Overview

What is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?

Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a complicated condition characterised by profound fatigue that persists or relapses over six months or more.

Symptoms

What are the signs of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?

Accompanied by a number of symptoms including headache, joint pain, gastrointestinal disturbance, cognitive dysfunction, visual disturbance and paraethesias (tingling, prickling or burning sensations)

Sudden onset of severe fatigue, developing over a few hours to a few days and often after an  acute viral illness and persists for at least six months

Sudden onset of severe fatigue, developing over a few hours to a few days and often after an acute viral illness and persists for at least six months

Low-grade fever and chills

Low-grade fever and chills

Sore throat

Sore throat

Lymphadenopathy

Lymphadenopathy

Myalgias and arthralgias

Myalgias and arthralgias

Sleep disturbances

Sleep disturbances

Decreased ability to concentrate or remember

Decreased ability to concentrate or remember

Allergies

Allergies

General muscle weakness

General muscle weakness

Causes

What are the causes of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?

A specific cause of CFS is not clear, but several factors may contribute to developing with CFS including:

Viruses such as human herpesvirus-6 (HHV-6) and Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)

Viruses such as human herpesvirus-6 (HHV-6) and Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)

Oxidative stress

Oxidative stress

Excessive inflammation

Excessive inflammation

Mitochondrial dysfunction

Mitochondrial dysfunction

Autoimmunity

Autoimmunity

Hormonal imbalance

Hormonal imbalance

Diagnosis

How do I know if I have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?

There is no specific diagnostic test for CFS. A diagnosis of CFS first requires that other potential causes of fatigue be ruled out. Your doctor is likely to ask you about your medical and family history assess the diagnostic criteria for CFS including: chronic, unexplained fatigue for at least six months, which is of new onset, is not the result of ongoing exertion, is not substantially relieved by rest, and hinders occupational, social, or personal activities. Additional tests that may assist the process include:

Stress hormone profile

Stress hormone profile

Find a Practitioner

See a list of practitioners who are specialised in treating Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.