While there’s currently no test to determine if someone has Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), there are ways to treat the symptoms that go along with it. If you experience any of the symptoms and they are disrupting your daily life, you should bring them to the attention of your doctor.

What is it?
The cause of CFS isn’t known, but it’s commonly developed or noticed after a viral illness or an infection, or after a large surgery. Symptoms range and can affect different parts of the body, either chronically or sporadically. Some things you may experience if you have CFS are general weakness, unexplained muscle and joint pain, fatigue, issues with concentration or memory, and headaches. Another common symptom is extreme exhaustion that lasts longer than 24 hours after physical or mental exercise and does not improve with rest.

Risk factors
Age, sex and stress are all factors that are believed to increase your risk of developing CFS. While it can occur at any age, it is more commonly found in people in their 40s and 50s. CFS affects women much more than it does men, but this could also be that women are more likely to report their symptoms and seek medical assistance for them. If you have any difficulty managing stress, this can contribute to the development of CFS.

You’ll likely need to take a variety of medical tests to rule out other conditions that cause fatigue. There is no known cure for CFS, and treatment is focused on dealing with the individual symptoms, depending on which you’re experiencing. Once it’s been determined that you aren’t suffering from any other medical conditions, you’ll work with your doctor to find the best treatment for your symptoms of CFS.

Recently researchers from the Stanford University School of Medicine developed a blood test that can accurately detect CFS. The test is still in the pilot phase but is based on how a person’s immune cells respond to stress.

The hope is that the test will not only be a faster way to diagnose CFS accurately but will also help identify potential medications to treat it.