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Chronic fatigue syndrome

Chronic fatigue syndrome: Introduction

Chronic fatigue syndrome is a common chronic pain disorder that causes severe fatigue that does not improve with rest. Chronic fatigue syndrome tends to get worse after exercise or mental activity. Severe or inadequately treated chronic fatigue syndrome can be disabling in some cases and result in difficulty or inability to participate in the activities of daily living, such as work, school, and home life.

It is not known exactly what causes chronic fatigue syndrome. One theory is that it develops out of a combination of factors, such as viral infection, stress, and exposure to toxins. Chronic fatigue syndrome can run in families, so genetic factors may increase the risk of developing the disorder. Chronic fatigue syndrome is most common in women, but can occur in both sexes and in all age groups and ethnic populations. Most cases of chronic fatigue syndrome occur during middle age.

Chronic fatigue syndrome can be difficult to diagnose because there is no specific test to detect it. Diagnosing chronic fatigue syndrome requires running many tests to rule-out other diseases and disorders that have similar symptoms. Making a diagnosis of chronic fatigue syndrome includes performing a complete evaluation that includes a medical history, including symptoms, and physical examination. This includes a neurological examination. A neurological exam evaluates the brain and nerves and such functions as level of consciousness, reflexes, sensation, movement, balance, coordination, vision, and hearing. A mental health exam is also done.

Symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome include severe fatigue and other symptoms that can be similar to some viral infections. For more information on symptoms, refer to symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome.

It is possible that a diagnosis of chronic fatigue syndrome can be missed or delayed because symptoms can be similar to symptoms of other conditions and diseases, such as depression, rheumatoid arthritis, and migraine. For more information on diseases and conditions that can mimic chronic fatigue syndrome, refer to misdiagnosis of chronic fatigue syndrome.

There is no cure for chronic fatigue syndrome, and it can be difficult to treat. However, chronic fatigue syndrome is treatable in many cases with regular medical care, monitoring of the disorder, and an individualized treatment plan. Treatment plans may need to be readjusted over time to be most effective. Treatment can include medications, specialized exercise programs, and other therapies. For more information on treatment, refer to treatment of chronic fatigue syndrome....more »

Chronic fatigue syndrome: Misdiagnosis

A diagnosis of chronic fatigue syndrome may be overlooked or delayed because it can is difficult to make a diagnosis. In addition, symptoms, such as joint pain, fatigue, headaches, sore throat, and tender lymph nodes can mimic symptoms of many other diseases and conditions. These include influenza, rheumatoid arthritis, migraine, ...more misdiagnosis »

Causes of Chronic fatigue syndrome:

The following medical conditions are some of the possible causes of Chronic fatigue syndrome. There are likely to be other possible causes, so ask your doctor about your symptoms.

» Review Causes of Chronic fatigue syndrome: Causes | Symptom Checker »

Home Diagnostic Testing and Chronic fatigue syndrome

Home medical tests possibly related to Chronic fatigue syndrome:

Chronic fatigue syndrome: Symptom Checker

Listed below are some combinations of symptoms associated with Chronic fatigue syndrome, as listed in our database. Visit the Symptom Checker, to add and remove symptoms and research your condition.

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Chronic fatigue syndrome Treatments

The most effective treatment plan for chronic fatigue syndrome uses a multifaceted approach. Treatment plans are also individualized to best address the severity of chronic fatigue syndrome, the types of symptoms, a patient's age, lifestyle, medical history and other factors. Prompt diagnosis and treatment increases the chances of better symptom management.

Medications commonly used to ...Chronic fatigue syndrome Treatments

Some of the possible treatments listed in sources for treatment of Chronic fatigue syndrome may include:

Review further information on Chronic fatigue syndrome Treatments.

Alternative Treatments for Chronic fatigue syndrome

Alternative treatments or home remedies that have been listed as possibly helpful for Chronic fatigue syndrome may include:

Chronic fatigue syndrome: Animations

Chronic fatigue syndrome: Comorbid Symptoms

Some of the comorbid or associated medical symptoms for Chronic fatigue syndrome may include these symptoms:

Causes of General Symptom Types

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Research the causes of related medical symptoms such as:

Causes of Similar Symptoms to Chronic fatigue syndrome

Research the causes of these symptoms that are similar to, or related to, the symptom Chronic fatigue syndrome:

Misdiagnosis and Chronic fatigue syndrome

Unnecessary hysterectomies due to undiagnosed bleeding disorder in women: The bleeding disorder called Von Willebrand's disease is quite common in women, but often fails to be more »

Cluster of diseases with difficult diagnosis issues: There is a well-known list of medical conditions that are all somewhat difficult to diagnose, and all can present in a variety of different severities. Diseases in more »

RLS sleep disorder causing night-time leg sensations often misdiagnosed: A common but relatively unknown sleep-related disorder called Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) is often misdiagnosed. The typical symptoms are night-time tingling, crawling, or more »

Pituitary conditions often undiagnosed cause of symptoms: There are a variety of symptoms that can be caused by a pituitary disorder (see symptoms of more »

Vitamin B12 deficiency under-diagnosed: The condition of Vitamin B12 deficiency is a possible misdiagnosis of various conditions, such as multiple sclerosis (see symptoms of multiple sclerosis). See more »

Chronic fatigue syndrome: Research Related Doctors & Specialists

Other ways to find a doctor, or use doctor, physician and specialist online research services:

