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Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (cont.)

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What are chronic fatigue syndrome symptoms in men?

Chronic fatigue symptoms in men need to fit the time and type (6 months and four symptoms) criteria stated above to be diagnosed with the disease. Currently, chronic fatigue syndrome is diagnosed much more frequently in females than in males. General symptoms in men that can occur that are described by male patients are similar to those in females but clinicians speculate that many men are reluctant to say they have symptoms of muscle pain, malaise, headaches and other symptoms due to cultural inhibitions and training. Many doctors speculate that men need to be more open in describing their symptoms to their doctors.

What are chronic fatigue syndrome symptoms in women?

As stated above for men, chronic fatigue symptoms in women need to fit the time and type (6 months and four symptoms) criteria stated above to be diagnosed with the disease. Women are much more likely to be diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome than men. Clinicians speculate that women are more forthcoming with their doctors about chronicity of symptoms, including the four major symptom criteria (substantial impairment in short-term memory or concentration; sore throat; tender lymph nodes; muscle pain; multi-joint pain without swelling or redness; headaches of a new type, pattern or severity; non-refreshing sleep; and post-exertion malaise lasting more than 24 hours) than are men because of cultural expectations and training.

How is chronic fatigue syndrome diagnosed?

Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a diagnosis made by excluding many diseases that have chronic fatigue as major or frequent symptom. Unfortunately, there are no physical signs or diagnostic tests that identify CFS. The diagnosis is made by fitting the two major criteria set out by a group of CFS research experts.

The first criteria states the patient must have severe chronic fatigue of 6 months or longer duration with other known medical conditions excluded by clinical diagnosis (a diagnosis by exclusion).

The second criteria requires the patients have four or more of the following symptoms that either occurred at the same time or after the severe chronic fatigue. The symptoms are substantial impairment in short-term memory or concentration; sore throat; tender lymph nodes; muscle pain; multi-joint pain without swelling or redness; headaches of a new type, pattern or severity; non-refreshing sleep; and post-exertion malaise lasting more than 24 hours.

Although there are no lab studies that identify CFS, lab studies do provide some supportive evidence for a diagnosis. Lab studies that confirm either the presence or absence of cause of other diseases help define the diagnosis of exclusion. Additionally, many patients with CFS have certain lab findings listed below:

When taken as a group, these tests support a diagnosis of CFS but are not definitive; only the patients who meet the two established criteria for CFS are definitively diagnosed with CFS.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/7/2013

Patient Comments

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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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