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Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

What Is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?

Chronic fatigue syndrome is a complex illness marked by extreme or debilitating fatigue that is not improved by rest. This condition includes other symptoms that may come and go. Chronic fatigue syndrome can affect your ability to think clearly, sleep or perform ordinary activities without exhaustion.

The cause of chronic fatigue syndrome is unknown. Some experts think two or more contributing risk factors might work together to cause it. This illness is most common in white women between 40 and 60 years old. However, it may be underdiagnosed in other groups of people.


Chronic fatigue symptoms can make it hard to get up in the morning and go about your day. Symptoms can change from day to day, going through phases that can get better or worse over time. Symptoms include:

  • Difficulty thinking and concentrating
  • Difficulty doing daily things such as bathing or dressing without getting tired
  • Dizziness
  • Pain
  • Severe fatigue even when well-rested
  • Sleep problems
  • Symptoms get worse after physical or mental exertion

Treatment Options

Treating chronic fatigue syndrome focuses on symptom relief. There is no cure, but you can take steps to feel better and manage your condition. Your doctor will develop a treatment plan based on your unique and changing condition.

Your doctor will do a medical exam and discuss your illness, including health history and symptoms. Blood, urine or other tests can shed light on specific symptoms and rule out other diseases or causes, such as a hormonal imbalance.

Your treatment may include strategies for coping with the symptoms that bother you most – such as insomnia or anxiety. In some cases, your doctor may recommend lifestyle changes, medication or seeing a specialist.

Certain strategies can help you plan your daily activities and schedules. It helps to pace yourself during both difficult and symptom-free times.

Ready for an Appointment?

If you're experiencing signs or symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome, schedule an appointment or call 800-TEMPLE-MED (800-836-7536) today.

Learn more about our doctors and care team who diagnose and treat chronic fatigue syndrome.