Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a common condition which is triggered by long-lasting exhaustion or fatigue which does not fade away with rest or sleep.1 Chronic fatigue syndrome (CSF) can greatly reduce the quality of life. However, children and young people affected by this condition generally find it difficult as they grow up. Let us look at the top 10 symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS).
10 Symptoms Of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)
Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) presents itself in various ways; hence knowing about the symptoms helps in raising a suspicion. Get to know the top 10 symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), to be able to get it diagnosed and treated on time.
The 10 commonest symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) are:
One of the commonest symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is foggy thoughts and impaired cognitive function.2 People with chronic fatigue syndrome tend to face difficulties in forming coherent thoughts. Their short-term memory weakens making them feel like their thoughts often dissolve in their head. They find it hard to express their thoughts clearly in a cohesive manner and at times also face difficulty in talking and understanding speech. Some people may also experience difficulties in understanding numbers or reading a book.
Muscle and Joint Pain
Most people with chronic fatigue syndrome experience acute or chronic pain, stiffness and soreness in their muscles and joints. Chronic pain is one of the 10 symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). The extent and severity of the pain depends on the pain tolerance of the sufferer. The pain is generally intermittent in nature, starts randomly and subsides on its own in time. It generally lasts for some weeks, but can even persist for months in certain cases.
An erratic sleep pattern is another common symptom of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS).3 In spite of feeling tired and worn out throughout the day, these individuals find it difficult to sleep at night. Some chronic fatigue syndrome patients find it difficult to wake up without feeling extremely irritated. Most people with chronic fatigue syndrome sleep only during certain times of the day, generally morning or midday, causing a reversal of their sleeping hours in the long run. For some people with chronic fatigue syndrome, even after a good night’s sleep, they tend to wake up feeling tired in the morning.
Vertigo too is one of the common symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). Vertigo is a condition which affects a person’s sense of direction and stability making it tough for them to carry out their day to day activities, normally. Vertigo patients tend to experience disorientation, dizziness, nausea, tinnitus and blurred vision. These individuals tend to fall and bump into things very often.
Sensitivity to External Stimuli
Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) sufferers are specifically sensitive to external stimuli such as certain smells and sounds. For example, a loud noise or a bright visual can cause extreme irritation, anger, headaches and even vomiting in chronic fatigue syndrome patients.
Post-exertional malaise or PEM is characterized by a generalized state of weakness. PEM is a classic, and also one of the most debilitating, symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). In PEM, patients tend to experience symptoms after prolonged exertion. The complaints often include fatigue, pain, sore throat and swelling in the lymph nodes. These usually follow an intense period of mental or physical activity, like taking an exam or hiking.
Weakening of the immune system is a long-term symptom appearing in people with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). Proper sleep is essential for maintaining the health of the immune system of the body. Due to lack of adequate sleep, chronic fatigue syndrome patients feel weak and drowsy and tend to lose their ability to fight infections and diseases effectively. They fall sick more often and face greater risk of developing autoimmune disorders. So, a weakened immunity is also one of the 10 symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome.
Paresthesia is a condition wherein the patient experiences abnormal sensation like tingling, tickling, numbness or burning of the skin without any physical cause. Paresthesia can be acute or chronic. Paresthesia appears at random in chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) patients.
Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) patients often encounter difficulties in digesting certain foods. Some patients experience intense stomach pain and bloating on eating raw vegetables, while some get nauseated after consuming meat. Excruciating pain in the gut, stomach upset, indigestion, rashes and such gastrointestinal problems too are one of the common symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome.
Orthostatic intolerance, which is the inability to remain upright for long duration, is one of the most problematic of the 10 symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome. Patients with orthostatic intolerance often feel like sitting or lying down. This occurs as the blood pressure falls when one stands up and fails to regain stability instantly. This makes them feel dizzy and light headed.
Now as you are aware of the commonest 10 symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), you can be more vigilant. If you note such symptoms, get yourself evaluated from a physician for timely diagnosis and treatment. In addition to medical treatment, a healthy diet, regular exercises and relaxation with yoga and meditation can help to a great extent.
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