Myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) 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.
When to Call a Doctor
If you have any the 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.