FM/CFS/ME RESOURCES - CFS/ME Information - Multi-Symptom Disease


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MULTI-SYMPTOM DISEASE CFS/ME Information - Multi-Symptom Disease

While fatigue is a common symptom in many illnesses, CFS/ME is a multi-symptom disease and is relatively rare by comparison. Definitions require a number of features, the most common being severe mental and physical exhaustion which is "unrelieved by rest" and may be worsened by even trivial exertion. Most diagnostic criteria insist that the symptoms must be present for at least six months, and all insist on there being no other cause for them: i.e. the symptoms must not caused by other medical conditions such as diabetes, hypothyroidism or anemia. Click here for more information about CFS/ME symptoms.

It is unclear if these symptoms represent co-morbid conditions or are produced by the same underlying etiology as CFS itself. Some cases improve over time, and treatments (though none are universally accepted) bring a degree of improvement to many others, though resolution is rare.

CFS/ME occurs more often, but not exclusively, in women, possibly due to immunological factors or hormonal changes. CFS/ME is most easily diagnosed when formerly active adults become ill, and is most commonly diagnosed in young to middle aged adults, although it is also reported in children, adolescents and the elderly.

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  • Associated Fibromyalgia Syndrome Conditions: Endometriosis, What is the Connection Between Fibromyalgia and Endometriosis?,, Accessed Dec. 1, 2009.

  • Whittemore Peterson Institute, Institute for Neuro-Immune Disease,, Accessed Nov. 1, 2009.

  • Joris C. Verster, S. R. Pandi-Perumal, David L. Streiner, Sleep and Quality of Life in Clinical Medicine, page 231.

  • Immunological aspects of chronic fatigue syndrome, Autoimmunity Reviews, Volume 8, Issue 4, February 2009, Pages 287-291.
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