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Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is characterized by prolonged fatigue, diffuse pains, sore throat, tender lymph nodes, decreased ability to concentrate and depression of at least 6 months.
Patients CFS report excellent pre-illness health and a sudden onset of fatigue, with flu-like symptoms. An, “alpha intrusion”, identified through polysomnography, has been link to non-REM sleep and less time spent in REM sleep and may be a factor in chronic fatigue syndrome.
When a person experiences extreme tiredness that isn’t alleviated by rest or sleep, that person may very well have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, or CFS.
CFS is considered a grave ailment, not only because of the symptoms it carries, but also because it affects patients’ families, friends, and health care providers.
What distinguishes CFS from other disorders is that fatigue is present for a period of 6 months or longer, and the patient will report other symptoms such as headaches, muscle pain, memory problems and decreased mental concentration, multiple joint pain, inability to sleep well, a sore throat, and swollen lymph nodes. Any mode of activity, whether physical or mental, that a patient undertakes is also known to prolong the incidence of fatigue for more than 24 hours at a time. Despite CFS research that has been ongoing for nearly 20 years, there is yet no evidence found of the causes of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome usually affects four times more women than men, generally between the ages of 40 and 50, although it may also afflict individuals of all ages, genders, ethnicities, or socioeconomic groups.
Diagnosing Chronic Fatigue Syndrome has proved to be a very challenging dilemma for the medical community. In addition, there is no known diagnostic biomarker or laboratory test that can pinpoint the presence of CFS. There has been a huge amount of debate surrounding the issue of how to properly diagnose Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
Doctors who undertake to diagnose the presence of CFS will need to ascertain that for six months of more, the patient has been experiencing cognitive dysfunction that includes a marked lack of concentration as well as an impaired memory.
The doctor will have to determine if the patient suffers from chronic insomnia, or barring that, constant non-restful sleep. There is no definite cure or therapy for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and the best that the medical community can offer is to treat the various symptoms of this disorder, such as the all-encompassing fatigue and sleep problems, to enable patients to lead normal lives. Patients who suffer from CFS will need to accommodate certain lifestyle changes, as well as adopt a regimen of dietary restrictions, reducing the amount of stress they are exposed to, preventing themselves from any form of overexertion, be it mental or physical, and gentle stretching exercises in addition to various medications geared at treating the various physiological manifestations of the disorder.
The sooner Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is diagnosed and treated, the better the chances are of recovery. Chronic fatigue syndrome refers to severe, continued tiredness that is not relieved by rest and is not directly caused by other medical conditions. Symptoms of CFS are similar to those of the flu and other common viral infections, and include muscle aches, headache, and extreme fatigue.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) describes CFS as a distinct disorder with specific symptoms and physical signs, based on ruling out other possible causes. Some medications can cause reactions or side effects that are worse than the original symptoms of the disease. The long-term outlook for patients with CFS varies and is difficult to predict when symptoms first start. Back to TopWhen to Contact a Medical Professional Call for an appointment with your health care provider if you experience persistent, severe fatigue, with or without other symptoms of this disorder.
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. For millions of Americans, it is a daily struggle just to get out of bed in the morning, let alone conjure up the energy and drive necessary to fulfill their regular duties and responsibilities.


