What Are the Symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?

Medically Reviewed by Melinda Ratini, MS, DO on February 21, 2023
1 min read

Myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS), also called Systemic Exertion Intolerance Disease (SEID), is more than feeling tired all the time. It comes with a lot of other symptoms that can make it hard to handle daily life. Even simple things like walking to the mailbox or writing a letter can make it worse. The fatigue and symptoms can last 6 months, or can go on for years. Sleep and rest don’t make it better, either.

A doctor can help relieve your symptoms, but first, you need to get diagnosed.

If you have ME/CFS, you’ll have these three “core” symptoms:

  • Reduced ability to do usual activities for six months or more because of fatigue
  • Worsening of symptoms (difficulty thinking, problems sleeping, sore throat, headaches, feeling dizzy, or severe tiredness). after usual physical or mental activity
  • Trouble falling asleep or staying asleep

Along with the three symptoms, you must have one of these for a diagnosis of chronic fatigue syndrome:

  • Problems with thinking and memory
  • Worsening of symptoms while standing or sitting upright; you might feel lightheaded, dizzy, or weak, and you may have blurred vision or see spots.

If you have any of these symptoms and believe you have ME/CFS, talk to your doctor.

You may want to ask about their experience in treating the condition. You can also request a referral or choose to get a second opinion.