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Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Chronic fatigue syndrome is a complex condition that can be very difficult to diagnose. A person with chronic fatigue is left feeling exhausted despite getting plenty of rest. The exact cause of the condition is unknown. There is no cure for chronic fatigue syndrome. There are at least one million people in the United States living with chronic fatigue syndrome. The disease is more prevalent in women in their 40s and 50s. However, all ages, genders and races are affected. Research indicates that the disease is not contagious. More research is needed to determine if the disease is hereditary.


Besides a fatigue feeling, patients may experience a number of other symptoms. There are eight symptoms directly associated with the condition. Headaches and muscle aches are common complaints in those with chronic fatigue syndrome. The lymph nodes in the armpit and neck may be tender and swollen. A normal night’s sleep does not leave the person feeling refreshed. A sore throat may also accompany the condition. Exhaustion, physical or mental, that lasts more than 24 hours is another key symptom of chronic fatigue.


Doctors cannot pinpoint the exact cause of chronic fatigue in every patient, but there are numerous theories. The condition may be brought on by some type of viral infection, toxins, excessive mental stress, or excessive physical activity. Allergies, anemia, and depression are also believed to have a link to chronic fatigue. Some experts believe chronic fatigue is the end result of another disease. Although doctors cannot actually cure the syndrome, treatments are available. In many cases, the symptoms simply go away overtime. Various medications and therapies are used to manage the symptoms. Antidepressants and counseling can help manage depression as well as cope with the debilitating effects of chronic fatigue syndrome. Each patient’s treatment will depend on the severity of symptoms and other factors that may be attributing to the condition.


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