Diagnosis of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)
by Amy Scholten, MPH
A diagnosis of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is based on the following criteria:
If you have these symptoms, your doctor will conduct more tests. The tests will look for other causes of the symptoms. This may involve:
Your doctor will ask you for a detailed medical history. A complete physical exam will be done.
Standardized Lab Tests
You will receive a standard series of tests. This should help your doctor identify other possible causes of illness. If no cause is identified, your doctor may make a diagnosis of CFS.
The number and type of tests may vary depending on your history. The following tests are often used to exclude other causes of fatiguing illness:
If one of the tests above suggest an illness, your doctor may order more tests. This is done to confirm an illness other than CFS. Additional tests may include:
Your doctor may want to assess the impact of CFS on certain mental skills. You may have tests for your concentration, memory, and organization. You may also be given a personality assessment. This can help to determine your coping abilities. It is also done to identify any coexisting affective disorders. This includes depression, panic disorder, or other anxiety disorders.
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Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what.php . Updated November 10, 2012. Accessed December 28, 2012.
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Last reviewed November 2012 by Michael Woods, MD
Last Updated: 11/26/2012