Like many other autoimmune diseases, there can be a number of risk factors and underlying health issues that can contribute to the development of CFS.
Risk factors include:
- Being female.
- Being between the ages of 40 and 60.
- Suffering from stress or burnout.
Stress is an important factor to consider in a society that sees being stressed as a badge of honor. Here is a dramatic example: a study of Gulf War veterans showed a higher incidence of chronic fatigue syndrome against a civilian control group. Experiencing stress can make you ill. A period of prolonged stress can result in developing chronic fatigue syndrome.
Underlying health issues that can contribute to the development of CFS:
- A viral infection such as Epstein-Barr (responsible for mono) or the flu, mold exposure, tick-borne illness.
- An already compromised immune system, caused by an existing chronic condition, hepatitis, or cancer treatments.
- Adrenal gland fatigue or other hormone imbalances. Low cortisol, in particular, has been linked to CFS.
You may check all the boxes for risks and underlying health issues, but the criteria lists don’t guarantee that you have chronic fatigue syndrome. We recommend reading a detailed list of symptoms to decide.