Symptoms of ME/CFS:

The more common symptoms of ME/CFS:

  • Persistent debilitating fatigue. 
  • The fatigue of the muscles can often be accompanied by pain and sometimes with twitching.
  • Poor short-term memory and concentration, poor attention span and difficulty organising thoughts and trouble finding the correct words. Referred to as 'brain fog'. 
  • Feeling ill often with flu like symptoms that persist.  
  • Enlarged, painful glands and sore throats.
  • Joint pains.
  • Problems with their body’s temperature control.  
  • Different types of sleep disturbance are common.
  • Digestive disturbances (similar to Irritable Bowel Syndrome) such as bloating, constipation, diarrhoea and nausea.
  • Increased sensitivity to light, foods, alcohol and sound.
  • Muscular and joint pain, headaches, abdominal pain.
  • Mood swings, irritability, panic attacks, anxiety and depression.

The less common symptoms of ME/CFS are:

  • Dizziness, numbness, nausea and tinnitus.
  • Sweating, night sweats and chills.
  • Balance problems, muscle weakness, clumsiness.
  • Difficulty with body temperature regulation and fluctuations in hot and cold in different parts of the body.


N.B. This is a complex illness that can affect people in different ways. Symptoms can change and fluctuate during the course of the illness. It is important to remember that everyone experiences an individual mix of symptoms.


There is, at present, no universally recognised diagnostic test for this debilitating illness.  Be aware that cases of misdiagnosis can and do occur.

More about the fatigue in ME/CFS!

The fatigue is of a new type:

  • it has not been lifelong but started at a point in time.
  • causes you to limit your activities compared with what you were used to.
  • often felt to be both physical and mental fatigue.

It is said to be overwhelming and not like any other type of fatigue, for instance: 


  • it's very different to everyday tiredness (such as after a day's work).
  • not eased much by rest.
  • not due to tiredness following over-exertion.
  • not due to muscle weakness.
  • not due to loss of motivation or pleasure which occurs in people who are depressed

It is made worse by activity which is called post-exertional malaise. The post-exertional malaise usually does not develop until the day following the activity and it can take several days to improve.

The classification of ME/CFS:

The World Health Orginisation (WHO) have classified it as a neurological condition but this is not accepted by all medical professionals.


The National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE)and 84% of the members of The Association of British Neurologists surveyed in 2011 said they did not believe that it is a neurological condition.



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