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What do we mean by Chronic Fatigue?

Fatigue is central to many chronic and debilitating illnesses. It is also something that occurs when we are overcommitted, working too hard, or making too little time for relaxation. And fatigue is the central feature of a group of symptoms that together are known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS).

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is also known as Post-Viral Fatigue Syndrome (PVFS) and Myalgic Encephalitis (ME). As a term, CFS is relatively new, but the illness itself was described more than a hundred years ago when it was called neurasthenia.

Symptoms of CFS include the following:

  • A feeling of persistent and overwhelming fatigue which is unlike normal tiredness
  • Painful joints and muscles
  • Headaches and dizziness
  • Sore throat
  • Pins and needles
  • Sensitivity to light and noise

Other symptoms may include the inability to concentrate, poor sleep patterns and severe digestive disturbances such as bloating, nausea and loss of appetite. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome may be diagnosed in the presence of some of these symptoms and is often thought to be the result of a past illness or infection.