• Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Similar Conditions

Similar Conditions

Chronic heart disease:

  • The fatigue in CHD is worse on exertion, but improves at rest. However, in advanced CHD, the fatigue may be continuous and even at rest.
  • Investigations such as 2D Echocardiography will show that the pumping capacity of the heart is significantly reduced.

Connective tissue disorders:

  • These are disorders involving the supportive protein-rich tissues that support the various organs and parts of the body.
  • They are diagnosed on the basis of detailed history and physical examination supported with specific blood tests and diagnostic imaging.

Chronic Anemia:

  • The fatigue in anemia is due to decreased oxygen carrying capacity of the blood due to abnormally low hemoglobin levels.
  • A simple blood count can diagnose anemia.


  • Malignancy can also lead to severe fatigue and other symptoms similar to CFS.
  • However, proper history and physical examination along with blood investigations, diagnostic imaging, and other specific tests help detect or rule out malignancies.

Chronic infections:

  • They can also cause chronic fatigue; however, a specific infectious diagnosis and causative organisms can be detected with detailed history and physical examination along with other diagnostic tests.

Psychiatric illness:

  • Many psychiatric illnesses have symptoms similar to chronic fatigue, especially mood disorders
  • Therefore, a psychiatric screening and if required a thorough psychiatric evaluation may be necessary to rule out psychiatric illnesses.

Sleep disorders:

  • Sleep disorders are very likely to produce chronic fatigue.
  • A specific history along with a string of diagnostic tests in the sleep laboratory can confirm or rule out sleep disorders.

Drug or Substance Abuse:

  • Chronic drug or substance abuse can also produce profound fatigue.
  • A careful history and physical examination along with screening for drugs or other substances can confirm or rule out drug or substance abuse.