• Symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)

    Symptoms of CFS may occur suddenly after you have a cold , bronchitis , hepatitis, or an intestinal infection. Symptoms may follow a bout of infectious mononucleosis (mono), which is caused by a virus that temporarily saps your energy. CFS can also begin after a period of high stress. Sometimes it develops more gradually, with no clear illness or other event noted as a starting point.
    Unlike flu symptoms that usually go away in a few days or weeks, symptoms of CFS persist or recur in cycles for at least six months in 50% of time. CFS symptoms vary from person to person. Since 1994, the guidelines for diagnosing CFS include, in addition to a six-month history of fatigue that is not relieved with bed rest, at least four of the following eight symptoms:
    • Muscle aches
    • Joint pain without swelling or redness
    • Headaches
    • Trouble with short-tern memory or concentration, forgetfulness, or confusion
    • Sore throat
    • Tender lymph nodes
    • Trouble sleeping or not feeling rested after sleep
    • Worsening symptoms 24 hours or more after exercise
    In addition to the eight diagnostic symptoms, patients with CFS can also suffer from:
    • Mood swings
    • Depression
    • Anxiety
    • Dizziness
    • Chronic pain
    • Irritable bowel
    • Low blood pressure
    • Hyperventilation
    • Sensitivity to many chemicals


    Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Symptoms. American Academy of Family Physicians Familydoctor website. Available at: http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/diseases-conditions/chronic-fatigue-syndrome/symptoms.html . Updated November 2010. Accessed December 28, 2012.

    Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Symptoms. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/cfs/symptoms/index.html . Updated May 16, 2012. Accessed December 28, 2012.

    Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us . Updated November 10, 2012. Accessed December 28, 2012.

    Devanur LD, Kerr JR. Chronic fatigue syndrome. J Clin Virol. 2006;37:139-150.

    Prins JB, van der Meer JW, Bleijenberg G. Chronic fatigue syndrome. Lancet. 2006;367:346-355.

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