Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a disorder that causes extreme fatigue. This fatigue is not the kind of tired feeling that goes away after you rest. Instead, it lasts a long time and limits your ability to do ordinary daily activities.
The main symptom of CFS is severe fatigue that lasts for 6 months or more. You also have at least four of these other symptoms:
- Feeling unwell for more than 24 hours after physical activity
- Muscle pain
- Memory problems
- Pain in multiple joints
- Sleep problems
- Sore throat
- Tender lymph nodes
CFS is hard to diagnose. There are no tests for it, and other illnesses can cause similar symptoms. Your doctor has to rule out other diseases before making a diagnosis of CFS.
No one knows what causes CFS. It is most common in women in their 40s and 50s, but anyone can have it. It can last for years. There is no cure for CFS, so the goal of treatment is to improve symptoms. CFS affects people in different ways. You should work with your doctors to create a treatment program that best meets your own needs. It may include therapies to manage your symptoms, such as medicines to treat pain, sleep disorders, and other problems. It may also include coping techniques, and ways of managing your daily activities.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (Department of Health and Human Services, Office on Women's Health)
- Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: What is ME/CFS? (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
- Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Symptoms (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
Diagnosis and Tests
- Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Diagnosis (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
Treatments and Therapies
- Are There Any Natural Remedies That Reduce Chronic Fatigue Associated with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome? (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
- Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Treatment (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome in Gulf War Veterans (Department of Veterans Affairs)
- Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Possible Causes (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
- Genetics Home Reference: corticosteroid-binding globulin deficiency (National Library of Medicine)
- ClinicalTrials.gov: Fatigue Syndrome, Chronic (National Institutes of Health)
Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)
- Article: A thermal dysregulation problem after breast cancer surgery; what could...
- Article: Acupuncture and moxibustion for chronic fatigue syndrome in traditional Chinese...
- Article: Effectiveness of Long-term Doxycycline Treatment and Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy on Fatigue...
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome -- see more articles
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (For Parents) (Nemours Foundation)
- ME/CFS in Children: Fact Sheet for Parents/Guardians (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
- Symptoms and Diagnosis of ME/CFS in Children (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
- Treatment of ME/CFS in Children (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)