Turkish Journal of Medical Sciences




Background/aim: Neuroendocrine disorders are considered a possible pathogenetic mechanism in chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). The aim of our study was to determine the function of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA) and thyroid function in women of reproductive age suffering from CFS. Materials and methods: The study included 40 women suffering from CFS and 40 healthy women (15-45 years old). Serum levels of cortisol (0800 and 1800 hours), ACTH, total T4, total T3, and TSH were measured in all subjects. The Fibro Fatigue Scale was used for determination of fatigue level. Results: Cortisol serum levels were normal in both groups. The distinctively positive moderate correlation of morning and afternoon cortisol levels that was observed in healthy women was absent in the CFS group. This may indicate a disturbed physiological rhythm of cortisol secretion. Although basal serum T4, T3, and TSH levels were normal in all subjects, concentrations of T3 were significantly lower in the CFS group. Conclusion: One-time hormone measurement is not sufficient to detect hormonal imbalance in women suffering from CFS. Absence of a correlation between afternoon and morning cortisol level could be a more representative factor for detecting HPA axis disturbance.


Chronic fatigue syndrome, hypothalamic?pituitary?adrenal axis, cortisol, thyroid hormones

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