Fatigue is a very common symptom all over the world. However, chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is more than just fatigue, it is a complex of symptoms that is both prolonged (persisting longer than 6 months) and severe (associated with substantial disability).
CFS commonly affects persons (usually Caucasian women) between the ages of 20 and 50, although it may also occur in children. In one study in the United States, up to 1% of the adult population was found to have symptoms consistent with CFS. In children, the rate was closer to 2%. Symptoms may spontaneously resolve after a few years, especially in children.
CFS has become the focus of considerable research over the last decade, especially in relation to its underlying cause(s) or etiologies which are as yet unknown, although are thought to be multifactorial. Much investigation is devoted to uncovering a possible link to an infectious organism because of the typical "flu-like" beginning of CFS symptoms. There are several possible causes being investigated.
The goals of treatment are to reduce levels of fatigue and associated symptoms, to increase levels of activity, and to improve quality of life. Treatment modalities include medication, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and lifestyle interventions.
The Medifocus Guide on Chronic Fatigue Syndrome provides answers to the following important questions and medical issues:
What are the most common symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome?
Are there any recognized risk factors for developing chronic fatigue syndrome?
What kinds of medical tests are used to establish the diagnosis of chronic fatigue syndrome?
What is the current standard of care for the treatment of chronic fatigue syndrome?
What treatment options are available for the management of chronic fatigue syndrome?
Are there any promising new developments or potential breakthroughs in treatment?
Who are the most notable medical authorities who specialize in chronic fatigue syndrome?
Where are the leading hospitals and centers of research for chronic fatigue syndrome?
What are the most important questions to ask my doctor about chronic fatigue syndrome?
What Your Doctor Reads:
This MediFocus Guide contains an extensive listing of citations and abstracts of recent journal articles that have been published about this condition in trustworthy medical journals. This is the same type of information that is available to physicians and other health care professionals. A partial selection of journal articles that are abstracted in this MediFocus Guide includes:
Chemical sensitivity and fatigue syndromes from hypoxia/hypercapnia. Medical Hypotheses. 2000
Fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, and myofascial pain syndrome. Current Opinion in Rheumatology. 2000
Chronic fatigue syndrome. BMJ. 2000
Review of juvenile primary fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics. 1999
Chronic fatigue syndrome: current concepts of pathogenesis and treatment. Current Clinical Topics in Infectious Diseases. 1999
Report of a workshop on the epidemiology, natural history, and pathogenesis of chronic fatigue syndrome in adolescents. Journal of Pediatrics. 1999
Chronic fatigue syndrome: reviewing the research findings. Annals of Behavioral Medicine. 1999
Chronic fatigue syndrome. Journal of the American Osteopathic Association. 1999
Chronic fatigue syndrome: new insights and old ignorance. Journal of Internal Medicine. 1999
Chronic fatigue syndrome. Archives of Disease in Childhood. 1998
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