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Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Unlocking The Secrets to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

July 12, 2023

6 min read

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Author : United We Care
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Unlocking The Secrets to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome


Chronic fatigue syndrome is a debilitating disorder, and the symptoms are long-lasting exhaustion without any reasonable explanation[1]. Individuals with this syndrome may also have problems with concentration and thinking, discomfort in muscles and joints, and disruption in sleep patterns. Individuals with this syndrome find it difficult to carry out their daily activities as it reduces their physical and mental abilities. It’s still unclear what causes the chronic fatigue syndrome.

What is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?

Chronic fatigue syndrome is a complex medical condition in which an individual suffering from this condition will experience extreme fatigue despite not doing any physical activity. In individuals with chronic fatigue syndrome, their condition does not get better by taking rest, and they feel lethargic throughout the day. The exact cause of why an individual gets chronic fatigue syndrome is still unknown, and no specific diagnostic tests are available. Doctors diagnose chronic fatigue syndrome in those cases where an individual has been suffering from the symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome for the last six months[1].

Treatment for chronic fatigue syndrome focuses on symptom relief and improving the quality of life by following a multidisciplinary approach to treatment. The treatment plan for chronic fatigue syndrome includes lifestyle adjustments, symptom management strategies, and psychological support[4].

What are The Symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?

Some of the common symptoms associated with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome are as follows[2]:

  1. Extreme Fatigue: Individuals with chronic fatigue syndrome may experience extreme fatigue without reasonable cause or physical activity. Experiencing extreme fatigue throughout the day limits an individual’s ability to carry out their daily activities.
  2. Post-Exertional Malaise: Individuals with chronic fatigue syndrome may experience extreme fatigue in doing the slightest physical or mental work; in some cases, this minor physical or mental exertion can worsen symptoms.
  3. Cognitive Difficulties: A phenomenon of “brain fog” settles in particular people with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Individuals experiencing a “brain fog” situation will experience problems with memory, concentration, and information processing.
  4. Muscle and Joint Pain: Individuals with chronic fatigue syndrome may feel muscle and joint pain without any solid reason behind that pain. They generally describe this pain as throbbing and aching and can be present in various body parts.
  5. Sleep Disturbances: Sleep problems are common in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Individuals with chronic fatigue syndrome find difficulties in falling asleep, staying asleep, or experiencing non-restorative sleep.
  6. Headaches: The symptom profile may include recurring headaches, tension, and migraines.
  7. Sore Throat and Tender Lymph Nodes: You may experience persistent sore throat or swollen lymph nodes in the neck or armpits, which can be identified through physical examination.
  8. Flu-like Symptoms: Chronic Fatigue Syndrome can accompany flu-like symptoms, such as low-grade fever, chills, and general malaise. These are most of the times confused with the regular flu.

Proper diagnosis and management of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome require medical evaluation.

What Are The Causes of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?

The causes of why an individual has chronic fatigue syndrome are still not very clear. Still, researchers have identified some of the potential factors that contribute to the development of the situation. those factors are[1][2]:

What Are The Causes of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?

  1. Viral Infections: Certain viral infections, like Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) or human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6), may trigger or contribute to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
  2. Immune System Problems: Chronic Fatigue Syndrome might be related to abnormalities in the immune system, which is the body’s defense against infections and diseases.
  3. Hormonal Imbalances: Hormonal imbalances may impact this Syndrome.
  4. Genetic Factors: Some people may have genetic traits that make them more susceptible to developing this Syndrome.
  5. Stressful Events: Major physical or emotional stress, like trauma or significant life changes, could be associated with the onset of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

How to Diagnose Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?

