Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)

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CFS KaleidoscopeChronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is a chronic, incurable illness with many symptoms. It is best known for it's hallmark symptom of longlasting severe fatigue. However it can also cause insomnia, exercise intolerance, widespread joint and muscle pain, memory and concentration problems, tender lymph nodes, sore throat, and headaches. (Also see Autoimmune Diseases)

What is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome? Chronic fatigue syndrome, or CFS, is a debilitating and complex disorder characterized by profound fatigue that is not improved by bed rest and that may be worsened by physical or mental activity. Persons with CFS most often function at a substantially lower level of activity than they were capable of before the onset of illness.

Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS): Major Impact on Lives of Both Patients and Family Members. This study identifies the major impact that having an adult family member with ME/CFS has on the lives of partners and of other family members. PubMed, Medicina (Kaunas), 2021 Jan 7;57(1):E43.

Causes of CFS

Causes of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. The World Health Organization (WHO) has classified CFS as a chronic (long-term) neurological condition and this classification has been accepted by the Department of Health. However, the WHO's decision remains controversial and is not accepted by everyone working in the field. NHS.

Have We Been Thinking About Long-Haul Coronavirus All Wrong? As the COVID-19 pandemic presses on, doctors are increasingly worried about the significant subset of coronavirus patients who are suffering symptoms like fatigue, brain fog and chronic pain for months on end. Time Healthland, 10/16/2020.

Diagnosis of CFS

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. In general, in order to receive a diagnosis of chronic fatigue syndrome, a patient must satisfy two criteria: (1) Have severe chronic fatigue of six months or longer duration with other known medical conditions excluded by clinical diagnosis, and (2) Concurrently have four or more of the following symptoms: substantial impairment in short-term memory or concentration, sore throat, tender lymph nodes, muscle pain, multi-joint pain without swelling or redness, headaches of a new type, pattern or severity, unrefreshing sleep, and post-exertional malaise lasting more than 24 hours. National Center for Infectious Diseases CDC.

Study finds chronic fatigue clues in overactive immune response. Scientists exploring what may trigger chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) have found clues in the way some people’ s immune systems respond more actively to a health attack. Reuters Health, 12/17/2018.

Symptoms of CFS

Beyond bones: The relevance of variants of connective tissue (hypermobility) to fibromyalgia, ME/CFS and controversies surrounding diagnostic classification: an observational study. Symptomatic hypermobility is particularly relevant to fibromyalgia and ME/CFS, and our findings highlight high rates of mis–/underdiagnosis. PubMed, Clin Med (Lond), 2021 Jan;21(1):53-58. (Also see Fibromyalgia)

Cytokine signature associated with disease severity in chronic fatigue syndrome patients (CFS). The physicians explored the role of cytokine in CFS and they explained that most of the cytokines were proinflammatory and probably contributed to many of the symptoms of CFS. PubMed, Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. (Also see Cytokines)

Treatments of CFS

Chronic fatigue syndrome treatments and drugs. Treatment for chronic fatigue syndrome focuses on symptom relief. Options include antidepressants, sleeping pills, graded exercise and psychological counseling. Mayo Clinic.

Relationship Between (CFS) and Fibromyalgia (FMS)

Predictors of New Onsets of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) and Fibromyalgia (FM): The Lifelines Study. The close relationship between IBS and FM is striking and requires further research. PubMed, Psychol Med, 2020 Jun 17;1-9. (Also see Fibromyalgia and Bowel Dysfunction)

Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Information on the relationships between the rheumatological condition known as fibromyalgia, fibrositis, or FMS, chronic fatigue syndrome, CFS, myalgic encephalitis, ME, hypometabolism and thyroid disease, including hypothyroidism. VeryWell.

Neurological Disorders

Neuroimaging characteristics of myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS): a systematic review. Neuroimaging studies of ME/CFS have frequently observed additional brain area recruitment during cognitive tasks and abnormalities in the brain stem. PubMed, J Transl Med, 2020 Sep 1;18(1):335.

Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS)

Cognitive impairments associated with CFS and POTS. Future research should continue to examine possible explanations for cognitive impairments in CFS and POTS, and ultimately use this information to try and reduce cognitive impairments for these patients. Front. Physiol.


Implementing guided internet-based cognitive behavioural therapy (ICBT) for chronic pain and fatigue (CFS): A qualitative evaluation among therapists and managers. This study provides insight in the challenge of implementing ICBT for chronic pain and CFS in daily clinical practice. PubMed, Internet Interv, 2019 Oct 31;18:100290.

Disability Information for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

CFS/FMS Objective Medical Evidence Requirements for Disability Adjudication Regarding Social Security Disability in the U.S. Susan M. Daniels, Ph. D.

CFS Stories

Beverly: CREST Scleroderma I was overtired and needed naps in the afternoon, pain was slowly getting the better of me and I finally went to the doctor…

Krisha S: Multiple Autoimmune Condition I have multiple sclerosis (MS), fibromyalgia, and Stiff Person Syndrome…

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