Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier
WebMD

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine
WebMD

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion
    WebMD

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community
    WebMD

    Community

    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Health Center

Font Size
A
A
A

CFS Linked to Childhood Trauma

Study Shows Sexual or Emotional Abuse May Be Risk Factor for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Childhood Trauma and CFS continued...

The researchers also tested all participants for levels of the hormone cortisol, which is associated with stress and the so-called "fight or flight" response.

Low cortisol levels may indicate that the body does not respond to stress normally, CFS researcher William Reeves, MD, of the CDC tells WebMD.

Reeves and colleagues found reduced cortisol levels in the CFS patients who had experienced childhood traumas, but not in CFS patients who did not report early-life exposure to trauma.

This suggests that early trauma may "rewire" the brain in a way that makes people more vulnerable to developing chronic fatigue syndrome in adulthood, he says, adding that the finding could have implications for diagnosis and treatment.

"We know that cognitive behavioral therapy works for many people with CFS, and this is especially true for people who have a history of childhood trauma," Reeves says.

Viral Triggers Likely

While 60% of CFS patients had a history of childhood trauma, Komaroff points out that 40% did not and that a significant number of the participants who had experienced severe childhood trauma did not develop chronic fatigue syndrome.

"The danger is that people will jump to the conclusion that early-life trauma causes CFS even though this study showed that a large number of people with CFS had no history of trauma," he says.

Komaroff believes, as many CFS researchers do, that multiple viruses trigger the disorder in people who are vulnerable due to genetics or other reasons.

"I don't believe that any single virus is the cause of CFS in the way that HIV is absolutely critical to causing AIDS," he says.

1 | 2

Today on WebMD

8 Symptoms Of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Article
Always Sleepy Causes Fixes For Fat
SLIDESHOW
 
Insomnia 20 Tips For Better Sleep
SLIDESHOW
Exercises That Can Increase Your Energy
SLIDESHOW
 
10 Ways To Get More Zip In Your Life
SLIDESHOW
Fatigue or Something More
VIDEO
 
Your Symptoms
HEALTH CHECK
young woman hiding face
QUIZ