Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Home > Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Information

People with chronic fatigue syndrome are not just tired. This disorder is characterized by profound fatigue that is not improved by bed rest and may be made worse by physical or mental activity.
 
In order to receive a diagnosis of chronic fatigue syndrome, a person must have severe chronic fatigue of six months or longer that is not caused by another medical condition and must have four or more of the following symptoms:
 
  • Substantial impairment in short-term memory or concentration
  • Sore throat
  • Tender lymph nodes
  • Muscle pain
  • Multijoint pain without swelling or redness
  • Headaches of a new type, pattern, or severity
  • Unrefreshing sleep (insomnia)
  • Post-exercise fatigue lasting more than 24 hours.
 
Once a diagnosis has been made, treatment can begin. Although there is currently no cure for this condition, lifestyle changes, medications, and alternative treatments can help people feel better, increase the level at which they can function, and improve their quality of life.
 
(For more information on this condition, click Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Topics discussed in this article include possible causes, whether there are any tests for it, and current areas of research.)
 
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
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