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Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Overview

Chronic fatigue syndrome (also called CFS) is a disorder without a known cause, although CFS may be related to a previous infection. CFS is a state of chronic fatigue that exists without other explanation for six months or more and is accompanied by cognitive difficulties (problems with short-term memory or concentration). You may have CFS if you meet the following criteria:

  • if you have severe chronic fatigue for six months or longer and all other known conditions that could cause fatigue have been excluded by your health-care provider, or
  • if you simultaneously have four or more of the following symptoms: significant problems with short-term memory or concentration, sore throat, tender lymph nodes, muscle pain, pain in several joints without swelling or redness, headaches that are different in pattern or severity from previous headaches, feeling tired and unrefreshed even after sleeping, and extreme tiredness lasting more than 24 hours after you exercise or exert yourself.

Chronic fatigue syndrome affects tens of thousands of people. It occurs more commonly in females than in males. This condition occurs most commonly in young to middle-aged adults. People with CFS are often unable to perform normally at work and home because of their long-term fatigue and problems with short-term memory. This can lead to depression, but depression is not a cause of CFS.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/23/2014

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Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome »

Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a disorder of unknown etiology that probably has an infectious basis.

Read More on Medscape Reference »


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