Chronic fatigue syndrome can make you feel so tired that it becomes difficult or nearly impossible to perform the activities expected of you each day. Though there are some days where we all feel overtired or burnt out, there’s more to chronic fatigue syndrome than just feeling tired.
Chronic fatigue syndrome is a debilitating disorder that affects an estimated 836,000 to 2.5 million Americans, according to the CDC. Many that suffer from chronic fatigue syndrome have not been diagnosed, likely because professionals have yet to identify a definitive cause, and there are no tests that clearly indicate a chronic fatigue syndrome diagnosis.
Here are the symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome and what you should be looking out for:
1. Chronic fatigue syndrome symptom: Muscle weakness
Unlike weakness that results from a tough workout or a day spent moving heavy boxes, people with chronic fatigue syndrome often complain of muscle weakness that has no obvious cause. Limbs may feel difficult to move, making it difficult to complete day-to-day tasks. These daily habits can help anti-age your muscles.
2. Chronic fatigue syndrome symptom: Sensitivity to light
Photophobia, or sensitivity to light, is a sign that you may have chronic fatigue syndrome. Symptoms of photophobia include getting headaches from certain kinds of artificial light and having to squint to see without irritation.
3. Chronic fatigue syndrome symptom: Physical sickness from activity
Sufferers of chronic fatigue syndrome often become nauseated or actually vomit from normal physical activities that didn’t used to pose a problem. People with chronic fatigue syndrome can typically take more than 24 hours to recover from these illnesses. Be aware: Nausea and vomiting can also be a sign of a heart attack.
4. Chronic fatigue syndrome symptom: Confusion
People who have chronic fatigue syndrome often complain that they have trouble concentrating, which may come from a lack of true rest, another CFS symptom, or from a combination of other symptoms.
5. Chronic fatigue syndrome symptom: Swollen lymph nodes
When we get a virus, our lymph nodes may become inflamed. Since chronic fatigue syndrome results from several different viruses, you may notice that your lymph nodes are swollen.
6. Chronic fatigue syndrome symptom: Memory loss
Memory problems can be frightening, especially if they show up out of the blue. If you have trouble recalling information or memories all of a sudden, and you’re also experiencing some of these other symptoms, it could be chronic fatigue syndrome.
7. Chronic fatigue syndrome symptom: Muscle or joint pain
Muscle and joint pain that have no obvious cause may be a sign of chronic fatigue syndrome. Inflammation is the body’s way of fighting infection, and as it fights against the viruses that may cause CFS, the pains could be evidence of that battle. These home remedies can help you manage muscle soreness and pain.
8. Chronic fatigue syndrome symptom: Unproductive sleep
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is often marked by a lack of productive sleep. Sufferers report getting adequate hours of shut-eye but still feel exhausted the next day. Other sleep issues that sometimes come with CFS, such as insomnia, may also cause fatigue.