Chronic fatigue syndrome
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Epidemiology, 8+ Symptoms, Causes, and Diagnosis

Do you often feel tired even though you have slept or rested enough throughout the day? If so, it could indicate a condition called chronic fatigue syndrome.

Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a condition characterized by fatigue all the time. This will certainly reduce the quality of life of sufferers, because persistent tired complaints will make CFS sufferers feel unpowered to work or do other activities.

In contrast to fatigue due to heavy physical activity or being unfit, chronic fatigue syndrome can even cause fatigue that is severe enough to make the sufferer difficult to get out of bed (malaise). Not only in older persons, this condition can also occur in children.

Chronic fatigue syndrome epidemiology

The prevalence of CFS varies from population to population due to differences in the definitions used. It has reportedly reached as high as 3% in certain countries. In the US, it has been estimated that up to 1 million Americans may have CFS (CDC data). It affects all age, gender, ethnic and socioeconomic groups.

There seems to be a tendency for female gender (65 – 80% of women), aged 40 – 50s and most older persons and adolescents. In Western countries, young white women make up the largest group. There are data showing this kind of genetic predisposition is sometimes seen in the blood of his family and relatives. Some authorities have suggested causally related to the shared environment as well.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Symptoms

What are the signs and symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome?

The most common symptom of chronic fatigue syndrome is feeling tired, weak, or tired most of the time. However, some other signs and symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome include:

  • Confusion
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Headaches
  • Sore throat
  • Mild fever
  • Vision problems
  • Muscle, joint, and bone pain.

There may still be other symptoms not listed above. If you have concerns about certain symptoms, consult a doctor.

When should I see a doctor?

If you have any of the above signs or symptoms or would like to inquire, consult a doctor. Each body acts differently from each other. Always have a discussion with your doctor to find the best solution for your condition.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Causes

Although chronic fatigue syndrome has long been recognized as a medical condition, the cause is not yet known. However, scientists believe the condition can be caused by a mix of genetic and environmental factors, including:

Hormonal imbalance

Scientists are looking for a link between chronic fatigue syndrome and hormonal imbalance. Both of these conditions tend to be more common in women. Hormones are chemical compounds that directly affect the function of organs and cells of the body. Hormonal fluctuations can occur due to unbalanced lifestyles, toxins, or certain periods in a woman’s life, such as puberty and menopause.

Depressed immune system

Most patients have abnormalities that affect their immune system. This condition makes a person more susceptible to infections and diseases, and is believed to play an important role in the onset of CFS.

Specific infections

Researchers are also trying to find a link between CFS and certain viral infections, including Epstein-Barr virus, human herpes, and leukemia.

Distressing events

Many patients report that CFS symptoms begin to appear after severe physical (e.g. Surgical) or emotional distress (death of a nearby person or divorce).

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Diagnosis

Diagnosis of chronic fatigue syndrome is quite difficult to do. Because, the symptoms of this disease are often considered as fatigue in general. The doctor will take several actions to confirm the diagnosis and rule out other possible causes that may result in fatigue. A series of actions performed by doctors in diagnosing CFS are:

  • Ask about all the symptoms that the patient is experiencing, and the medical history of the patient and his family.
  • Conduct checks on physical and mental health.
  • Conduct supporting tests, such as blood tests, urine tests, and others.

If the test results do not show the presence of the disease that is the cause of the symptoms experienced by the patient, then the diagnosis of chronic fatigue syndrome can be ascertained by the doctor.


Last Updated on April 23, 2021 Reviewed by Market Health Beauty Team


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