The Cause of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Chronic fatigue syndrome refers to severe, continued tiredness or post exertional fatigue that may last for over 24 hours without respite,  is unrelieved by rest,  and is not directly caused by other medical conditions.


The exact cause of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is unknown. Some theories suggest CFS may be due to:

  • Age: People of all ages can contract CFS, however incidence of CFS in people between the ages of 30 and 50 is more common.
  • Stress: Psychological stress can affect the immune system adversely leading to symptoms.
  • Genetics: The condition has been observed to run in families. CFS has been linked to hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis genes and the sympathetic nervous system.
  • Pathogens: Since most cases of CFS resemble a viral infection, research focuses on the possibility of a virus or a pathogen causing the condition.


Symptoms may resemble flu-like conditions and viral infections. In addition the person may experience:

  • Muscle ache
  • Headaches
  • Extreme fatigue

There are cases where viral infections such as glandular fever might be considerable factors but not the main problem. What seems to make CFS worse is recurring viral or bacterial infections. It would appear all other diagnosis are ruled out before CFS is considered a factor.

It would appear there are many causes for CFS including your everyday stresses of life as well as physical factors.

Unfortunately there appears to be no treatment to cure the disease itself, rather than treat it to curb the symptoms. Painkillers may help if muscle or joint pains are troublesome symptoms. Anti depressants are usually prescribed to maintain the depression. It can be common to have setbacks when symptoms become worse for a while. These can have various triggers – for example, poor sleep infection or stress.

According to the good news is people with CFS/ME will show some improvement over time, especially with treatment. Some people recover in less than two years, while others remain ill for many years. Unfortunately health and functioning rarely return completely to previous levels.

In some cases, the condition is severe and/or persists for many years. Those who have been affected for several years seem less likely to recover.The syndrome recovery seems to be worse for older people and the outlook for younger people seems positive.

About the Author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *