CFS is a misunderstood illness, not only by the medical profession, but also by its sufferers. Because of the way it is diagnosed - by excluding all other fatigue related diagnoses - it is unclear as to what it is and how to treat it. So far there's no diagnostic test readily available.

The definition used is any fatigue that persists for more than 6 months even though whatever triggered it has gone, once diagnosable illnesses have been excluded.

However, there is much more to this fatigue, than simply "tiredness", and there is probably more than one deficiency in the body.


It's quite hard to describe all the symptoms, partly because they can sound vague, and "unscientific", and partly because they change over time.

For example, 3 years ago, my worst symptom would have been excessive sleep, while now it is the inability to sleep !

So, the main symptoms observed are:

  • Tiredness
  • Excessive Sleep
    though this sleep is not refreshing
  • Lack of Sleep
  • Muscle Pain
    which often exercise makes it worse
  • Thirst
    strange, but true
  • Brain "Fog" & Tinnitus
    as fatigue increases, so the ability to concentrate or even think straight decreases, often with the tinnitus humms
  • Colds & Flu
    a susceptibility to illness, with poor recovery time

Often the key symptom would be described as a "lack of energy", and, though vague, this is can be very useful when considering the management of CFS.

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