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Chronic Fatigue Syndrome & Tired All The Time


Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) and post-viral fatigue syndrome has been recognized by the medical profession in the UK since the mid-1990s but only received official status as a condition in 2002. Some doctors still doubt that this syndrome exists except as a psychiatric condition.

Criteria for a diagnosis of CFS have changed frequently between 1994 and 2011 but basically require that a patients symptoms must have 2 physical and 2 psychological symptoms including fatigue or lethargy and must be causing a 50 per cent loss of physical and social function for at least six months.  Four of the following symptoms must also be present:

  • Physical: sore throat, persistent infections, swollen and/or sore lymph nodes, headaches and pain in muscles or joints.
  • Psychological depression: impaired memory or concentration, excessive sleep requirement, appetite loss or gain and agitation.

Most often the symptoms worsen with the slightest exertion.

It is important to differentiate this from the persistent fatigue that is felt by 20-50 per cent of the population in association with incorrect lifestyle or stress, as this is quite separate from CFS. It may be just as debilitating and also needs addressing but may not have the same underlying causes. The term TATT – Tired All The Time – is now being used to describe such a situation.

Underlying Causes

CFS is essentially a ‘diagnosis of exclusion’ which means that other medical causes of the above symptoms must be investigated and eliminated.

Theories of the causes of CFS include dormant/persistent viral infection (Epstein-Barr virus, cytomegalovirus, herpes virus, and others),

Food or airborne intolerance or allergy

Nervous system toxicity or uncontrolled stress response.

Toxicity from environmental chemicals (heavy metals, pesticides etc)

Cause of mitochondrial failure. (The small parts within cells that turn sugar and oxygen into energy)

Toxic/stress cause of decreased blood flow

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