Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Signs and Symptoms to Watch For
We occasionally feel overworked and sometimes downright exhausted. We may catch the flu and be down for a few days, before we perk back up. But what if your tiredness never seems to go away? What if you can never "catch up" on your sleep? Suppose your flu symptoms just don't go away? Could there be another cause for your extreme exhaustion and sickness? Having tired, flu-like symptoms that will not subside, may be an indication that you're suffering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or CFS. The exact causes CFS, have not yet been determined. But, regardless of how it's acquired, its symptoms and the effect they have on your daily life, need to be addressed.
The Signs and Symptoms of Chronic Fatigue
The International Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Study Group, organized by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC, have put together the following criteria to aid doctors in determining if a patient's overwhelming, unexplained fatigue is really CFS. In order to make the diagnosis, a patient should have been displaying at least half of these eight symptoms, for more than six months.
- Loss of memory or concentration
- Sore throat
- Painful and mildly enlarged lymph nodes in your neck or armpits
- Unexplained muscle soreness
- Pain that moves from one joint to another without swelling or redness
- Headache of a new type, pattern or severity
- Sleep disturbance
- Extreme exhaustion after normal exercise or exertion
Some additional symptoms you may experience are pain in the chest, jaw or abdomen, diarrhea, depression, anxiety attacks, dizziness, bloating, chronic cough, nausea, shortness of breath, earache, dry mouth or eyes, irregular heartbeat, night sweats, tingling, weight loss, and morning stiffness. If you find you are displaying some of these signs, please consult a doctor. Many of these symptoms could also be caused by other illnesses, and your physician is the only one who can properly diagnose a case of CFS. This is accomplished by eliminating all of the other medical possibilities that could explain your condition.
After Your CFS Diagnosis
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome does not have a cure. Doctors often recommend lifestyle changes, exercise, and medicinal treatment of the symptoms that cause pain or discomfort. Each patient will have a different experience with CFS. A number of people report a decrease in symptoms over time. It's also possible for CFS to completely subside.
Photo Credit: Monica UEL