Symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

In addition to the official diagnostic symptoms of CFS, many other symptoms are reported, including:

  • Prolonged fatigue after physical activity, known as a “post exertional malaise,” usually lasting more than 24 hours.
  • Fatigue with or after normal activity, or fatigue after sleep (what’s known as “unrefreshing” sleep)
  • Mild, low-grade fever or chills
  • Dry inflamed, sore throat
  • Swollen or tender lymph nodes in neck or armpits
  • General muscle weakness and pain
  • Generalized headaches, in particular, headaches of a new type, pattern or severity
  • Pain that moves from one joint to another without swelling or redness
    Forgetfulness, difficulty remembering or saying words, excessive irritability, confusion, or inability to concentrate, to the extent that it interferes with your job, education, social or personal activities
  • More frequent illness, with susceptibility to infections, viruses or worsening of allergies
  • Neurally mediated hypotension — when you stand up, your blood pressure drops, which can make you feel faint, dizzy, nauseous, your heart rate drops, and you can even pass out
  • Reactivity to environmental exposures (i.e., increased sensitivity to chemicals, perfumes, odors, bug sprays, etc.)
  • Night sweats
  • Hypersensitivity to temperatures, sounds, sensations, confusion
  • Gastrointestinal problems, such as diarrhea, constipation, bloating
  • Feeling cold

    In-depth descriptions of the various criteria for diagnosis and symptoms featured in the book Living Well With Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia. You can also find a condensed summary Online Checklist version of the book’s detailed “Risks and Symptoms Checklist.”