B vitamins play a critical role in beating chronic fatigue because the body uses them to metabolize energy. Depending on the severity of someone’s chronic fatigue, both subcutaneous (under the skin) and sublingual (under the tongue) forms of B12 are available, with the methylcobalamin variety offering the most benefits. Mineral deficiency is another common cause of chronic fatigue, as a mineral-deficient body lacks the ability to effectively regenerate cells and produce adequate energy. Subscribe to the MDA NewsletterIf you would like to subscribe to Macular Degeneration Association's newsletter, please click the button below. The most common painful locations include the side of the neck, top of the shoulder blade, outside the hip joint, and inside the knee. Researchers have linked increased expression of CD8+ cytotoxic T cells and a decrease in natural killer cell function.
Additionally, the pro-inflammatory states have been shown to produce symptoms in line with CFS. This type of illness makes sufferers feel constantly fatigued on a day-to-day basis, despite periods of rest or sleep. Due to this ailment, most of the sufferers are frequently unemployed or are living on disability because of the symptoms they feel.
CFS is severe and incapacitating, and sufferers will notice a dramatic decline in their stamina and the level of activity, whether personal, educational or social, that they were capable of doing before their illness. Both debilitating and complex, no amount of bed rest will improve the fatigue experienced by patients who have CFS. Medical researchers have looked into the role of various infectious agents, as well as physiological and psychological factors that may play a role in the onset of CFS. However, a good percentage of patients diagnosed with CFS have been found to have no traces of psychiatric disorder whatsoever. CFS is less common in children, although there have been cases of the syndrome reported in teenagers. People who have been diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome will notice that the symptoms they experience are rather similar to that of various other disorders.
In 1994, an international panel of experts specializing in CFS convened to discuss the proper method of coming up with the criteria defining this disorder to enable clinicians to better diagnose patients based on their symptoms.
The patient will also be complaining of rapid exhaustion and extreme body malaise following any number of activities that include physical or mental exercise. Other symptoms that point toward a diagnosis of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome will usually include persistent muscle pain, multiple joint pain with the absence of redness or swelling, tender lymph nodes, a sore throat, and headaches that vary in length and severity.
Patients whose symptoms are determined and treated within two years are likely to improve faster.
Studies suggest that you are more likely to get better if you receive extensive rehabilitation. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Chronic fatigue can trigger health and eye  problems and also depression if left untreated.
And while the individual root causes of chronic fatigue tend to vary, there are a number of holistic remedies that have helped many people with the condition regain healthy energy levels without the use of harsh stimulants. And since many people today suffer from B vitamin deficiency anemia, supplementing with B complex vitamins, and vitamin B12 in particular, can make all the difference in alleviating tiredness and sustaining high energy levels. When taking B complex vitamins, be sure to take food-based types like MegaFood’s Balanced B Complex, rather than synthetic B complex vitamins.


Often included in a class of functional illness such as fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome and temporomandibular joint disorder, the cause is not fully understood.
Nonetheless, CFS may mask a primary deficiency and is often found within a context of disturbances. Nearly 40% of those who have been diagnosed with CFS also suffer from other medical or psychological conditions like diabetes, substance abuse or thyroid disease.
The nature of these various symptoms have often stymied doctors from distinguishing Chronic Fatigue Syndrome compared to a host of other ailments with similar symptoms. People who suffer from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome are most often listless, unable to function properly, and perform everyday activities at a very low-key level compared to what they were able to accomplish before their illness.
At present, the relation of a person’s immune, endocrine and nervous systems are being studied, including any genetic and environmental aspects that may be related to the disorder. The symptom of unyielding fatigue is non-specific and often similar to hundreds of other ailments, making CFS a difficult disorder to diagnose.
Further, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is a type of disorder that occurs intermittently, with patients frequently relapsing in no predictable manner.
Despite the difficulty in diagnosing CFS, early intervention has been considered favorable for patients, as the longer the illness has been allowed to continue before diagnosis, the more complicated it will be to treat. Many people with CFS have depression and other psychological disorders that may improve with treatment. Your health care team will help you figure out how much activity you can do, and how to slowly increase your activity.
While these natural remedies may help, we suggest that you contact your medical care professional.
Its purpose is to provide useful information for persons with macular degeneration, their families, and the general public. Nonetheless, considerable ambiguity exists around the link between T-cells and chronic fatigue syndrome.
Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites.
This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice relative to your specific medical condition or question. Additionally, viral infections and sleep disruption have been associated with chronic fatigue syndrome. This means that no two patients have the exact same symptoms or pattern of symptom occurrence.
Always seek the advice of your physician or other health care provider for any questions you may have regarding your medical condition. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
The Macular Degeneration Association is recognized by the IRS as a 501 (c) (3) a tax exempt organization.
The mission of the organization is to support research to help find a cure for macular degeneration and to improve the lives of all people affected by this disease. All content and works posted on this website are owned and copyrighted by the Macular Degeneration Association.



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