What is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome? Part 1

What is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome? Part 1

There is a summary of the condition known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or ME. There are 3 parts of this article.
What is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome? (Part 1)
We all get tired. Many of us at times have felt depressed. But the mystery known as chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is not like the normal ups and downs we experience in everyday life. The early sign of this illness is a strong and noticeable fatigue that comes on suddenly and often comes and goes or never stops. You feel too tired to do normal activities or are easily exhausted with no apparent reason. Unlike the mind fog of a serious hangover, to which researchers have compared CFS, the profound weakness of CFS does not go away with a few good nights of sleep. Instead, it steals your energy and vigor over months and sometimes years.

The following chart shows some statistics taken in Australia regarding length of continuing disability symptoms, although is actually very unpredictable to forecast when are you going to improve your symptoms, and also if they may come back at a later stage.

Despite of the chart of persistence of CFS symptoms, full recovery is estimated at 10 percent, with the greatest chance of recovery appearing to be within the first five years of illness. Some people cycle between periods of relatively good health and illness, and some gradually worsen over time. Others neither get worse nor better, while some improve gradually but never fully recover

How does CFS begin, and what are CFS symptoms?

For many people, CFS begins after a bout with a cold, bronchitis, hepatitis, or an intestinal bug. For some, it follows a bout of infectious mononucleosis, or mono, which temporarily saps the energy of many teenagers and young adults. Often, people say that their illnesses started during a period of high stress. In others, CFS develops more gradually, with no clear illness or other event starting it.


Just for a sake of clarity, the name of this illness has brought a lot of controversy, and currently they are trying to change it to neuroendocrineimmune dysfunction syndrome, or NDS, which better reflects the symptoms of this illness, is not just fatigue...

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is an Illness characterized by a permanent fatigue (that it does not improve with the rest), for at least six consecutive months, accompanied of other symptoms as difficulty of concentration, lost of memory, non-refreshing sleep, muscular pains, pains you will articulate (without inflammation), migraines, general discomfort post exercise that extends more than 24 hours and alterations of the sleep.

This Chronic Fatigue Syndrome has also been called Immune Malfunction, epidemic Neuromiastenia and Myalgic Encephalomyelitis.

The illness has proven to be both complex and mysterious, and there is still no known cause or cure. However, there is abundant scientific evidence that CFS is a real biologic illness, not a psychiatric condition. And there are treatment options that can help patients manage symptoms, cope with the impact of the illness, improve function and manage activity levels.


There is not known yet the final cause of it, but it is believed that a viral infection is involved in it. Among the viruses responsible for CFS are: Epstein-Barr, HIV, HHV-6, Cytomegalovirus, retrovirus or enterovirus.

The World Health Organization has listed the discrete disease, CFS under neurological disorders specifically excluding it from psychiatric disorders. Doctors treating patients medically diagnosed with CFS describe them are more functionally ill than cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy, patients with HIV, Type 2 diabetes and another neurological disorder MS.

In one study, Ablashi et al. (15) found that 25% of the sera &am 300 CFS patients, tested for HHV-6 IgG and EBV-VCA IgG antibody, showed elevated antibodies to both HHV-6 and EBV.
There has been considerable interest in investigating its possible role in CFS. Most of us have already been infected with the virus in our first year of life. In most individuals the virus is latent. When HHV-6 is reactivated, or during reinfection, it may contribute to CFS.
Evidence of the involvement of HHV-6 in CFS, compared to that of other human herpes viruses (EBV, CMV, HSV-1 and 2, VZV, HHV-7), is much stronger. The evidence is based on:

1. Elevated IgG antibody;
2. Detection of anti-IgM antibody in equal to or less than 50% of patients, which is a good indication of virus reactivation;
3. Detection of HHV-6 antigen expressing cells in the peripheral blood mononuclear cells of CFS patients by culture techniques;
4. Detection of HHV-6 DNA in lymphocytes of CFS patients by PCR and Southern blot hybridization (22-23,33,35-36).


In the following chart, we can see how clinical diagnostic can be made, and RNASe biological marker is simply a confirmation of the clinical diagnostic.

Content Source: Bukisa - What is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome? Part 1


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