Chronic fatigue syndrome (sometimes just called CFS) is a complex condition that the medical community is still trying to define. It is more than simply being tired; it is a debilitating illness that involves multiple body systems. To be diagnosed with CFS, a person must have chronic fatigue for more than six months and at least four other symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome, such as sore throat, tender lymph nodes, muscle pain, and insomnia.
The prognosis for CFS varies widely. Approximately 50 percent of people recover from it and do so within five years after the start of their symptoms. However, the condition often goes on a cyclical course, with periods of illness followed by periods of well-being. There is no cure; treatment options often include lifestyle changes, medications to relieve symptoms, and alternative therapies.
(For more information on CFS, click Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. This article talks about possible causes, who the condition affects, conditions that share similar symptoms, and more.)