How do other illnesses affect chronic fatigue syndrome?

There are many diseases which can cause extreme fatigue found in chronic fatigue syndrome, some of which are preventable. Examples of these contributory diseases include: obesity (possessing a body mass index (BMI) number of 40 or higher), clinical depression, eating disorders, substance abuse, cancer, bipolar disorders or schizophrenia, sleep disorders, autoimmune disease (when the immune system attacks healthy cells), or thyroid disorders. If these diseases were found to be the cause of symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome, doctors would work on treating the underlying disease rather than merely the fatigue. Chronic fatigue syndrome is only diagnosed if doctors can find no disease responsible for prolonged periods of extreme fatigue.

Jacob Teitelbaum
Integrative Medicine

Although the technical definition states that you cannot have CFS if you have another fatigue-causing condition, this definition is helpful to create a pure research study but is meaningless in real life. In real life, it is very common for other conditions such as Lupus, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and dozens of other conditions to trigger a secondary chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.