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Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (cont.)

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What is the prognosis (outcome) for chronic fatigue syndrome?

Because full recovery from chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is very infrequent (only 5% to 10% of adult patients diagnosed), the prognosis usually ranges from fair to poor. Many CFS patients can only work at part-time jobs; some patients become bedridden. Mental impairment, especially memory loss and the ability to concentrate are very disconcerting to CFS patients. Even with symptomatic treatment, some patients may continue with a slow decline in their ability to function. Some studies suggest that even about 2 years after diagnosis and symptomatic treatment, over half of the CFS patients still were fatigued.

The prognosis for children is better than that for adults as most children recover completely after about 1 to 4 years of treatment; although during recovery, they often have problems in school with attention and memory. Many will also have anxiety and depression. Researchers suggest that cognitive-behavioral therapy is a major effective treatment for adolescents with CFS.

Can chronic fatigue syndrome be prevented?

Currently, there are no known methods to prevent chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). Development of effective prevention methods is hampered by no firm knowledge of the cause(s) of CFS. Most experts and clinicians suggestions for prevention are general recommendations that result in a healthy lifestyle since no specific prevention methods are known. Examples of the general recommendations are avoidance of viral infections, lower daily stress as much as possible, and maintain regular sleep cycles and a healthy diet, along with avoidance of the many toxins in the environment; these are cited by most clinicians as possible ways to reduce or prevent the chance of developing CFS.

Females with CFS are cautioned about pregnancy because of the stresses placed on the mother and fetus. In addition, the genetic connection, if any, is not clear between the parents with CFS and their children.

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?

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