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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    What is chronic fatigue syndrome?

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  • Jon Gamble

    Naturopath

    Jon is author of ‘Treatment of Irritable Bowel Syndrome’ and “Obstacles to Cure: Toxicity, Deficiency & Infection” - two books for CAM practitioners. He specialises … View Profile

    In order for a diagnosis of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) to be made, the patient must have at least three of the following symptoms for several months:

    • Extreme fatigue generally not improved by rest (unrefreshing sleep)
    • Post-exertion malaise
    • Fibromyalgia
    • Muscle weakness
    • Impaired memory and concentration
    • Insomnia
    • Ongoing sore throat and tender lymph nodes
    • Joint pain without inflammation
    • Chronic headaches
    • Dizziness.
     
    Other symptoms associated with chronic fatigue are:  Irritable Bowel Syndrome, multiple food intolerances and chemical sensitivities. A small number of patients have cold intolerance; Restless Leg Syndrome and Irritable Bladder Syndrome.
     
               
    Diagnosis
     
    Chronic tiredness without any other of the above symptoms should not be diagnosed as CFS. There are other causes of tiredness which should be investigated. Some red flag symptoms may suggest a more sinister diagnosis. These are: weight loss; fever; persistent malaise; night pain; focal pain and neurological signs.

    CFS patients frequently have fibromyalgia. Symptoms include:
    • Generalised muscle pain in all four quadrants with tender points
    • Paresthesia
    • Skin sensitivity
    • Temporo-mandibular joint dysfunction.

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