Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Symptoms



Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Symptoms

The main symptoms that are used to diagnose chronic fatigue syndrome are:

  • fatigue lasting longer than six months
  • cognitive dysfunction, including impaired memory or concentration
  • postexertional malaise lasting more than 24 hours following physical or mental exercise
  • unrefreshing sleep
  • joint pain (without redness or swelling)
  • persistent muscle pain
  • headaches of a new type or severity
  • tender cervical or axillary lymph nodes
  • sore throat

In addition to these eight primary symptoms, people with chronic fatigue syndrome may experience some or many of the following secondary symptoms:

Flu-like symptoms

  • chronic cough
  • chills and night sweats
  • low-grade fever or low body temperature
  • muscle and/or joint aches
  • nausea
  • rash
Psychological symptoms
  • depression
  • irritability
  • mood swings
  • anxiety
  • panic attacks
  • personality changes
Sensory disturbances
  • blurred vision
  • sensitivity to light
  • eye pain
  • blepharospasm (eye spasms)
  • ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
  • dryness of the mouth and eyes (sicca syndrome)
  • numbness
  • tingling and/or burning sensations in the face or extremities
  • sensitivity to heat and/or cold
Cognitive problems
  • word-finding or word-switching difficulties
  • inability to comprehend or retain what is read
  • inability to calculate numbers
  • impairment of speech and/or reasoning
  • poor concentration
  • memory loss (constantly forgetting simple information like names and numbers)
  • a general reduction in cognitive ability and IQ
Allergies or Sensitivities
  • foods
  • alcohol
  • odors
  • chemicals
  • medications
  • noise
Gastrointestinal symptoms
  • irritable bowel
  • abdominal pain
  • diarrhea
  • bloating
  • constipation
Neurological and cardiac problems
  • orthostatic instability
  • light-headedness
  • dizziness
  • balance problems
  • fainting
  • neurally mediated hypotension
  • shortness of breath
  • chest pains
  • irregular heartbeat
  • seizures
Other symptoms
  • muscle twitching
  • gynecological problems including PMS and endometriosis
  • jaw pain (TMJ)
  • weight changes without changes in diet

Do not assume that your symptoms are always associated with CFS! You do not want to have a separate condition go untreated. Your doctor can help you make that determination as well as treat your chronic fatigue syndrome symptoms. Sources: Center for Disease Control and Prevention; The CFIDS Association of America, Inc.

Sign up today for Fatigue Busters, my monthly newsletter! Fatigue Busters provides you with the latest news about chronic fatigue syndrome, as well as tips and articles on how to manage your chronic fatigue and live a happier, fuller life.

Enter your E-mail Address
Enter your First Name (optional)
Then

Don't worry — your e-mail address is totally secure.
I promise to use it only to send you Fatigue Busters.



Return to FAQ from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Symptoms