Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) - Symptoms and Diagnosis Part 1

You think you have got chronic fatigue syndrome(CFS), also known as myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME)? If so, you're likely to be feeling very ill with a condition that you know little about. You may also be feeling scared and alone.

By Jeanne Hugoe-Matthews

You want to know what CFS is and how common it is, so you can begin to come to grips with the condition. Keep reading to discover more about chronic fatigue syndrome symptoms and a snapshot of what it is like to have the condition. Part 2 of this article series describes how CFS is diagnosed, including the critical requirement that relevant symptoms must have existed for at least six months.

Symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome

The most obvious and common symptom of chronic fatigue syndrome is exhaustion, particularly after exercise. However, someone with CFS will also experience additional symptoms such as:

· unrefreshing sleep including insomnia

· headaches, muscle and joint pain

· poor balance and coordination

· racing heartbeat

· difficulties with memory, concentration and decision-making

· night sweats

· a recurrent sore throat, and

· nausea

It is possible to develop CFS after years of feeling ill. People in this position may do the rounds of health practitioners without identifying a reason for the slow deterioration of their health. They may be told they are working too hard and that they will recover if they just put their feet up, get some more exercise or go on holidays. Some may be misdiagnosed initially and treated incorrectly for some time. Others develop CFS comparatively suddenly following an earlier acute infection such as glandular fever (Epstein-Barr Virus), Ross River Virus or 'mono' (Mononucleosis).

What it is like to have CFS

From the perspective of someone who has the condition, CFS packs a kick like a mule. The symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome may be severe enough to confine someone to bed continually, or for part of his or her days. Some people with the condition may be able to get around but may feel like they are running in an ultra-marathon while they have both a massive dose of the flu and the world's worse hangover. Others with CFS would add, "...and we have forgotten where we are and why we are running. We can't understand the rules either, despite having had them explained to us several times."

Perhaps there have been times when you have been relatively well followed by episodes, called relapses, in which your symptoms worsened? You probably needed extra support and assistance while you were recovering. In fact, it may have taken days to months to recover from a relapse depending on your state of health beforehand and the severity of the relapse. How can you come to grips with a condition like this?

Three tips to put you back in control

· Find out as much as you can about the symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome.

· Find a sympathetic doctor who can give you an accurate CFS diagnosis. Part 2 of this article describes how CFS is diagnosed and why it's useful to ask a medical practitioner to do this for you

· Get started on a treatment and self-management program.


In summary, CFS is not a condition that can be ignored. It has too much of an impact on the lives of people who have it. So, make a start today by learning about CFS and CFS symptoms. Then find a doctor who can give you an accurate CFS diagnosis. Part 2 of this article will help you to discover how CFS is diagnosed.

Jeanne Hugoe-Matthews is an attorney, a Master Practitioner of Neuro-Linguistic Programming and a Reiki Master Teacher. She has also worked as a manager and adult trainer.

Through her website,, Jeanne answers to your most pressing questions about CFS, its symptoms, diagnosis, treatment options (medical and alternative therapies) and self-management strategies.

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Editor published on March 11, 2009 11:58 PM.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome - Ayurvedic Herbal Treatment was the previous entry in this blog.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) - Symptoms and Diagnosis Part 2 is the next entry in this blog.

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