What is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and How Is It Treated?

Feeling tired after a long day of working, studying, playing sports, and doing other activities is normal. However, when you feel tired, even if you have done nothing for days except stand, sit, lie down, and walk for a few minutes at home, then there is a chance that you have chronic fatigue syndrome. What is this disorder or condition? And how do you treat it? To learn more, here are the things you need to know about chronic fatigue syndrome and its effective treatments.

What is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?

fatigue spelled out

Chronic fatigue syndrome, also known medically as myalgic encephalomyelitis, is a long-term illness that affects different parts of the body. When you have chronic fatigue syndrome, you will experience severe fatigue or tiredness despite not doing any activities that can make you tired, like exercising or playing a sport. In addition to chronic fatigue or tiredness, the illness can also cause problems with your cognitive abilities, as you will often have a difficult time memorizing or thinking. [1]

As the symptoms of the illness get worse, you will eventually feel headaches and dizziness that don’t go away, no matter if you try to lie down in bed or sit on a couch. Muscle pain can also occur after weeks of having chronic fatigue syndrome. Then, whenever you wake up from sleep, you will feel like the sleep wasn’t refreshing, as you still feel tired and sore.

What are the Causes of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?

a man experiencing fatigue

Chronic fatigue syndrome is a mysterious illness, as the exact cause of the illness is still unknown. However, there are a few possible causes that are laid out by medical professionals who are closer to understanding the illness. Here are the possible causes of chronic fatigue syndrome.

Inefficient Conversion of Fats and Sugars into Energy

One of the possible reasons why some people develop chronic fatigue syndrome is due to their bodies’ inability to efficiently convert fats and sugars into energy. Fats and sugars, which are elements that we get from eating food, are usually converted by our body into energy. It is speculated that chronic fatigue syndrome affects the said process and makes it much slower than usual. So, you wouldn’t be able to get enough energy from the food you are eating.

After Recovering from Infections

Another possible cause of chronic fatigue syndrome is viral, bacterial, or fungal infections. However, the syndrome would actually appear after you have recovered from infections, as your body will feel weaker and tired after days or weeks of working harder to get rid of viruses, bacteria, or fungi in the body. However, if the syndrome is still there after weeks of infection recovery, then there may be other causes for the chronic fatigue or tiredness that you are feeling.


Genetics may also be a possible reason why some people have chronic fatigue syndrome. If your family has a history of experiencing chronic fatigue, then there is a possibility that you may get the same illness, too, depending on how close your DNA is to the side of your family that has the illness. With genetics as a cause, there is really no way of avoiding chronic fatigue syndrome, although you can still treat the disease so that the symptoms won’t worsen.

Are There Treatments for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?

woman taking supplements

Much like its causes, there are also no concrete treatments for chronic fatigue syndrome as of now, but medical experts have created numerous ways to at least lessen or reduce the symptoms of the illness. Read below for the list of possible treatments for chronic fatigue syndrome.

Healthy Diet

A healthy diet can help in giving your body energy so that you will feel more energized rather than tired all the time. You should eat foods that will increase your energy levels daily, and these foods include oatmeal, yogurt, banana, and beans. Even if your body cannot convert fats and sugars into energy efficiently, a healthy diet will be able to give your body at least a little bit of converted energy to keep you going throughout the day without feeling tired.

Taking Supplements

Taking supplements is also beneficial if you want to get more nutrients that give your body energy and strength to fight off infections while you are dealing with chronic fatigue syndrome. There are different kinds of supplements that you can take daily, with some having only one specific nutrient (like Vitamin C), while others will have almost every nutrient you will need to stay healthy. If you aren’t getting enough nutrients from food due to the illness or simply due to having no appetite to eat, supplements may be able to provide the nutrients your body is lacking. [2]

Physical and Mental Therapies

Therapies for your physical and mental health can help in making you feel more relaxed rather than tired. You can get a gentle massage to relieve muscle pain that you may experience while dealing with chronic fatigue syndrome. In addition, you may also want to practice yoga alone or with other people so that you can put your mind in a calmer state, which is essential to prevent cognitive problems and improving sleep.

And these are the things you should know about chronic fatigue syndrome, from its causes to its possible treatments. If you are feeling the symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome, you should consult your doctor to confirm if you have the illness and to get advice on effective treatments for it.


[1] Mayo Clinic. (2023, January 21). Chronic fatigue syndrome. Mayo Clinic. Retrieved March 5, 2023, from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/chronic-fatigue-syndrome/symptoms-causes/syc-20360490

[2] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (2021, January 28). Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome – Treatment. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Retrieved March 5, 2023, from https://www.cdc.gov/me-cfs/treatment/index.html