Facts To Know About
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Facts To Know About Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Chronic fatigue syndrome is a complex and debilitating disease
that still has researchers and healthcare practitioners perplexed.
CFS does not improve with extra bed rest or naps and can often be made worse by any amount of strenuous physical
and/or mental activity.
People diagnosed with CFS often function at a lower level of energy and stamina than they did before the illness
first set in.
Besides excessive fatigue that is often unexplained, patients suffering from CFS can experience other symptoms
such as unrefreshed sleep, insomnia, muscle pain, headaches, night sweats, chills, hypotension and prolonged
fatigue that lasts for a 24 hour span of time or longer.
Defining CFS has not proven easy by the medical community because many of the symptoms of the disease are
similar to other conditions as well.
For example a variety of conditions such as depression, a multitude of infections, pregnancy, strenuous exercise
and extreme stress can lead to feelings of being exhausted on a temporary basis.
Other conditions must often be ruled out before a proper diagnosis of chronic fatigue syndrome can be made.
The definition most researchers have come to a consensus on regarding chronic fatigue syndrome is that a person
must have severe chronic fatigue of six months or longer duration with other known medical conditions excluded by
clinical diagnosis; and 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.
The symptoms of CFS must have existed or must have reoccurred during six months or more in a row and must not in
any way predate the level of exhaustion and fatigue.
Chronic Fatigue Fast Facts
The Nitty Gritty Important Issues Surrounding CFS
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or CFS is a poorly understood ailment. Annals of Internal Medicine in December of 1994 published a definition for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome under the guidance of the Center For Disease Control. Here is a shortened outline of that definition:
To be diagnosed with CFS the patient must present with new, unexplained fatigue that has been of 6 month duration or longer that can not be attributed to physical exertion, cannot be relieved by rest and limits or reduces the...
Approximately 20 to 50 percent of patients also suffer other secondary symptoms and these include bloating, chest
pains, abdominal pain, diarrhea, dizziness, chronic cough, earaches, irregular heartbeat, morning stiffness,
nausea, night sweats, jaw pain, earaches, sensations in the skin as well as weight loss.
Other common secondary symptoms include psychological problems such as anxiety, depression,
excessive irritability and panic attacks.
Chronic fatigue syndrome affects approximately one million individuals every year in the
United States, however less than 10 percent of people have received a diagnosis of CFS and are therefore receiving
the treatment they need.
It is believed that there are tens of millions of individuals who have some form of a disorder that
includes fatigue but does not fall under the strict definition of chronic fatigue syndrome.
Chronic fatigue syndrome is believed to be four times more prevalent with females than it is with
males and it most commonly affects people who are in their forties or fifties.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Facts
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome can affect the the central nervous system, immune system, as well as a
varied selection of other body systems and organs.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that for every group of 100,000
people, 522 are women while only 291 are men. Chronic fatigue syndrome does occur in children but is less common
than it is in the adult population.
It tends to be more common in adolescents than it does with young children. Approximately 54 to 94
percent of children show vast improvement an estimated five to six years after the disease first appears.