Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a complex disorder accompanied by the feeling of extreme fatigue that does not go away. It also includes wide spectrum of other symptoms that last at least six months. This condition is also known as post-viral fatigue syndrome, myalgia encephalomyelitis or syndrome of chronic fatigue and immune system dysfunction.
The symptoms vary from person to person and therefore it can be easily misdiagnosed.
Chronic fatigue syndrome is more frequent in women and between 25 and 45 years of age.
The symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome vary. These can be:
- fatigue lasting for 6 months
- poorer memory
- loss of concentration
- sore throat
- sensitive lymph nodes
- pain in the muscle and joints without redness or swollen parts
- waking up feeling tired
- extended muscle fatigue and feeling weak after mild strain
- loss of interest
- worsening of existing conditions like allergies, eczema, asthma
The cause of chronic fatigue syndrome is unknown, although several factors can be associated. In some cases, CFS occurs after recuperation of a viral infection or an emotional trauma. In other cases, there were no such circumstances. Sometimes, it is linked to depression, although it is not clear whether depression is its cause or consequence.
The viruses associated with CFS are: Epstein-Barr virus, human herpes virus 6 and cytomegalovirus.
Immune system problems and hormonal imbalances are other considered causes of CFS.
The risk factors for chronic fatigue syndrome are:
- stress – emotional trauma has been pointed as one of the triggers
- gender – more frequent in women
- age – mostly developing in the 40’s
The complications of chronic fatigue syndrome are:
- isolation from friends and work