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Chronic fatigue syndrome symptoms can be either highly specific or very subtle. Typical symptoms of varying intensity can be diffused body aches, such as joint pains or muscle aches, and cognitive dysfunction such as brain fog memory loss.

One of the simplest ways to distinguish chronic fatigue syndrome from hypothyroid states is by seeing how someone responds after vigorous exercise. If a person feels better after extreme exertional exercise, it is likely the fatigue they have is due to underactive thyroid. On the contrary, if a person feels worse after exertional exercise, that will oftentimes point to CFS as the cause.

If you believe you may be suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome and are looking for treatment, it is important that you consult with a physician as soon as possible.

Initial Symptoms

CFS symptoms can occur both with the dramatic onset or be insidious in nature. If the initiating event was something dramatic such as cytomegalovirus EB virus or Lyme disease, many CFS symptoms can present symptoms very quickly. On the other hand, if the causes are mitochondrial dysfunction or hormone imbalance, it may take months or longer for symptoms to appear.

All possible combinations of symptoms for chronic fatigue syndrome; the duration, frequency, and intensity, are highly variable. There is no classical presentation of CFS. There is not an orderly progression of symptoms that tend to worsen, but rather various combinations and presentations of symptoms that can occur over time.

For example, sleep deprivation can be as impactful as any other symptom for chronic fatigue syndrome. With unrefreshed sleep, there is a strong component of fatigue, brain fog, and susceptibility to infectious disease. If sleep deprivation is successfully addressed, it can have a major impact on the expression of other symptoms. Remission of some or all symptoms as well as relapse of these symptoms can occur from time to time if untreated.

Core Symptoms

It is not always easy to diagnose chronic fatigue syndrome. However, there is a consensus that a certain group of symptoms must be present in order to make the diagnosis. The first is a history of significant to profound fatigue which has persisted over a period of six months.

There should also be a history of unrefreshed sleep, cognitive dysfunction such as brain fog memory loss and loss of concentration. Flulike symptoms along with muscle and joint pain should be existent as well as a history of chronic headaches. A history of post-exertional malaise contributes to the diagnosis, which is when a person feels worse after exercise.

Location of Pain

Myalgia or muscle pain can be experienced in virtually every muscular group. Typically, the pain is experienced in the shoulders, back, large muscle groups, and go into the thighs. However, it would not be unusual to experience cramping muscles of the extremities such as fingers and toes. Joint pain is seen in the same pattern as arthritis. The small joints are usually involved, but pain is not limited to those areas. Knees and elbow joints can be affected as well.

Understanding CFS

There are many resources available to people who feel they have symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome. Online sources of information can be a very good start for someone researching the subject. In fact, it is hard enough for medical professionals to make the diagnosis.

Magazine articles and publications found in the library can be extremely informative. All of this due diligence should be in preparation to finding a physician knowledgeable in the management of CFS. Typically, a patient with CFS has seen at least five or six doctors before an accurate diagnosis is made for successful treatment is undertaken.