Chronic fatigue syndrome
Snell, Christopher R. Department of Sport Sciences, University of the Pacific, Stockton, California.
Last reviewed:March 2021
- Symptoms and diagnosis
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
An illness of unknown cause and uncertain prevalence, often resulting in debilitating fatigue accompanied by diverse symptoms. Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a complicated and disabling illness. Characterized by extreme degrees of fatigue (see illustration) typically lasting six months or more, chronic fatigue syndrome is not fully understood nor adequately explained by an individual's underlying medical condition (or conditions). Multiple case definitions of chronic fatigue syndrome and widespread disagreement about what to even call the illness have made it difficult to estimate the number of persons affected worldwide. For example, in the United States, sufferers likely exceed 1 million persons. In general, chronic fatigue syndrome is more widespread among women and minorities, and adults are more likely to be affected than children. Alternative names for the condition include myalgic encephalomyelitis, chronic fatigue immune dysfunction syndrome, and postviral fatigue syndrome. See also: Disease; Epidemiology; Medicine
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