Chronic fatigue syndrome is a condition that is still somewhat covered with a veil of mystery regarding its causes and treatment. For years this condition was not recognized as a real medical condition, because of its symptoms that are not easily measured. Chronic fatigue syndrome is characterized by a sensation of constant fatigue that does not go away after rest and worsens after physical or mental activity.
In many cases of chronic fatigue syndrome the underlying cause remains unknown, making it hard to treat. However, many people recover from it with time, and there are several treatments and medications that target the symptoms.
There are eight official symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome, the main one being, apparently, a constant fatigue. Other symptoms are problems with memory and concentration, sore throat, swollen and painful lymph glands in neck and armpits, muscle pain, headache, pain in multiple joints, unrefreshing sleep, and a feeling of exhaustion up to and more than 24 hours after physical or mental activity.
People who suffer from chronic fatigue syndrome report other symptoms as well, although those symptoms are not included in the official definition.
Those symptoms can be pain in abdomen, allergies and hypersensitivity, chest pain, bloating, diarrhea, dizziness, vertigo, jaw pain, earache, dry mouth, chills, visual disturbances, persistent cough and psychological disturbances.
The course of this condition varies from person to person. In some people, the symptoms progress, peak and then subside, leading to a full recovery while in others it may worsen.
It is difficult to determine when or if to see a doctor if a person has symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome. However, it can be a symptom of a more serious underlying disease so it is best to consult one when the symptoms occur, because, like all medical conditions, this one too should be addressed as soon as possible.
Risk factors for this condition are still not fully known, but it seems that women are more prone to it than men and that it usually affects people around 40 and 50 years of age.
Medical science is still struggling to define the cause of chronic fatigue syndrome but for now it seems it might be caused by depression, anemia caused by iron deficiency, allergies, some viruses like Epstein-Barr and herpesvirus 6, changes in hormonal and immune system, some autoimmune processes and low blood sugar.
Of course, in some cases chronic fatigue syndrome has an obvious cause that does not pose any danger to health, like some conditions that have fatigue as one of the primary symptoms or simply a side effect of a drug.