Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a mysterious disease, and a term used to cover a spectrum of medical disorders that cause extreme tiredness that doesn’t improve after resting.
CFS is real, elusive and here to stay and is characterised by cramps, sleeplessness, weakness and headaches. It’s as if you had your eyes closed but were awake the entire time, and is also known as ME, which stands for Myalgic Encephalomyelitis.
Chronic fatigue is defined as self-reported persistent or relapsing fatigue of six or more consecutive months. It can ultimately be dealt with, as long as other more common medical conditions are ruled out first. CFS was one of the first conditions tested under the DDA  and is certainly included as a qualifying condition.
Chronic fatigue syndrome is a frustrating and distressing illness that affects people of all ages, but most commonly affects people in their 40s and 50s. If you have experienced any symptoms for at least half a year, contact your doctor and get checked out.
Chronic fatigue syndrome may occur in up to 38 of 100,000 people in the United States. CFS/ME is different from a more short-lived fatigue that may occur after many common illnesses especially viral infections. CFS/ME is recognised by the Department of Health as a genuine, long-term debilitating disease.
Symptoms are genuinely disabling and are not ‘all in the mind’. Chronic fatigue syndrome is not diagnosed in people who simply feel tired all the time, and it can make you feel extremely unwell and in so doing seriously disrupt your life. All symptoms should be closely monitored so that they can be reported to a doctor and dealt with in the correct fashion.
Chronic fatigue syndrome may lead to a reduction of 50% in the ability to participate in ordinary activities and it is a relatively new disorder that at this time has no known proven cause or cure. Treatment will vary and depend on the result of the additional testing.
Treatment for CFS/ME aims to manage your symptoms. It will depend on your specific symptoms – a treatment that works for one person may not work for everyone.
With the help of a specialist or an otherwise knowledgeable doctor, individuals should be able to determine what is ailing them and get back on the track to health.