Chronic Fatigue

What is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)?

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is a complex and debilitating disorder characterised by persistent fatigue that is not relieved by rest and is not directly caused by other medical conditions.

What are the main symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?

The primary symptom is persistent, unexplained fatigue lasting for at least six months. Other symptoms may include cognitive difficulties, sleep disturbances, muscle and joint pain, headaches, and sore throat.

What causes Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?

The exact cause of CFS is not well-understood. It is believed to involve a combination of factors, including viral infections, immune system dysfunction, hormonal imbalances, and psychological stress.

How is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome diagnosed?

There is no specific diagnostic test for CFS. Diagnosis is based on ruling out other medical conditions with similar symptoms and meeting specific criteria, such as the Fukuda criteria or the more recent SEID criteria.

Is there a cure for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?

Currently, there is no cure for CFS. Treatment focuses on managing symptoms and improving quality of life. A multidisciplinary approach that may include medications, cognitive-behavioural therapy, and lifestyle modifications is often recommended.

Can Chronic Fatigue Syndrome be prevented?

Since the exact cause is unclear, there is no specific prevention for CFS. However, managing stress, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and promptly treating infections may reduce the risk of developing CFS in some cases.

Is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome the same as feeling tired or fatigued?

No, CFS is characterised by persistent and unexplained fatigue that is not relieved by rest. It is a more severe and prolonged condition than ordinary fatigue.

Can exercise help with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?

Exercise can be beneficial, but it needs to be approached cautiously and tailored to the individual’s capabilities. Graded exercise therapy is a common approach, gradually increasing activity levels over time.

How does Chronic Fatigue Syndrome affect mental health?

CFS can impact mental health by causing cognitive difficulties, mood swings, and contributing to conditions like depression and anxiety. Addressing both physical and mental aspects is essential in managing the condition.

Are there support groups for people with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?

Yes, support groups can provide valuable emotional support and information. Connecting with others who share similar experiences can be beneficial for coping with the challenges of living with CFS.

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