The causes of chronic fatigue syndrome, CFS, has baffled scientists and researchers for decades. The condition was recognized as a specific entity as far back as the late 1860s when physician Dr. George Beard named it neurasthesia because it appeared to be related to a nervous disorder that caused weakness and fatigue.
Today researchers have a list of different medical conditions that may be at the root cause of chronic fatigue syndrome. While there isn’t a definitive answer there are some suggestions that have led to changes in the treatment protocols for the disease.
Some of these causes include low blood glucose condition, anemia and environmental allergies. These causes produce the same symptoms as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome but also have treatments that don’t erase the problems associated with CFS.
Other causes that have been suggested for CFS include case studies that associate CFS following a bout with infectious mononucleosis (mono). Others report that they had symptoms following periods of great stress in their life such as the loss of a loved one or following major surgery. All of these will cause the extreme tiredness that is common with CFS but they don’t always have the other symptoms that are indicative of the condition.
Some researchers believe that CFS is related to infections that affect the immune system of the body. Because the immune system is responsible for protecting the body from infection, once it is damaged other more opportunistic infections which normally wouldn’t be able to infect the body, cause problems.
There has been some evidence that bacteria Chlamydia pneumonia can be a cause of CFS in some cases. People who have CFS related to this bacteria will respond well to the administration of antibiotics. This association continues to be debated. If the fatigue associated with the infection is accompanied with short-term memory problems or issues with concentration then it is possible it is related to CFS.
Another of the infections that has been associated with CFS is the Epstein-Barr virus or EBV. This virus does cause mono or the kissing disease. For many years it was thought that this virus was associated with the symptoms of CFS but now it is known that it is associated with a long-term mononucleosis infection.
Researchers have found that multiple nutrient deficiencies, food intolerances and extreme mental or physical stress can trigger chronic fatigue syndrome. Some researchers have found that certain patients suffering from CFS also have low levels of neurotransmitters. Thyroid deficiencies are also contributing factors.
The important thing to remember is that at this time there is no definitive cause that has been identified for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Although scientists have theories and ideas they haven’t found a reason that crosses all patients with the condition. At this point the best treatment has been to treat the symptoms and give supportive care until the causes of chronic fatigue syndrome can be found.
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