam. Your doctor may also want to do some blood tests, but lab testing is not often helpful in the diagnosis of CFS.Pacing is an important way of controlling symptoms. It means finding a balance between activity and rest, and avoiding large bursts of exercise that may set you back. Learning how to make the most of your energy can help to increase the amount you can do.How can I help myself? * Keep a daily diary to identify times when you have the most energy. Plan your activities for these times. * Keep up some level of activity and exercise, within your abilities. Your doctor can help you plan an exercise program to maintain your strength at whatever level is possible. Exercise can help your body and mind.