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Is chronic fatigue syndrome serious?

Jacob Teitelbaum
Integrative Medicine

Yes. CFS, and its painful cousin fibromyalgia, can be severely disabling. Although not life threatening, without proper treatment these illnesses can destroy people's lives. Both, fortunately, are treatable.  Though finding a physician to effectively diagnose and prescribe treatment is sometimes difficult as most physicians are not trained in these illnesses.

Chronic fatigue syndrome often goes undiagnosed because the symptoms are difficult to identify or are not considered serious enough. However, studies show that 40 percent of the American population with chronic fatigue syndrome has a preventable illness such as diabetes, substance abuse, or thyroid disease. Chronic fatigue syndrome can affect someone both mentally and physically by reducing their motivation and ability to function. It can worsen or lead to conditions such as depression, social isolation, anxiety, decreased productivity, or an increased risk of illness.

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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.