What're the symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome?
The most prominent symptom of chronic fatigue syndrome is an unexplained feeling of fatigue, which is not relieved by rest. This fatigue must be severe enough to decrease the activity level at home, work or school. Many physicians look for the fatigue to be severe enough to reduce someone's activity level by 50 percent or more. In addition, to be diagnosed with
chronic fatigue syndrome, patients should have at least four of the following symptoms for at least six months.
Having chronic fatigue syndrome is not just a matter of being tired. People with chronic fatigue syndrome have severe fatigue that keeps them from performing their normal daily activities. They find it difficult or impossible to work, attend school, or even to take part in social activities. They may have sleep disturbances that keep them from getting enough rest or they may sleep too much. Many people with chronic fatigue syndrome feel just as tired after a full night's sleep as before they went to bed. When they exercise or try to be active in spite of their fatigue, people with chronic fatigue syndrome experience what some patients call "payback"--debilitating exhaustion that can confine them to bed for days. Other symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome include muscle pain (myalgia), joint pain (arthralgia), sore throat, headache, fever and chills, tender lymph nodes, trouble concentrating, and memory loss.
Fatigue that lasts for more than six months, impairs normal activities, and has no identifiable medical or psychological problems to account for it is referred to as unexplained chronic fatigue. A number of criteria must be met in order for a patient's symptoms to be described as chronic fatigue syndrome. [For a list see Box Criteria for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome]. It should be noted that six million patient visits are made each year because of fatigue, although only a very small percentage of these can be attributed to actual chronic fatigue syndrome. If the patient's symptoms do not meet the criteria for chronic fatigue syndrome, then the condition is referred to as idiopathic chronic fatigue. (Idiopathic simply means that the cause is not known.)
More information on chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS)
What is chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS)? - Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is an illness characterized by prolonged, debilitating fatigue and multiple nonspecific symptoms.
What causes chronic fatigue syndrome? - The exact cause of chronic fatigue syndrome remains a mystery. Chronic fatigue syndrome may occur after an infection.
What're the risk factors for chronic fatigue syndrome? - The highest risks of chronic fatigue syndrome are found among women in general, minority groups, and people with lower levels of education and occupational status.
What're the symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome? - The symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome are an unexplained feeling of fatigue, muscle pain, joint pain, sore throat, headache.
How is chronic fatigue syndrome diagnosed? - The diagnosis of chronic fatigue syndrome is based on a medical history and physical examination.
What's the treatment for chronic fatigue syndrome? - There is no cure for chronic fatigue syndrome, but many treatments are available to help relieve the symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome.
What medications cure chronic fatigue syndrome? - Medications that cure chronic fatigue syndrome include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, tricyclic antidepressants, stimulants.