Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (cont.)

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What are risk factors for chronic fatigue syndrome?

Without knowing the cause of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), it is difficult to determine risk factors. However, statistics gathered about people with diagnosed CFS do tell something about some high-risk groups. For example, although people of every age, gender, race, and economic group can get CFS, it is most commonly diagnosed in people in the 40- and 50-year-old age group. In addition, CFS is diagnosed about four times as often in women (some investigators consider menopause as a possible risk factor). In the pediatric-aged group, teens are most often affected.

What are the symptoms and signs of chronic fatigue syndrome?

The symptoms and signs of chronic fatigue syndrome are complex but specific. The patient must have severe chronic fatigue of 6 months or longer duration with other known medical conditions excluded by clinical diagnosis. In addition, the patients have four or more of the following symptoms that either occurred at the same time or after the severe chronic fatigue. The symptoms are substantial impairment in short-term memory or concentration; sore throat; tender lymph nodes; muscle pain; multi-joint pain without swelling or redness; headaches of a new type, pattern or severity; non-refreshing sleep; and post-exertion malaise lasting more than 24 hours. Patients may often have additional symptoms such as double vision, mild fevers, earaches, diarrhea, and many other symptoms, but they do not fit into the criteria that are considered to be part of the definition of 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?