Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS)


CFS is a symptom that has gained much attention since the 1980s, particularly in Europe and the United States. The causes are not clear and the treatment as well, is not well established.

Some have linked the casue to outbreaks have in the wake of infectious diseases such as colds, but it is still not confirmed.

Symptoms are persistent fatigue and other symptoms that last for six months in adults. These symptoms are not caused by exertion, not relieved by rest and are not caused by other medical conditions.

The main symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome

Diagnostic criteria of the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (Japan) established CFS as “profound fatigue continually for more than six months, and sick leave from work are taken a few days each month.” Common symptoms include: muscle pain, joint pain, low-grade fever, headache, low blood pressure, loss of concentration, loss of appetite, sore throat, insomnia, candidiasis (fungal infection), and certain gastrointestinal problems.

CFS Checklist:

    Four or more of the following symptoms that last six months or longer:

  • Impaired memory or concentration
  • Post-exertional malaise, where physical or mental exertions bring on “extreme, prolonged exhaustion and sickness”
  • Unrefreshing sleep
  • Muscle pain (myalgia)
  • Pain in multiple joints (arthralgia)
  • Headaches of a new kind or greater severity
  • Sore throat, frequent or recurring
  • Tender lymph nodes (cervical or axillary)
    Other common symptoms include:

  • Irritable bowel, abdominal pain, nausea, diarrhea or bloating
  • Chills and night sweats
  • Brain fog
  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chronic cough
  • Visual disturbances (blurring, sensitivity to light, eye pain or dry eyes)
  • Allergies or sensitivities to foods, alcohol, odors, chemicals, medications or noise
  • Difficulty maintaining upright position (orthostatic instability, irregular heartbeat, dizziness, balance problems or fainting)
  • Psychological problems (depression, irritability, mood swings, anxiety, panic attacks)

Who is prone to CFS?

Currently, four million people in the United States suffer from chronic fatigue syndrome, and 3 in 1000 people suffer from it in Japan. CFS affects women more than men, especially women in their late 20s to 40s, have stressful and high responsibility jobs, who tend to keep their complaints and problems to themselve and do not have time to release stress.


Many sufferers of CFS may be unfairly thought of as just lazy, and can even be misdiagnosed by doctors as having depression and psychosomatic disorder.

    CFS is hard to treat and many do not fully recover even with treatment. But there are several things you can do and medication to alleviate certain specific symptoms.

  • Resting and calming the mind with herbs may help
  • Avoid irritants and situations that can cause you stress
  • Take deep breaths
  • Take supplements such as Vitamin A and C to prevent fever, enery-supplements such as coenzyme Q10, vitamin B1, α-ribonucleic acid, L-carnitine and Bantoten acid

Above all, seek the understanding, support and care from family and colleagues.