Symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)

CFS symptoms can make it hard to do everyday activity. They also differ among people. Symptoms may appear quickly or build slowly over time. They may also appear after an infection such as a cold. The infection goes away, but severe fatigue lingers. Symptoms can be constant or may come and go.

The main symptoms for CFS include:

  • Having a hard time meeting the activity level you had before you were sick. This includes work, school, social events, or exercise. It may worsen with time.
  • Physical or mental fatigue after which gets worse with exertion. Fatigue can last more than 24 hours.
  • Fatigue that doesn't get better with rest or a full night's sleep.
  • Problems falling or staying asleep, or the need to nap during the day.
  • Problems with short-term memory, concentration, or confusion can lead to problems with work and school. This is often called brain fog.
  • Lightheadedness or vision problems when standing or sitting up.

Other symptoms may include:

  • Muscle aches
  • Joint pain without swelling or redness
  • Long-lasting pain
  • Headaches
  • Frequent sore throat
  • Tender lymph nodes
  • Mood swings
  • Chills and night sweats
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Allergies
  • Sensitivity to many chemicals, noise, or food
PreviousNext

References:

Chronic fatigue syndrome. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.... Updated September 10, 2018. Accessed February 8, 2019.
Chronic fatigue syndrome. Merck Manual Professional Version website. Available at: https://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/special-subjects/chronic-fatigue-syndrome/chronic-fatigue-syndrome. Updated July 2018. Accessed February 8, 2019.
Committee on the Diagnostic Criteria for Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Board on the Health of Select Populations, Institute of Medicine. Beyond myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome: redefining an illness. Beyond Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Redefining an Illness. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2015 Feb 10. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK274235.
Symptoms of ME/CFS. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/me-cfs/symptoms-diagnosis/symptoms.html. Updated July 12, 2018. Accessed February 8, 2019.
Yancey JR. Thomas SM. Chronic fatigue syndrome: diagnosis and treatment. Am Fam Physician. 2012;8(68):741-746.
Last reviewed December 2018 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Marcin Chwistek, MD
Last Updated: 2/8/2019

EBSCO Information Services is fully accredited by URAC. URAC is an independent, nonprofit health care accrediting organization dedicated to promoting health care quality through accreditation, certification and commendation.

This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.

To send comments or feedback to our Editorial Team regarding the content please email us at healthlibrarysupport@ebsco.com. Our Health Library Support team will respond to your email request within 2 business days.

advertisement