Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Health Center

Font Size

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome - Symptoms

Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) symptoms usually start suddenly. But for some people, they develop gradually over weeks or months. Symptoms can change in a day, and from day to day. They tend to stop (remission) and then start again (relapse).

There is broad range of CFS symptoms. But there is a core set of symptoms that affect nearly everyone with CFS. These core symptoms are:

  • Extreme physical fatigue, mental fatigue, or both. It can be constant, or it can come and go. It is not relieved by rest. This fatigue also is so severe that it interferes with your work, your play, and your social activities.
  • Feeling unwell after being active. This can mean you feel ill or weak or your CFS symptoms are worse. There can be a delay before it starts. It can take more than 24 hours to feel better.
  • Sleep problems.
  • Pain, which can be widespread or in one place. CFS pain can be in one area, then move to another. You may have:

A person with CFS also has two or more of these symptoms:

  • Problems with concentration, short-term memory, or thinking of the right word
  • Being very sensitive to light, noise, or emotions
  • Confusion, slow thinking, or feeling disoriented
  • Muscle weakness or muscle coordination problems

CFS also causes the following symptoms. Different people with CFS have different combinations of:

Having depression along with CFS is common and can make CFS symptoms worse.

CFS causes symptoms that are the same as many other diseases, especially early on. For this reason, it can be diagnosed only after a thorough evaluation has ruled out other conditions with similar symptoms.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: March 12, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
Next Article:

Today on WebMD

8 Symptoms Of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Always Sleepy Causes Fixes For Fat
Insomnia 20 Tips For Better Sleep
Exercises That Can Increase Your Energy
10 Ways To Get More Zip In Your Life
Fatigue or Something More
Your Symptoms
young woman hiding face