Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Home > Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Symptoms

Examples of chronic fatigue syndrome symptoms include headaches, tender lymph nodes, sore throat, muscle pain, joint pain, feeling tired, and feeling discomfort after physical exertion. These symptoms either stay with a person or come and go for more than six months. It's important to note that the signs and symptoms are often similar to those of other health conditions.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Signs and Symptoms: An Overview

For a lot of people, symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) seem to develop suddenly. If you think you may have chronic fatigue syndrome, consider the following list of statements:
  • One day you may notice that you are very tired and can't manage your normal activities
  • Your energy level is lower, and you often get tired for no reason
  • You may feel weak and have muscle pain, difficulty focusing, or insomnia
  • After you engage in physical activity or exert yourself, you may feel tired for more than 24 hours
  • The extreme fatigue may come and go
  • The extreme tiredness never stops, leaving you feeling exhausted and depleted all the time
  • You notice that you can't get done in a day what you normally would have been able to before CFS.
If these sound familiar, you may have chronic fatigue syndrome, which is also known as chronic fatigue immune dysfunction syndrome (CFIDS).

Defining Symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

The signs and symptoms of this illness either stay with a person or come and go for more than six months. In addition to extreme fatigue and weakness, the eight defining chronic fatigue syndrome symptoms:
  • Headaches of a new type, pattern, or intensity
  • Tender lymph nodes
  • Sore throat
  • Muscle pain or aches
  • Pain or aches in several joints, without swelling or redness
  • Not being able to concentrate, focus, or remember
  • Feeling tired even if sleeping well
  • Feeling discomfort or "out-of-sorts" after physical exertion.
A person must have at least four of these symptoms in order to be diagnosed with CFS.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
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