Chronic fatigue syndrome

Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) can be caused by a number of diseases and increasingly occurs in difficult life circumstances. It differs from normal exhaustion in that it doesn't go away with rest and sometimes persists for months or years.

Overview

Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) can be caused by a number of diseases and increasingly occurs in difficult life circumstances. It differs from normal exhaustion in that it doesn't go away with rest and sometimes persists for months or years. The condition often only improves after some lifestyle changes have been made.

Symptoms

Main symptoms

  • Extreme fatigue during the day (tired when waking in the morning)
  • Noticeable and constant reduction in performance

This condition can persist for months and even years. It’s accompanied by mental and physical symptoms.

Other symptoms

  • Reduced concentration, lack of motivation, irritability, forgetfulness, disorientation
  • Back, joint and muscle pain or weakness
  • Headaches
  • Digestive problems
  • Low blood pressure

Causes and treatment

Causes

The causes are mostly unclear, but some connection with infection is suspected. Other factors also play a role:

Further treatment by your doctor / in hospital

The search for an underlying disease that triggers the condition takes centre stage. Chronic fatigue syndrome is only diagnosed if no specific cause for the chronic exhaustion can be found.

Possible tests
  • Thorough physical examination
  • Blood test (search for inflammatory markers, measurement of vitamin levels, etc.)
  • Sleep study in the sleep laboratory
Possible therapies
  • If an underlying trigger can be diagnosed, therapy for this disease is applied
  • Psychological counselling
  • Lifestyle changes (see “What I can do myself”)

What can I do myself?

Lifestyle changes often bring improvement. These include:

  • A balanced and varied diet
  • Avoidance of nicotine and alcohol
  • Regular exercise and sport
  • Combating stress through regular periods of rest and relaxation

When to see a doctor?

  • If you suffer from persistent fatigue without improvement, you should go to the doctor

Synonyms

sleep apnoea, depression, depression, Chronic fatigue syndrome

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CSS offers no guarantee for the accuracy and completeness of the information. The information published is no substitute for professional advice from a doctor or pharmacist.

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