Chronic fatigue syndrome
In medicine, chronic fatigue syndrome is "a syndrome characterized by persistent or recurrent fatigue, diffuse musculoskeletal pain, sleep disturbances, and subjective cognitive impairment of 6 months duration or longer. Symptoms are not caused by ongoing exertion; are not relieved by rest; and result in a substantial reduction of previous levels of occupational, educational, social, or personal activities. Minor alterations of immune, neuroendocrine, and autonomic function may be associated with this syndrome. There is also considerable overlap between this condition and fibromyalgia."
Various definitions for chronic fatigure syndrome have been proposed and they have been summarized.
In 1994, the International Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Study Group proposed:
"Chronic fatigue is defined as self-reported persistent or relapsing fatigue lasting 6 or more consecutive months"
"A case of idiopathic chronic fatigue is defined as clinically evaluated, unexplained chronic fatigue that fails to meet criteria for the chronic fatigue syndrome."
"A case of the chronic fatigue syndrome is defined by the presence of the following:
- clinically evaluated, unexplained, persistent or relapsing chronic fatigue that is of new or definite onset [has not been lifelong]; is not the result of ongoing exertion; is not substantially alleviated by rest; and results in substantial reduction in previous levels of occupational, educational, social, or personal activities; and
- the concurrent occurrence of four or more of the following symptoms, all of which must have persisted or recurred during 6 or more consecutive months of illness and must not have predated the fatigue:
- self-reported impairment in short-term memory or concentration severe enough to cause substantial reduction in previous levels of occupational, educational, social, or personal activities;
- sore throat;
- tender cervical or axillary lymph nodes;
- muscle pain, multijoint pain without joint swelling or redness;
- headaches of a new type, pattern, or severity;
- unrefreshing sleep; and
- postexertional malaise lasting more than 24 hours."
- Chronic fatigue 19% of patients or 1775 to 6321 cases per 100 000 persons
- Of the 19%, about two thirds "had a medical or psychiatric condition that could account for the fatigue"
- Of the 19%, about 4% have chronic fatigue syndrome or 75 to 267 cases per 100 000 persons
A second cross sectional study verifies that chronic fatigue syndrome is uncommon among patients with chronic fatigue.
According to twin studies, chronic fatigue syndrome may have a genetic susceptibility with heritability as high as 51%. This compares to a heritability for major depression of about a third. Various have been single-nucleotide polymorphisms suggested.
According to twin studies, chronic fatigue syndrome may cluster with chronic fatigue syndrome, low back pain, irritable bowel syndrome, chronic tension headache, fibromyalgia, temporomandibular joint disorder, major depression, panic attacks, and posttraumatic stress disorder suggesting a common etiology.
Various retroviruses are associated with CFS.In one study, the virus was found "in nearly 98 percent of about 300 patients with the syndrome" while only 3.7 percent of 218 healthy people were infected.
Chronic fatigue syndrome may result from an interaction with organic and psychiatric factors.
It has been proposed that clustered versions of CFS may increase risk of certain cancers.
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