Chronic fatigue syndrome

What is Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) ?

Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS)** is a complicated disorder characterised by extreme fatigue that lasts for at least six months and that can’t be fully explained by an underlying medical condition. The fatigue worsens with physical or mental activity, but doesn’t improve with rest.

Other characteristic symptoms include:

  • Sleep that isn’t refreshing
  • Difficulties with memory, focus and concentration
  • Dizziness that worsens with moving from lying down or sitting to standing

This condition is also known as myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME). Sometimes it’s abbreviated as ME/CFS. The most recent term proposed is systemic exertional intolerance disease (SEID).

The cause of chronic fatigue syndrome is unknown, although there are many theories — ranging from viral infections to psychological stress. Some experts believe chronic fatigue syndrome might be triggered by a combination of factors.

There’s no single test to confirm a diagnosis of chronic fatigue syndrome. You may need a variety of medical tests to rule out other health problems that have similar symptoms. Treatment for chronic fatigue syndrome focuses on improving symptoms.


Symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome can vary from person to person, and the severity of symptoms can fluctuate from day to day. Signs and symptoms may include:

  • Fatigue
  • Problems with memory or concentration
  • Sore throat
  • Headaches
  • Enlarged lymph nodes in your neck or armpits
  • Unexplained muscle or joint pain
  • Dizziness that worsens with moving from lying down or sitting to standing
  • Un-refreshing sleep
  • Extreme exhaustion after physical or mental exercise


The cause of chronic fatigue syndrome is still unknown. Some people may be born with a predisposition for the disorder, which is then triggered by a combination of factors. Potential triggers include:

  • Viral infections. Because some people develop chronic fatigue syndrome after having a viral infection, researchers question whether some viruses might trigger the disorder. Suspicious viruses include the Epstein-Barr virus, human herpes virus 6. No conclusive link has yet been found.
  • Immune system problems. The immune systems of people who have chronic fatigue syndrome appear to be impaired slightly, but it’s unclear if this impairment is enough to actually cause the disorder.
  • Hormonal imbalances. People who have chronic fatigue syndrome also sometimes experience abnormal blood levels of hormones produced in the hypothalamus, pituitary glands or adrenal glands. But the significance of these abnormalities is still unknown.
  • Physical or emotional trauma. Some people report that they experienced an injury, surgery or significant emotional stress shortly before their symptoms began.

Risk factors

Factors that may increase your risk of chronic fatigue syndrome include:

  • Age. Chronic fatigue syndrome can occur at any age, but it most commonly affects young to middle-aged adults.
  • Sex. Women are diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome much more often than men, but it may be that women are simply more likely to report their symptoms to a doctor.


Possible complications of chronic fatigue syndrome include:

  • Lifestyle restrictions
  • Increased work absences
  • Social isolation
  • Depression


    ** Adopted from Mayo Clinic.

    Relief from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

    We are pleased to have introduced to our service a red/infrared LED total body light pod for non-specific and non-localised inflammation for overall symptomatic relief of all causes of chronic pain including more systemic pain conditions. This includes more systemic pain conditions,  and also stress and fatigue, as well as to enhance general well-being in all individuals. We made the decision to add this modality to our services having gauged its success internationally over the past couple of years, receiving much positive feedback. For chronic fatigue syndrome we suggest a trial in our iRPod  for well-being and a tool for the management of chronic pain. Our iRPod  utilises the principles of LLLT/Photobiomodulation treatment and has been shown in recent years to reduce pain and improve function in patients with generalised pain conditions.

    The technology utilises therapeutic red and infrared LED light wave lengths which safely and effectively provide a whole body treatment based on scientifically proven, evidence-based Photobiomodulation (PBM) therapy, also known as Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT).

    Pain conditions that may be helped include inflammatory conditions such as fibromyalgia, generalised pain from inflammatory musculoskeletal autoimmune disease, headaches, undiagnosed body pains, e.g. pelvic, abdominal, neuropathic, neurological pain etc. While the iRPod  doesn’t purport to address the cause of such pain, which is often unknown, it provides an alternative to drug pain relief therapy (analgesia) and may reduce the burden of inflammation in the body, improving sleep, energy and general well-being.

    The iRPod  has numerous other benefits beyond pain management and these include:

    • reduction of aches and pains,
    • improved sleep quality,
    • improved energy and mood, reduced fatigue
    • augmented weight loss
    • speedy recovery following exercise/sport/competition. Elite sporting clubs overseas have attributed the light therapy pod to enhancing sports  performance  (legally!) and improving post-competition recovery.
    • cosmetic benefits – deeply photo rejuvenating; increases collagen production reducing fine lines and wrinkles, sun spots and freckles

    As with all PBM/LLLT it is completely safe with no negative effects.

    Recently leaders in our field were invited to address the US Congress on how Photobiomodulation (PBM) or Low level laser Therapy assists in chronic pain conditions and can offer a solution to the growing opioid their (and our) country faces. On the following links are references to this and another interesting patient testimonial. – Speech to Congress – Patient testimonial and speech
    And see this article in the Forbes magazine 

    We recommend booking a minimum of 4 sessions but ideally 12, on a twice weekly basis, after your first initial trial.

    We hope you take the opportunity to experience the benefits the iRPod  has to offer to your health, and well-being, with added benefits of photorejuvenation.

    *Individual results may vary

    Contact Us on 03 8529 2225 or email now to book your trial session in the iRPod.