Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is an illness consisting of a complex of related symptoms. The most characteristic symptom is debilitating fatigue that persists for several months.
Chronic fatigue syndrome fact sheet, P-42038
For more information, go to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- Greatly lowered ability to do activities that were usual before getting sick. This drop in activity level happens along with fatigue and must last six months or longer.
- Worsening of symptoms after physical or mental activity that would not have caused a problem before getting sick.
- Sleep problems. People with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome may not feel better or less tired, even after a full night of sleep. Some people may have problems falling asleep or staying asleep.
- Pain – The type of pain, where it occurs, and how bad it is varies a lot. The pain people with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome feel is not caused by an injury. The most common types of pain are:
- Muscle pain and aches
- Joint pain without swelling or redness
- Headaches, either new or worsening
- Some people with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome may also have:
- Tender lymph nodes in the neck or armpits
- A sore throat that happens often
- Digestive issues, like irritable bowel syndrome
- Chills and night sweats
- Allergies and sensitivities to foods, odors, chemicals, light, or noise
- Muscle weakness
- Shortness of breath
- Irregular heartbeat
Information for health care providers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
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