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J Psychosom Res. 2004 Feb;56(2):203-6.

Alcohol use in chronic fatigue syndrome.

Author information

1
Academic Department of Psychological Medicine, Guy's, King's & St Thomas's School of Medicine and Institute of Psychiatry, 103 Denmark Hill, London SE5 8AF, UK.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To examine the anecdotal observation that patients with chronic fatigue syndrome develop alcohol intolerance.

METHODS:

A consecutive case series of 114 patients fulfilling UK criteria for chronic fatigue syndrome referred to a specialist clinic. Self-reported alcohol use pre- and postdiagnosis, fatigue symptoms and comorbidity measures were collected.

RESULTS:

Two-thirds reduced alcohol intake. The most common reasons were increased tiredness after drinking (67%), increased nausea (33%), exacerbated hangovers (23%) and sleep disturbance (24%). One-third of the subjects also stopped drinking because "it seemed sensible." Some had been advised to avoid alcohol, but the majority (66%) did so on the basis of personal experience.

CONCLUSION:

Our data supports the anecdotal belief that chronic fatigue syndrome patients reduce or cease alcohol intake. This is associated with greater impairment in employment, leisure and social domains of function, and may hint at psycho-pathophysiological processes in common with other conditions that result in alcohol intolerance.

PMID:
15016579
DOI:
10.1016/S0022-3999(03)00077-1
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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