Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)

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Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) facts

  • Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is defined by two major criteria, chronic severe fatigue for at least 6 months not caused by a diagnosable disease or relieved with rest and at least four other specific symptoms that occur at the same time or after the development of severe fatigue.
  • The cause of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is unknown.
  • Risk factors are not clearly understood, but the majority of adults diagnosed are adult women age range of 40s to 50s; pediatric patients diagnosed are usually teenaged.
  • The symptoms and signs of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) are relatively specific: chronic severe fatigue for at least 6 months not caused by a diagnosable disease and at least four other specific symptoms such as cognitive impairment, muscle and/or joint pains, new types of headaches, tender lymph nodes, sore throat, non-refreshing sleep, and malaise after exercise, that occur at the same time or after the development of severe fatigue.
  • The estimated prevalence in the U.S. is 42 in 10,000 people.
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome is diagnosed about four times more often in women than men.
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is diagnosed by the two major criteria and symptoms and signs listed above.
  • Treatment of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is based on treating the symptoms patients exhibit.
  • Although there is no known cure for CSF, symptoms may be markedly reduced.
  • The prognosis for chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) in adults is only fair to poor; children have a better or good prognosis with treatment.
  • Adopting a healthy lifestyle is the usual preventive advice given by clinicians that treat chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) patients.
  • Additional sources of information and support groups are available for chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS).
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/7/2013

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Chronic Fatigue Syndrome - Coping Question: How do you cope with chronic fatigue syndrome?
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome - Symptoms Question: What symptoms and signs did you experience with your chronic fatigue syndrome?
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome - Diagnosis Question: Please describe the events that led to a diagnosis of chronic fatigue syndrome.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome - Coexisting Diseases Question: In addition to CFS, do you have another disease or condition? Please share your story.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome - Treatment Question: What kinds of treatment have you had for chronic fatigue syndrome? What medications do you take?

Living with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

One Patient's Story

At 21 years of age, Sarah Jones* felt like she was falling apart.

Once an energetic cheerleader and member of a professional dance team, full of energy and life, Jones gradually found herself bedridden and unable to work. As time went on she became more confused as to why she was feeling constantly tired.

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