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Chronic fatigue syndrome


Fatigue is a complex set of symptoms that includes factors of a mental, physical and social nature, and is one of the most common manifestations observed in everyday life. Fatigue symptoms can be classified according to their duration. Fatigue lasting more than one month is identified as “persistent fatigue”, and if this fatigue persists or occurs repeatedly for more than six months, regardless of its cause, it is considered “chronic fatigue”. Normal fatigue can be eliminated by observing a rest regime, but chronic fatigue syndrome cannot be eliminated in this way. This symptom can have a significant impact on everyday life, so it is important to pay attention to it. Thus, fatigue often disappears by itself and can simply be ignored, however, in some cases, caution is necessary, since such symptoms can serve as early signs of various diseases.


The nature of the symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome varies from person to person. The most common symptoms include fatigue that lasts for more than 6 months without any specific cause, impaired concentration, memory impairment, gastrointestinal disorders, abdominal pain, chest pain, loss of appetite, nausea, shortness of breath, weight loss, anxiety and depression.


During a medical examination for chronic fatigue, the most important thing is to assess the physical condition and anamnesis, as well as the mental state of the patient. For the diagnosis of chronic fatigue syndrome, the criteria selected by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from 1994 are most often used.

1. The main symptoms associated with chronic fatigue.

  • Persistent or recurrent, clinically assessed or unexplained fatigue for more than 6 months
  • The cause of fatigue at the current time is not a difficult job
  • Symptoms do not improve even after rest
  • There is a significant decrease in professional, educational, social and personal activity compared to what it was before the onset of fatigue symptoms

2. In addition to the above fatigue, 4 or more of the following symptoms should appear simultaneously and persist for more than 6 months.

  • Problems with memory or concentration
  • Sore throat
  • Painful lymph nodes on the neck or armpits
  • Muscle pain
  • Polyarticular arthralgia
  • A new headache
  • Feeling tired even after sleeping
  • Severe fatigue after training or doing hard work

3. If the above symptoms are caused by another disease, then it is not a chronic fatigue syndrome.

Treatment and course of the disease

At the moment, there are no specific medications for the treatment of chronic fatigue syndrome, but therapeutic measures are being taken to relieve symptoms. Treatment options include cognitive behavioral therapy and aerobic exercise. Cognitive behavioral psychotherapy is a method of psychotherapy that provides training on how to respond effectively to symptoms, including tasks such as explaining the causes and motivation for treatment, recognizing situations that contribute to increased fatigue, trying to change these situations and gradually increasing physical activity. Aerobic exercise treatment is carried out gradually and includes activities such as walking, cycling and swimming.

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