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Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Symptoms & Diagnosis

Symptoms

Symptoms vary from person to person. They include:

  • Unexplained, new onset, persistent fatigue that is not relieved with bed rest and often worsens with physical or mental activity
  • Muscle aches over six months
  • Joint pain without swelling or redness over six months
  • Headaches over six months
  • Trouble with short-term memory or concentration
  • Forgetfulness or confusion
  • Irritability, anxiety , panic attacks, mood swings, or depression
  • Sore throat over six months
  • Tender lymph nodes over six months
  • Trouble sleeping or not feeling refreshed after sleep over six months
  • Prolonged fatigue lasting 24 hours or more after exercise
  • Visual disturbances: eyes sensitive to light, blurring, pain
  • Reduced activities (social, job-related, educational, and personal)
  • Dizziness, balance problems, or fainting
  • Brain fog
  • Chills and night sweats
  • Allergies or sensitivities to foods , chemicals, odors, medications, or noise
  • Irritable bowel

Diagnosis

The doctor will ask about your symptoms, medical history, and medications and will perform a physical exam. There are no specific diagnostic tests for CFS, but the doctor will perform several tests to rule out other conditions that can have similar symptoms.

The doctor will look for the following signs to determine if you have CFS:

  • Severe, chronic fatigue for at least six months that is not due to another illness or medical cause, along with:
    • At least four of the following symptoms according to the International Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Study Group Criteria:
      • Impairment of short-term memory or concentration
      • Sore throat
      • Tender lymph nodes
      • Muscle pain
      • Joint pain without swelling or redness
      • Headaches of a new type, severity, or pattern
      • Unrefreshing sleep
      • Prolonged fatigue lasting 24 hours or more after exercise

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Copyright © 2017 EBSCO Publishing All rights reserved.

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