Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia

Armen Hareyan's picture
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Fatigue is one of the more common complaints patients bring to primary-care doctors. It is a challenging problem for the patient and the physician. Being "tired all the time" is frustrating for the person who can not manage a full day of work or school or stay awake for a normal day's activities. For physicians, it means sorting through all the possible causes of fatigue to find and, hopefully, fix the problem.

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Almost everyone has experienced fatigue from working too hard or studying too long or from transient difficulty staying or falling asleep. Usually the problem passes and life gets back to normal. For some, however, it lasts for months and is severe enough to interfere with work, school or home obligations. When it is that severe, it may be more than simple fatigue.

Chronic fatigue syndrome or CFS combines the hallmark symptom of fatigue with impaired concentration and memory, and may include sore muscles and joints, headaches and swollen lymph nodes. If symptoms like these last more than six months and sleep is not refreshing and if work, educational, social or personal activities are impaired, it could be chronic fatigue syndrome.

Fibromyalgia is similar to

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