What is chronic fatigue syndrome and how to deal with it

Many have minutes, days, and sometimes months of feeling empty, powerless, completely indifferent and unwilling to communicate. This is chronic fatigue. If the cause lies in heavy physical exertion or intense events of the day, and after rest the symptoms disappear, then this can be considered the norm. Everyone is able to cope with this condition. However, with a feeling of fatigue and indifference already from waking up, with constant sensations of this kind for quite a long time, it is worth listening to the body, thinking.

Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a disease characterized by an extreme degree of fatigue that appears for no apparent reason, and does not disappear after rest and sleep. What is chronic fatigue syndrome and how to deal with it, the debate has been going on for many years. For the first time this term began to be used in 1984 in the United States. By 1988, diagnostic criteria were defined. Previously, symptoms of this kind were considered only with neurasthenia.

Until now, many questions on this topic remain controversial. CFS is also called immune dysfunction syndrome, neurasthenic syndrome, manager’s syndrome. The disease is common in civilized countries.

There is still no consensus on chronic fatigue syndrome (what it is, how to treat it). Some consider it a kind of depression, poisoning, allergies. Others suggest that these are the consequences of viruses, reduced immunity.

Reasons for the formation of the syndrome

They are also still not exactly established. Chronic fatigue can be a consequence of a cold. Infectious causes are recognized as priority over nervous tension. But if they are combined, plus unfavorable factors are added to this, then the likelihood of developing the disease increases significantly.

Among the possible causes are: prolonged use of drugs, weakening of the immune system during illness, stress, reaction to viral infections, psychoses, genetics, ecology.

Signs of the disease


  1. Feeling of constant fatigue with a decrease in performance without obvious reasons for a long time (six months).
  2. Preservation of fatigue and impotence after rest, sleep.


  1. Weakness in the muscles of the limbs, lack of concentration, arrhythmia of movements.
  2. The presence of pain in the throat, head, joints, throughout the body.
  3. Disorder of the functions of memory, attention, thinking.
  4. Feeling of incompetence in people of mental labor.
  5. Emotional instability: depression, mood deterioration. Aggression, anger, longing, apathy. Phobias, thoughts of death, irritability, rapid excitability of the nervous system.
  6. Violation of the picture of sleep, its frequent interruption. Night terrors with perspiration, feeling of impotence. As a result, in the morning a person feels tired, drowsy, weak.
  7. Painful enlargement of the lymph nodes (axillary, submandibular, cervical). Sometimes there is a change in the size of the spleen.
  8. Loss of appetite, weight loss, pallor of the skin and profuse appearance of wrinkles.
  9. Frequent increase in body temperature from 37.2 to 37.9 degrees. In this regard, there is a chill and a desire to warm up.
  10. Difficulty exhaling, reminiscent of emphysema.
  11. Tremor of the limbs.


The first step is to isolate the existing symptoms. If there are at least 5-8 signs from the list, we can assume the presence of chronic fatigue syndrome.

The second step of the diagnostic procedures will be the exclusion of other possible diseases with similar symptoms. These include anemia, beriberi. According to the symptoms, this syndrome is close to neoplasms, viral infections, and diabetes mellitus. Its signs are similar to the manifestations of some diseases of the respiratory system, cardiovascular, circulatory, excretory, muscular, gastrointestinal tract. Sometimes similar symptoms can be observed during pregnancy. These factors must be taken into account.

Ascertaining CFS is possible after excluding diseases with similar symptoms and determining not one, but a number of characteristic signs.

At-risk groups

Most often, chronic fatigue and drowsiness are subject to certain categories of people. Among them:

  • Residents of areas with unfavorable factors: excess concentration of certain chemicals in the air, radiation levels. This includes residents of metropolitan areas.
  • People aged 20-45 years. Women are more at risk for the disease than men.
  • Representatives of professions with increased responsibility: military, dispatchers, teachers, medical workers. As well as entrepreneurs, managers.
  • Patients after infectious diseases, operations, chemotherapy.
  • People who are often subjected to emotional overload.
  • People with hereditary predisposition. They often have their immune systems programmed for weak defenses from birth. In the presence of adverse factors such as infection, stress, environmental instability, the immune system fails faster than others.

Personal wellness program

If the causes are not viral, a person with such a syndrome is able to do a lot on his own. Chronic fatigue can be overcome with a well-designed wellness program. It should include the following items:

  • Compliance with the daily routine. Particular attention should be paid to healthy sleep: the time frame, the comfort of the room and bed, the freshness of the air.
  • Getting rid of bad habits (cigarettes, alcohol, coffee abuse).
  • Healthy balanced nutrition, individual diet. Mandatory presence of a sufficient amount of vitamins.
  • Changing the profile of classes, types of loads. For example, office workers in the evening are recommended to change their sedentary state with active physical activity, outdoor recreation. People who do hard physical labor, on the contrary, should spend time calmly after work, without straining their muscles.
  • Maximum disposal of external stimuli, stress. Avoiding conflicts and provocations, the ability to pull yourself together.

It is necessary to direct all efforts to strengthen the immune and nervous systems. Sleeping pills and antidepressants should be used as rarely as possible and only as directed by a doctor, when all other means have already been implemented. Take vitamins, medicinal teas. Chronic fatigue that does not go away after the measures taken necessitates serious medical care.

The need for expert advice

So, after taking measures on your own, chronic fatigue has not gone away, what to do in this case? If fatigue, weakness, lack of appetite, sleep anxiety, dizziness, pain and other symptoms persist, you should seek medical help.

Examinations prescribed by a doctor:

  • laboratory analytical studies (biochemical and general clinical tests);
  • observation (with fixation) of temperature, blood pressure;
  • vascular scanning;
  • immunogram , MRI, EEG (electroencephalogram);
  • consultations of narrow specialists;
  • psychologist consultation with testing.


The doctor can prescribe vitamins, diet, restorative procedures, antioxidants, exercise therapy, healthy lifestyles are recommended. The individual appointment of immunostimulants, sedatives, herbal remedies, physiotherapy (in particular, massage) is practiced. Sometimes the help of a psychotherapist is necessary.

Folk remedies in the fight against the disease are presented in the table.

rest from physical activitylemon, propolis, rosehip
rest from mental stresswalnuts, chocolate
resistance to infectionshoney, currant
stimulation of the nervous systemseaweed, ginseng
sedative effecthawthorn, valerian, motherwort, mint

Competent prevention will help to avoid the risk of disease.

Effective preventive measures:

  • taking care of a healthy lifestyle;
  • balanced diet;
  • calm sound sleep;
  • daily walks;
  • sports;
  • recreation, entertainment, hobbies;
  • getting rid of bad habits;
  • avoidance of stressful situations, scandals and everything that irritates;
  • adoption of soothing water procedures, swimming;
  • trips, relaxation, positive emotions;
  • breathing exercises, massage, meditation.

Remember, it is very important to love yourself, to give yourself joy!

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