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Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (cont.)

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What causes chronic fatigue syndrome?

As of January 2013, no defined cause of CFS is known, even after about two decades of research on patients that fit the CFS criteria. Although many diseases coexist with CFS in patients, there are no proven links to any known disease (physical or mental) or pathogen (including viral) that is responsible for CFS development.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) indicates that researchers are still trying to identify the cause(s) of CFS and offer some speculation about the ongoing research. For example, they suggest the possibility that CFS represents an endpoint of multiple diseases or conditions such as viral infections, stress, and toxin exposure. However, the CDC states that "CFS is not caused exclusively by any single recognized infectious disease agent." This includes Epstein-Barr virus, Lyme disease bacteria (Borrelia burgdorferi), human retroviruses, bornaviruses, fungi, Mycoplasma spp, and many others. However, if a person has been infected with several (at least three) different pathogens, the chances of getting CFS goes up. In addition, some researchers had suggested that a new virus found in some CFS patients (termed XMRV or xenotropic murine leukemia virus-related virus) may be a candidate for cause, but a recent larger study has disproven this theory. In addition, although the CDC says no autoimmune changes like lupus or other diseases are found in CFS, many CFS patients have high levels of immune complexes and anti-self antibodies in their blood that may be a clue about what causes CFS. The CDC mentions other findings (allergies, T cell activation, and cytokines), but none have any direct link to causing CFS.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/7/2013

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Chronic Fatigue Syndrome - Coping Question: How do you cope with chronic fatigue syndrome?
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome - Symptoms Question: What symptoms and signs did you experience with your chronic fatigue syndrome?
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome - Diagnosis Question: Please describe the events that led to a diagnosis of chronic fatigue syndrome.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome - Coexisting Diseases Question: In addition to CFS, do you have another disease or condition? Please share your story.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome - Treatment Question: What kinds of treatment have you had for chronic fatigue syndrome? What medications do you take?
Source: MedicineNet.com
http://www.medicinenet.com/chronic_fatigue_syndrome/article.htm

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