Yuppie Flu and Chronic Fatigue – Is There A Connection?

Yuppie flu emerged in the 1980’s. Later it was thought to be Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS). These both currently started to get more recognition due to the recent development of long covid. Which the latter has some comparisons to both with some of the Yuppie flu symptoms.

All characterized by persistent fatigue with a myriad of ailments, affecting many body systems. Fibromyalgia is also thrown into the mix. The conditions become chronic leaving lasting health problems.  

Western medicine has struggled to find a cure or treatment for a full recovery. A lot of the time banished to an area of misunderstanding in medicine and causing some misdiagnosis in some cases due to the overlap. Once all severe illnesses are tested for and eliminated a label is applied. But with no advice on how to resolve the condition just a management of the symptoms.

Understanding Symptoms

In the 80’S decade, this mysterious illness affected predominantly young professionals, giving rise to the term “Yuppie Flu.” During this economic heyday people worked hard and played hard. Money was abundant, very long hours were worked, with a culture to carry on socialising after the working day. The mix of drugs, drink and lack of sleep caused modern day burn out to occur. Some more prone to dip into this illness than others. Symptoms were akin to feeling as if you had the flu. The lifestyle was considered the cause.

The picture is more complicated though when immunity drops due to poor health management, we are prey to viruses. Stress, grief all can cause the body to say enough is enough going into cell danger mode.

Stopping us in our tracks to avoid more damage. Our mitochondria literally shutdown. The powerhouse of energy production in our bodies. Normally a cumulative of traumas have occurred in the past making the person susceptible to this phenomenon.

Along comes something like Covid or the Epstein Barr virus and the development of chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia symptoms and yuppie flu start to appear.

Characteristics of Yuppie Flu

Chronic mononucleosis, presents symptoms like severe fatigue, sore throat, swollen lymph nodes, with generalized body pain. Individuals often experience a decline in overall well-being, leading to difficulty in fulfilling daily responsibilities.

Time off work results in recovery still not happening. Long term the situation becomes chronic. Overlapping into fibromyalgia territory this also has muscle pain and tiredness. How to explain what fibromyalgia feels like is very akin to a dull, intense and widespread aching not unlike when you have flu. There are normally corresponding tender points on both sides of the body when pressed. Pain in the legs is a common factor, mirroring Fibromyalgia symptoms with Chronic fatigue syndrome.

Exploring Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)

dark haired girl asleep on bed with white shirt clutching a hot water

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is a complex and debilitating condition characterized by profound and unexplained fatigue lasting for at least six months. In addition to fatigue, individuals with CFS may experience widespread pain, cognitive impairment, and a host of other symptoms often seen in ME – (myalgic encephalomyelitis).The medical name used. Here is an early warning signs checklist. Please download here


To be diagnosed with CFS, a patient must meet specific criteria set by medical authorities, which includes ruling out other potential causes of fatigue. These criteria are designed to distinguish CFS from other illnesses that could be an organ problem or cancer. The complicated picture occurs when chronic fatigue clients also have fibromyalgia concurrently at the same time.

Differentiating Yuppie Flu from CFS

While Yuppie Flu and CFS share some similarities, it is crucial to differentiate them accurately. CFS has a broader range of symptoms and is a clinical diagnosis, whereas Yuppie Flu is a term used and sometimes referred to chronic Epstein-Barr virus infections.

This is where all three fibromyalgia, CFS and Yuppie flu can crossover causing confusion. But the former two are considered individual conditions developing due to having the virus to begin with. Or from other multiple traumas, one being having viruses in many forms over their lifetime.

Later we discovered what other causes can make us prone to dropping into these longer-term conditions. Environmental factors, such as exposure to toxins and pollutants, Electrical radiation have also been investigated as potential triggers for both Fibromyalgia and CFS. Some of us become highly sensitised to the world around us.

Immune Response and Chronic Fatigue – cortisol dysregulation symptoms

Recovery work focuses on reducing the sympathetic dominance symptoms known as the Domino effect to try get the body back on track. Whereby a cascade of symptoms occurs, triggered by stress or traumas.

Our stress response operates in short bursts, finely tuned. If stressors are not removed our Amygdala is triggered over again creating sympathetic dominance. Cortisol dysregulation symptoms start to be portrayed. Cognitive functioning such as memory and how to treat brain fog is complicated. Digestion slows, absorption of nutrients becomes affected. The immune system is compromised.

We become hyper alert for danger wired and cannot sleep to recuperate, developing an inability to filter noise and light, senses become ultra-sensitive.

Our Thyroid affects metabolism which starts to slow, constipation, dry skin, cold hands and feet occur. Blood sugar spikes and crashes, our liver becomes overloaded with toxins with poor methylation. Nothing functions in harmony. Causing a cascade of symptoms, inflammation and muscle pain.

Treatment for myalgic encephalomyelitis – Chronic fatigue syndrome

Research suggests that the mind-body connection is essential in understanding chronic illnesses. Psychological factors can influence the severity and course of the conditions. Unresolved grief, traumatic birth or abuse trauma, accidents, operations, bullying. We may also have a Genetic inherited sensitivity.

Our subconscious mind tries hard to bury painful memories to stay in control this has been researched by Doctor John Sarno. We create a distraction of illness or pain, severe and far reaching in some cases. Allowing a distraction from acknowledging and subtlety blocking our memories. Burying them deep in our subconscious mind. In a way for survival, fearful of opening pandoras box of painful or stressful thoughts.

The Stigma Surrounding Yuppie Flu and Chronic Fatigue

Both Yuppie Flu, fibromyalgia and Chronic fatigue syndrome have faced stigma, with some people dismissing the illnesses as merely psychological in nature. It is in fact true the mind is involved but not imaginary but a real discomfort, symptom or physical effect produced that is very real indeed. We need to accept the mind affects the body and the body affects the mind.

Now we have long covid again an unknown condition that’s left its legacy it has opened the door to more research needing to be done.

  • Chronic fatigue syndrome in children
  • Fibromyalgia symptoms in females
  • The ratio to men why is this higher?
  • University students is the Epstein bar virus more associated with late teens to twenties?
  • Or is this due to unhealthy habits and close contact?
  • What may be perceived as yuppie flu is this just the start to lead into myalgic encephalomyelitis (CFS ).

“One virus, a few traumas and our body chemistry starts to rebel.”

While Yuppie Flu and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome have some overlapping symptoms, they are distinct conditions with different diagnostic criteria and implications. Challenging the belief that these illnesses are “all in the mind” can pave the way for greater investment in research, leading to improved treatments and potential cures.

Long term conditions can affect relationships, friendships, and social interactions. Requiring understanding and support from loved ones to understand what is needed. Allowances made for what they are experiencing. A silent disablement that cannot be seen. Just like mental health issues.

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