Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Home > Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

What Causes It?

The cause of chronic fatigue syndrome remains unknown. However, some scientists do believe that there are several possible causes of chronic fatigue syndrome. Possible CFS causes include:
  • Infection
  • Impaired immune system
  • Impaired nervous system
  • Nutritional deficiency.
(Click Cause of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome for more information.)

Diagnosing Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Experts have debated how to define chronic fatigue syndrome because the cause of chronic fatigue syndrome is not known and there are no standard symptoms of CFS.
In order to make a CFS diagnosis, your healthcare provider will perform a physical exam, order any needed tests, and rule out the presence of any other diseases or problems that may have similar symptoms.
To be diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome, patients must have severe chronic fatigue for six months or longer and four or more CFS symptoms.
(Click Diagnosing Chronic Fatigue Syndrome for more information.)

Current Treatment Options

Currently, there is no treatment that works to cure chronic fatigue syndrome. However, there are things patients can do to feel better, increase the level at which they can function, and improve their quality of life.
Patients should begin by talking with their healthcare provider about CFS treatments for their symptoms and ways to manage their fatigue. By building a good relationship with their healthcare provider, patients will be able to talk more freely about their symptoms, which can improve the treatment of chronic fatigue syndrome.
If patients feel that their healthcare provider does not know a lot about chronic fatigue syndrome or has doubts about whether it is a real illness, they should see another healthcare provider for a second opinion. Patients can go to a local university medical school or research center for help with finding providers with expertise in chronic fatigue syndrome.
Currently, most healthcare providers with experience in treatment for chronic fatigue syndrome will use a combination of therapies to treat CFS. Treatment options for chronic fatigue syndrome include:
(Click Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Treatment for more information.)
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
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