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January 15, 2010 at 10:05 AMComments: 0 Faves: 0

What Increases My Risk For Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

By Smarty More Blogs by This Author

Because there is no sure cause of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, trying to understand your risk of falling victim to it can be a vague undertaking.However, researchers have been able to establish certain risk factors that may contribute to the development of CFS.

Identifying Risk Factors

  • Both males and females can experience Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, though the disease arises four times more often in women than men.
  • People of all ages can develop CFS, but most commonly it is seen in people in their 40s and 50s.
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is found less frequently in children than adults, but more is common in adolescents than in younger children.
  • CFS is not limited to certain ethnic groups or income levels-research has shown that Hispanics, African-Americans, and Caucasians are all equally at risk.
  • There is speculation that CFS has a genetic link.
  • Those who have a weakened immune system may be more susceptible to CFS.

Increased Risks

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome has been the subject of ongoing research for the past 20 years, and many doctors now agree that the way particular illnesses affect mental and physical health could increase a person's risk of developing CFS.The following are three examples of such:

  • Infections like the Epstein-Barr virus, which also causes mono.There is still much debate and research as it is not yet a definitive cause.
  • Problematic immune system, including allergies.
  • Stress.

Researchers may have also found a correlation between people with low blood pressure and CFS, but there is not yet a definitive answer.

Speculative Risks

Because of the vague nature of this disease, there are many claims about other risk factors.It may be possible for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome to be brought about by recurring courses of antibiotics or other medications.

Those who do not eat a healthy diet are also at a higher risk.There may be a link between CFS and imbalanced sodium intake.Some people have reported that their flu vaccinations triggered the onset of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.Some even speculate that exposure to electromagnetic waves causes CFS.

Childhood Risk Factors

New research has been published that concludes sedentary children have a higher risk of developing Chronic Fatigue Syndrome later in life than children who play sports.Research also concluded that the following greatly increased the risk of a child developing CFS as an adult:

  • Being female
  • Belonging to a high social class in childhood
  • Having a childhood medical condition

Interestingly, high levels of childhood exercise were considered to lower the risk.

More Childhood Risk Factors

Research findings also suggest that childhood trauma, stress, and emotional instability increase the risk of adult Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.This research suggests that children become adapted to the environmental insults and become unable to meet challenges, leading to a later development of CFS.


Photo Credit: chmeredith

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