Frequently asked questions about chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS)

Do you feel tired all the time? Are you unable get up in the morning? You may have chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS).


How do I know if I've got chronic fatigue syndrome?

Firstly, to get a diagnosis of chronic fatigue syndrome, you will need to undergo multiple testing. After all avenues have been ruled out then you can be diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome. According to the NHS, when you have chronic fatigue syndrome, you have a group of symptoms including:

  • debilitating tiredness
  • flu-like symptoms
  • brain fog
  • poor concentration
  • muscle aches
  • headaches
  • digestive problems
  • dizziness
  • fast or irregular heartbeat
  • depression
  • insomnia
  • poor exercise recovery

According to the ME Association, around 250,000 people suffer from the illness in the UK. NHS Choices state that women more commonly get this chronic illness, especially between the ages of 20-45.

What are the root causes of chronic fatigue syndrome?

There are many root causes of chronic fatigue syndrome, which is a complex condition. It is caused by a combination of factors that over time have weakened your body. Furthermore many people with chronic fatigue syndrome find that a very stressful event triggered their illness.

Common triggers of chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) include:

  • unprocessed emotional trauma e.g. divorce
  • physical trauma e.g. car accident
  • chronic stress
  • adrenal exhaustion
  • viral infections e.g. Epstein Barr virus/glandular fever
  • candida overgrowth
  • parasites
  • exposure to a lot of electrical equipment (EMFs)
  • sleeping on a geopathically stressed site
  • heavy metal toxicity, especially mercury exposure
  • liver congestion
  • poor diet deficient in minerals such as magnesium
  • food intolerances

You may find it helpful to write down your triggers on a timeline. This can help you to understand when your chronic fatigue symptoms began.

How can a nutrition professional support you?

Diet and lifestyle changes can help to manage symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome. A nutrition professional will be able to work with you to develop strategies and create a personalised and supportive CFS diet plan. These strategies aim to minimise any symptoms that you are experiencing, as well as consider any difficulties you have buying and preparing food. 

For further advice and recommendations for chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS), contact a verified nutrition professional.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Nutritionist Resource are reviewed by our editorial team.

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