Medical  Explorer

Custom Search

Drugs A to Z  :  A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z
Medicinal Ingredients : A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z

Beauty Products : A  B  C  D  E  F  G  I  M  N  O  P  R  S  T  V

Aging      Allergies     Alzheimer's      Arthritis    Asthma      Bacteria   new Cancer    Chickenpox     Colds     Constipation      Diabetes      Epilepsy     Fatigue     Fever     Genetics       Haemorrhoids       newHeadaches      Hepatitis    Immunity      Infection      Insomnia       Leprosy       Menopause      Obesity      Osteoporosis     Other Diseases    Pain      PMS     Parasites     Sinusitis     newStroke     Toxicology    Urology


Arthritis medications
newGeneral Health
Medicinal food
Chinese medicine
OTC Drugs
Health Products
Chronic fatigue syndrome

Currently one of the most controversial disorders, chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) often has flulike symptoms, no apparent cause, and no proven cure. It is marked by persistent, debilitating fatigue, as well as other baffling symptoms that include headaches, muscle aches and weakness, tender lymph nodes, sore throat, joint pain,  sleep that doesn't lead to feeling refreshed, difficulty concentrating, postexercise exhaustion that lasts for 24 hours, and short-term memory problems. There may also be a chronic or recurring low-grade fever.

There is no laboratory test for CFS, so a doctor must systematically rule out all other medical causes that produce similar symptoms. According to diagnostic criteria set up by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the chronic fatigue and at least eight other nonspecific symptoms must persist for at least 6 months.

Although some claim that CFS is a new disorder (for example, the "yuppie flu" of the 1980s), doctors since the 1800s have reported similar disorders but given them different names, including hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), chronic Epstein-Barr virus, myalgic encephalomyelitis, and postviral fatigue syndrome. Many theories regarding possible causes have been advanced, but none have been proven. In many cases, CFS develops in the aftermath of a viral illness, such as mononucleosis or the flu, but no single viral cause has been identified. Other possible contributing factors include prolonged stress, hormonal imbalance, low blood pressure (hypotension), allergies, immune system disorders, and psychological problems. Some experts suggest CFS is a group of ailments that share similar symptoms. In any event, it is estimated that more than one-half million North Americans suffer from the disease. AT least two-thirds of the sufferers are white middle-class women. Most CFS patients eventually recover, but it may take a year or more to do so.



Various medications are prescribed to treat CFS symptoms, but none appear to cure the disorder. Aspirin and other painkillers may alleviate headaches, joint pain, and muscle soreness, and antidepressant drugs help some patients. Some doctors advocate antiviral drugs, such as acyclovir, or injections of gamma globulin, a substance containing antibodies from the blood serum of a number of people, but studies have failed to document their value.



Although there is no known cure for CFS, certain nutrients in foods may help. Doctors stress the importance of a well-balanced diet.


Start with ample starches. Fruits and vegetables help to provide the carbohydrates the body needs for energy. They also supply the vitamins needed to resist infection.


Avoid alcohol. It lowers immunity, so should be avoided, and caffeinated drinks should be used in moderation to minimize sleep problems.


Eat to strengthen your immune system. Foods rich in zinc, such as seafood (especially oysters), meat, poultry, eggs, milk, beans, nuts, and whole grains, as well as foods rich in vitamin C, such as citrus fruits, berries, melons, kiwis, broccoli, and cauliflower, may help keep the immune system working properly. A robust immune system can help ward off certain viruses, such as flu and colds that may possibly precede the onset of CFS.


Consume more essential fatty acids. Some of the symptoms of CFS include swollen glands and inflammation of the joints, which may be relieved temporarily by foods rich in essential fatty acids. These include fish, nuts, seeds, flaxseed and flaxseed oil, canola oil, wheat germ, and leafy green vegetables.


One study indicates that low blood pressure may contribute to the fatigue experienced by CFS patients. Usually, blood pressure rises slightly during periods of stress or physical activity. But in some people, blood pressure remains constant or goes down, resulting in fatigue. These people may be salt-resistant and need a higher salt intake to raise blood pressure. Researchers have noted that many CFS patients have low-slat diets, which may explain their hypotension and fatigue. Symptoms became less severe when the patients increased their intake of salty foods.


Some alternative practitioners advocate injections of vitamin B12, along with supplements of vitamins A and C, iron, and zinc, to treat CFS. But a balanced diet is preferable to taking supplements. Another approach that appears hopeful is for patients to take a combination of evening primrose oil and fish oil; in one study, 85 percent reported some improvement after 15 weeks. Caution is needed when taking herbal remedies many contain potentially harmful stimulants.


Melatonin doesn't help you sleep

Supplements help reduce tiredness

Fatigue never goes away

Supplements to fight fatigue

Beating fatigue

Young but fatigued 

New hope for this frustrating syndrome

Chronic fatigue syndrome













Health news
Cardiovascular Guide
Natural Remedies
Treatment of Cancer
Women's Health
Irritable bowel syndrome
Common Childhood Illnesses
Prescribed Drugs