It can be very challenging to diagnose Chronic Fatigue Syndrome because no specific tests confirm the condition. The steps involved  [3][4]:

  1. Medical Assessment: The healthcare provider will conduct a thorough physical examination to rule out other possible causes of the symptoms and to identify any underlying medical conditions.
  2. Medical History: A detailed medical history, including information about the onset, duration, and progression of symptoms, will be obtained, along with any relevant medical history, including previous infections or illnesses.
  3. Laboratory Tests: Certain tests, including bloodwork, will be done to rule out the possibility of other conditions with similar symptoms, like infections, autoimmune diseases, or hormonal imbalances.
  4. Specialist Referral: In some cases, a referral to a specialist, such as a rheumatologist or an infectious disease specialist, may be necessary to assist with the diagnosis and rule out other potential conditions.

Read more about chronic disease and mental health

How to Treat Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?

For treating Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, some commonly used strategies include [6]:

  1. Lifestyle Adjustments: Individuals with this syndrome feel lethargic most of the day without doing any significant physical or mental activity. To tackle the symptoms of lethargy and to manage your time to complete some necessary daily tasks, It is recommended that the individual make some necessary lifestyle modifications to help manage symptoms, like following a regular sleep cycle to improve sleep quality, taking multiple breaks throughout the day, and including mindfulness practices like yoga and meditation to deal with stress.
  2. Symptom Management: To cope with the pain that arises due to chronic fatigue, you might be prescribed certain painkillers by the doctors.
  3. Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT): Cognitive Behaviour Therapy is a therapeutic approach that can be used by a psychologist to effectively eliminate negative thoughts and behaviors associated with this Syndrome. It can provide coping strategies for managing symptoms and improving overall well-being.
  4. Graded Exercise Therapy (GET): Graded Exercise Therapy involves gradually increasing physical activity levels to improve stamina and reduce symptoms. You can opt for such therapy and start following a workout regimen where each exercise is customized to your needs and will gradually grow as per your own unique strengths and weaknesses.
  5. Psychological Support: Emotional support and counseling can be beneficial in managing the emotional and psychological impact of living with this Syndrome.
  6. Alternative Therapies: Some individuals find relief from symptoms through complementary and alternative therapies such as acupuncture, massage, or dietary adjustments.


Individuals with chronic fatigue syndrome feel exhausted and unwell and find it difficult to perform their daily tasks. Currently, there’s no cure available to treat the condition of this syndrome. Still, strategies and treatments are available to help individuals better cope and manage their symptoms.

United We Care is a mental wellness platform offering support and resources for individuals.


[1] D. O. Stacy Sampson, “Chronic fatigue syndrome: Causes, symptoms, and treatment,” Healthline, 12-Mar-2020. [Online]. Available: https://www.healthline.com/health/chronic-fatigue-syndrome. [Accessed: 06-Jul-2023].

[2] “Chronic fatigue syndrome,” Hopkinsmedicine.org, 02-Jul-2020. [Online]. Available: https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/chronic-fatigue-syndrome. [Accessed: 06-Jul-2023].

[3] “Possible causes,” Cdc.gov, 15-May-2019. [Online]. Available: https://www.cdc.gov/me-cfs/about/possible-causes.html. [Accessed: 06-Jul-2023].

[4] “Myalgic encephalomyelitis or chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) – Diagnosis,” nhs.uk. [Online]. Available: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/chronic-fatigue-syndrome-cfs/diagnosis/. [Accessed: 06-Jul-2023].

[5] P. C. Rowe, “Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS),” in Principles and Practice of Pediatric Infectious Diseases, Elsevier, 2023, pp. 1056-1062.e4.

[6] “Myalgic encephalomyelitis or chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) – Treatment,” nhs.uk. [Online]. Available: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/chronic-fatigue-syndrome-cfs/treatment/. [Accessed: 06-Jul-2023].

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Author : United We Care

Founded in 2020, United We Care (UWC) is providing mental health and wellness services at a global level, UWC utilizes its team of dedicated and focused professionals with expertise in mental healthcare, to solve 2 essential missing components in the market, sustained user engagement and program efficacy/outcomes.

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