What causes chronic fatigue syndrome?

Have you ever felt tired even after getting a decent amount of sleep? Well, join the club! But imagine feeling exhausted for not only days but weeks or months on end – this is what chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) feels like. It’s an unrelenting condition that affects approximately 836,000 to 2.5 million Americans (MedlinePlus).

But what causes CFS in the first place? The truth is, while researchers have made some headway into understanding the condition better, there isn’t just one root cause for it.

A Mixture of Factors

Many experts believe that CFS results from a combination of factors rather than being attributed to one specific issue. These elements can include:

Viral Infections

There have been many reports that those who develop CFS may have had previous viral infections such as Epstein-Barr virus (Mayo Clinic staff).

Immune System Issues

The immune system plays a key role in our body’s overall health and functions – including combating foreign invaders such as bacteria and viruses. Some research suggests that individuals with CFS may experience issues with their immune systems (CDC).

Hormonal Imbalances

Do you remember going through puberty when levels of hormones would fluctuate wildly causing mood swings left and right? Similarly, evidence points out that hormone imbalances could also play an integral part in developing chronic fatigue syndrome (NIH).

Other Potential Causes

Other potential causes of chronic fatigue syndrome can range from genetic factors to lifestyle choices such as stress levels or diet intake. Let’s dive further into these details:

Genetics & Hereditary Predispositions

While there is no direct hereditary link among families concerning chronic fatigue syndrome; still genetics may increase the likelihood that someone will develop it by influencing how well they handle stressors in life or helping make sense of emotional struggles for example (NIH).


You may have heard of the common phrase “stress kills” and while it might not be accurate, stress can play a significant role in wreaking havoc on our overall health. Research indicates that prolonged exposure to high-stress levels could lead to CFS symptoms (The Annals of Internal Medicine).


Believe it or not, sometimes doing too little physical activities such as exercise coupled with endless hours behind the desk at work could result in chronic fatigue syndrome developing.

Possible Triggers

While pinpointing an exact cause of CFS is difficult due to individual specificities; researchers have noted various triggers that are more likely linked to this condition:

Physical Trauma

Those who undergo extreme trauma (such as a car accident, sports injury or other forms of severe injuries) may experience greater than average chances of developing Chronic Fatigue Syndrome later down the line (Mayo Clinic Staff).

Emotional Stressors

In many cases psychological challenges combined with personal tragedies can often take their toll on one’s mental health – ultimately increasing susceptibility towards developing CFS(National Institute Of Mental Health).

The Need For Proper Diagnosis And Treatment

If you’re experiencing unexplainable exhaustion along with other persistent unpleasant symptoms; then visiting your doctor should be top priority so they can screen possible underlying illnesses accompanied by thorough testing ensuring proper diagnosis followed by adequate treatment plan tailored just for you (National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences)!

Remember you don’t need to navigate through life feeling tired all the time – there’s hope!

Just like any ailment out there: early detection together with proper follow-up healthcare will help ensure better outcome management – which means kickstarting vibrant energy levels sooner rather than later!

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