Chronic fatigue syndrome: Undiagnosed Conditions

Conditions that are commonly undiagnosed in related areas may include:

Article Excerpts about Chronic fatigue syndrome

We all get tired. Many of us at times have felt depressed. But the mystery known as chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is not like the normal ups and downs we experience in everyday life. The early sign of this illness is a strong and noticeable fatigue that comes on suddenly and often comes and goes or never stops. You feel too tired to do normal activities or are easily exhausted with no apparent reason. Unlike the mind fog of a serious hangover, to which researchers have compared CFS, the profound weakness of CFS does not go away with a few good nights of sleep. Instead, it slyly steals your energy and vigor over months and sometimes years. (Source: excerpt from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, NIAID Fact Sheet: NIAID)

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, or CFS, is characterized by persistent and debilitating fatigue and additional nonspecific symptoms such as sore throat, headache, tender muscles, joint pain, difficulty thinking and loss of short-term memory. Initial symptoms mimic the flu: on physical examination, patients may have nonspecific findings such as low-grade fever and redness of the throat, but frequently no abnormalities are found. No laboratory test or panel of tests is available to diagnose CFS so the diagnosis is made solely on clinical grounds. The cause of CFS is unknown. (Source: excerpt from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: NWHIC)

We all get tired. Many of us at times have felt depressed. But the mystery known as chronic ... (Source: excerpt from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, NIAID Fact Sheet: NIAID)

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, or CFS, is characterized by persistent and debilitating fatigue and... (Source: excerpt from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: NWHIC)

Definitions of Chronic fatigue syndrome:

Characterized by physical symptoms and demonstrable structural or physiological changes in which emotional factors are believed to play a major etiologic role.
- (Source - Diseases Database)

Distinctive syndrome characterized by chronic fatigue, mild fever, lymphadenopathy, headache, myalgia, arthralgia, depression, and memory loss; candidate etiologic agents include Epstein-Barr and other herpesviruses.
- (Source - CRISP)

Detailed list of causes of Chronic fatigue syndrome

The list below shows some of the causes of Chronic fatigue syndrome mentioned in various sources:

How Common are these Causes of Chronic fatigue syndrome?

This information refers to the general prevalence and incidence of these diseases, not to how likely they are to be the actual cause of Chronic fatigue syndrome. Of the 3 causes of Chronic fatigue syndrome that we have listed, we have the following prevalence/incidence information:

  • 0 causes are "very common" diseases
  • 0 causes are "common" diseases
  • 1 causes are "uncommon" diseases
  • 0 causes are "rare" diseases
  • 0 causes are "very rare" diseases
  • 2 causes have no prevalence information.

Conditions listing medical symptoms: Chronic fatigue syndrome:

The following list of conditions have 'Chronic fatigue syndrome' or similar listed as a symptom in our database. This computer-generated list may be inaccurate or incomplete. Always seek prompt professional medical advice about the cause of any symptom.

Select from the following alphabetical view of conditions which include a symptom of Chronic fatigue syndrome or choose View All.

Conditions listing medical complications: Chronic fatigue syndrome:

The following list of medical conditions have Chronic fatigue syndrome or similar listed as a medical complication in our database. The distinction between a symptom and complication is not always clear, and conditions mentioning this symptom as a complication may also be relevant. This computer-generated list may be inaccurate or incomplete. Always seek prompt professional medical advice about the cause of any symptom.


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Causes of Chronic fatigue syndrome Based on Risk Factors

This information shows analysis of the list of causes of Chronic fatigue syndrome based on whether certain risk factors apply to the patient:

  • Travel - has the patient travelled recently?

    What are the alternative names for Chronic fatigue syndrome:

    Conversion disorder, Psychophysiological disorder, Psychosomatic disorders, Somatization disorders, Somatoform disorder, Functional disorders, Briquet's syndrome, CFS
    - (Source - Diseases Database)

    Classifications of Chronic fatigue syndrome:

    Medical Conditions associated with Chronic fatigue syndrome:

    Fatigue (3235 causes), Muscle weakness (4300 causes), Common symptoms (8589 causes), Sick (5751 causes), Fatigue symptoms (3235 causes), Cognitive symptoms (3664 causes), Pain (6458 causes), Movement symptoms (6001 causes), Weakness (3752 causes), Sensations (6520 causes), Behavioral symptoms (4608 causes), Brain symptoms (2787 causes), Mental problems (3121 causes), Neurological symptoms (9575 causes), Sensory symptoms (7134 causes), Muscle symptoms (7251 causes), Nerve symptoms (9132 causes), Musculoskeletal symptoms (6264 causes), Body symptoms (5672 causes), Personality symptoms (4029 causes), Head symptoms (10192 causes), Energy symptoms (3108 causes)

    Symptoms related to Chronic fatigue syndrome:

    Fatigue (3235 causes), Weakness (3752 causes), Sleepiness (1139 causes), Drowsiness (1139 causes), Mononucleosis, Viral infection, Delayed reaction

    Medical articles on signs and symptoms:

    Doctor-patient articles related to symptoms and diagnosis:

    These general medical articles may be of interest:

    Evidence Based Medicine Research for Chronic fatigue syndrome

    Medical research papers related to Chronic fatigue syndrome include:

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    Related medical articles from our Disease Center for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome:

    More Ways To Research Medical Signs and Symptoms:


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