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What are the symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS)?

The signs of CFS can come and go or they can stay with a person. At first, you may feel like you have the flu. As well as extreme tiredness and weakness, main CFS symptoms include:
  • Feeling very tired for more than a day (24 hours) after physical or mental exercise
  • Forgetting things or having a hard time focusing
  • Feeling tired even after sleeping
  • Muscle pain or aches
  • Pain or aches in joints without swelling or redness
  • Headaches of a new type, pattern, or strength
  • Tender lymph nodes in the neck or under the arm
  • Sore throat
The symptoms above are the main signs of CFS. CFS symptoms may also include:
  • Visual disturbances (blurring, sensitivity to light, eye pain)
  • Psychological symptoms (irritability, mood swings, panic attacks, anxiety)
  • Chills and night sweats
  • Low grade fever or low body temperature
  • Irritable bowel
  • Allergies and sensitivities to foods, odors, chemicals, medications, and noise/sound
  • Numbness, tingling, or burning sensations in the face, hands, or feet
  • Difficulty sitting or standing straight up, dizziness, balance problems, and fainting
Symptoms of CFS vary widely from person to person and may be serious or mild. Most symptoms cannot be seen by others, which make it hard for friends, family members, and the public to understand the challenges a person with CFS faces. If you think you may have CFS, talk to your doctor.

This answer is based on source information from National Women's Health Information Center.

Symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome vary for each individual, and can even shift within someone's experience. The most common symptoms include: extreme fatigue that persists long after mental or physical activity, difficulty sleeping or concentrating, mild memory loss, headaches, or pain occurring in muscles or joints. Some people also experience chronic fatigue syndrome with an array of cold-like symptoms such as a sore throat, swollen lymph nodes, nausea, earache, dry mouth, or fever. Psychological symptoms may include depression, anxiety, social isolation, irritability, mental stress, or even panic attacks. The duration of symptoms differs with each individual, as does the severity of the symptoms.

A complex disorder characterized by extreme fatigue that lasts six months or longer, and does not improve with rest or is worsened by physical or mental activity. Other symptoms can include weakness, muscle pain, impaired memory and/or mental concentration, and insomnia. The cause is unknown.
This answer is based on source information from National Women's Health Information Center.
Jacob Teitelbaum
Integrative Medicine

The hallmarks of chronic fatigue syndrome include the paradoxical combination of severe exhaustion and insomnia. Most people with this illness also have "brain fog." This reflects as difficulty with word finding and substitution, loss of short-term memory, and, in a small subset of people, episodic disorientation. Other common symptoms include widespread pain, headaches, nasal congestion and sinusitis, spastic colon, numbness and tingling in fingers, an average 32 1/2 pound weight gain, loss of libido in 73%, and other symptoms.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.