Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

What is chronic fatigue syndrome?

Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a debilitating condition characterized by profound tiredness, regardless of bed rest. CFS symptoms may actually worsen with physical or mental activity. CFS can occur suddenly and last for years. CFS affects two to four times more females than males. The cause of CFS has not been identified, nor are there specific tests available to diagnose the condition.

CFS sometimes is called chronic fatigue and immune dysfunction syndrome.

How is chronic fatigue syndrome diagnosed?

CFS diagnosis depends on two criteria:

   1. Severity and duration: The severe and chronic tiredness lasts for more than six months and other medical conditions have been ruled out.
   2. Number of symptoms: The patient has four or more of the symptoms of CFS.


A specific treatment for CFS has yet to be proven effective. Vitamin supplements and medications have some therapeutic benefit for some CFS patients, but many treatments just alleviate the symptoms of CFS.

Specific treatment for CFS will be determined by your physician based on:

    * your overall health and medical history
    * extent of the condition
    * your tolerance for specific medications, procedures, or therapies
    * expectations for the course of the condition
    * your opinion or preference


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