health care  
 
All about chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) causes of chronic fatigue syndrome risk factors for chronic fatigue syndrome symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome diagnosis of chronic fatigue syndrome chronic fatigue syndrome treatments chronic fatigue syndrome medications

What is chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS)?

Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is an illness characterized by prolonged, debilitating fatigue and multiple nonspecific symptoms such as headaches, recurrent sore throats, muscle and joint pains, memory and concentration difficulties. Profound fatigue, the hallmark of the disorder, can come on suddenly or gradually and persists or recurs throughout the

period of illness. Unlike the short-term disability of say, the flu, chronic fatigue syndrome symptoms linger for at least six months and often for years. The cause of chronic fatigue syndrome remains unknown.

Chronic fatigue syndrome is a debilitating and complex disorder characterized by profound fatigue of six months or longer duration that is not improved by bed rest and that may be worsened by physical or mental activity. Persons with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) most often function at a substantially lower level of activity than they were capable of before the onset of illness. In addition to these key defining characteristics, patients report various nonspecific symptoms, including weakness, muscle pain, impaired memory and/or mental concentration, insomnia and post-exertional fatigue lasting more than 24 hours. In some cases, chronic fatigue syndrome can persist for years.

Chronic fatigue syndrome may occur after an infection such as a cold, bronchitis, mononucleosis, hepatitis or intestinal illness. It can start during or shortly after a period of high stress or come on gradually without any clear starting point and any obvious cause. Chronic fatigue syndrome is a flu-like condition that can drain your energy and sometimes last for years. People previously healthy and full of energy may experience extreme fatigue, weakness and headaches as well as painful joints, muscles and lymph nodes.

Chronic fatigue syndrome is the most common name for this disorder, but it also has been called chronic fatigue and immune disorder (CFIDS), myalgic encephalomyelitis, low natural killer cell disease, post-viral syndrome, Epstein-Barr disease, and Yuppie flu. Chronic fatigue syndrome has so many names because researchers have been unable to find out exactly what causes it and because there are many similar, overlapping conditions. Reports of a CFS-like syndrome called neurasthenia date back to 1869. Later, people with similar symptoms were said to have fibromyalgia because one of the main symptoms is myalgia, or muscle pain. Because of the similarity of symptoms, fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome are considered to be overlapping syndromes.

In the early to mid-1980s, there were outbreaks of chronic fatigue syndrome in some areas of the United States. Doctors found that many people with chronic fatigue syndrome had high levels of antibodies to the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), which causes mononucleosis, in their blood. For a while they thought they had found the culprit, but it turned out that many healthy people also had high EBV antibodies. Scientists have also found high levels of other viral antibodies in the blood of people with chronic fatigue syndrome. These findings have led many scientists to believe that a virus or combination of viruses may trigger chronic fatigue syndrome.

Chronic fatigue syndrome was sometimes referred to as Yuppie flu because it seemed to often affect young, middle-class professionals. In fact, chronic fatigue syndrome can affect people of any gender, age, race, or socioeconomic group. Although anyone can get chronic fatigue syndrome, most patients diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome are 25-45 years old, and about 80% of cases are in women. Estimates of how many people are afflicted with chronic fatigue syndrome vary due to the similarity of chronic fatigue syndrome symptoms to other diseases and the difficulty in identifying it. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has estimated that 4-10 people per 100,000 in the United States have chronic fatigue syndrome. According to the CFIDS Foundation, about 500,000 adults in the United States (0.3% of the population) have chronic fatigue syndrome. This probably is a low estimate since these figures do not include children and are based on the CDC definition of chronic fatigue syndrome, which is very strict for research purposes.

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.
Neurological disorders Mainpage

Topics in neurological disorders

Autoimmune nervous system diseases
Autonomic nervous system diseases
Degenerative nervous system diseases
Central nervous system diseases
Brain diseases
Cranial nerve disorders
Headaches
Dementia
Language disorders
Perceptual disorders
Motor neuron diseases
Neurologic manifestations
Movement disorders
Peripheral nerve disorders
Sleep disorders
Spinal cord diseases
 

Featured neurological articles

Multiple sclerosis
Cerebral palsy
Migraine headache
Cluster headache
Alzheimer's disease
Stuttering
Chronic fatigue syndrome
Parkinson's disease
Carpal tunnel syndrome
Neuropathy
Peripheral neuropathy
Diabetic neuropathy
Lower back pain
Snoring
Sleep apnea
Brain tumor
Brain cancer
Spinal cord tumors

Nutrition for neurological disorders


MindSoothe for emotional health
MindSoothe, a natural herbal remedy, contains a selection of herbs known for their calming and supportive function in maintaining brain and nervous system health, emotional balance and overall wellbeing.

Neuro Natural Memory
Specifically formulated to help support brain health, Neuro-Natural Memory may help improve memory, concentration levels and reduce the potential for brain and memory function problems.

Triple Complex Sleep Tonic
Sleep Tonic helps the body relax and produce all the hormones essential for healthy sleep; safe for everyone, including pregnant and nursing women, children, and small babies.


All information is intended for reference only. Please consult your physician for accurate medical advices and treatment. Copyright 2005, health-cares.net, all rights reserved. Last update: July 18, 2005