Chronic fatigue syndrome is a term used to describe debilitating fatigue that persists greater than 6 months. It is a generic term that does not point to a cause of the fatigue. In general, there are a few categories that can cause chronic fatigue syndrome. Viral Infections
- Viral infections. There are a number of viruses thought to be bring about symptoms of fatigue. The Epstein- Barr Virus commonly referred to as “Mono” is the most well known of the causes. Human herpes virus 6 is also thought to be associated with chronic fatigue syndrom.
- Immune system disorders. Immune system disorders or rheumatological diseases are also common causes of fatigue. Since these disorders are chronic in nature, the symptoms may persist for a long period of time, or until the disease is in remission. Examples of these disorders include rheumatoid arthritis and Systemic Lupus Erythematous.
- Hormonal imbalances. Hormones play a central in regulating our bodies. Disorders of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis can lead to symptoms of fatigue. There has been much evidence demonstrating that treatment of hypocortisolism can alleviate symptoms of fatigue.
- Physical or emotional trauma. Mental health is the last piece of the puzzle, but often times it can be difficult to decipher which came first, the chicken or the egg. A detailed and thorough history with your doctor can help point clarify the root cause of your fatigue.