Being able to recognize the symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome is crucial in diagnosing a person with CFS. Symptoms are both subjective and personal to an individual and in many cases can only be identified by the sufferer of the disorder themselves.
Symptoms invariably are the only way of assessing a person with CFS and so the health care provider must take particular note of the information the patient reports. And together with the signs revealed during a thorough examination of the patient, there is a fair chance of a correct diagnosis.
Distinguishing a person who is “simply” under stress from a sufferer of CFS is very tricky. In fact, because the symptoms presented could be attributed to one of several disorders, professionals now work on a “what’s left” basis – when everything else has been rules out, “what’s left” is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
The symptoms most reported tend to mimic those of the flu virus and other common viral infections. These symptoms may even come and go – lasting last a month, a year or many years if mistreated.
The University of Maryland Medical Center published some signs and symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome as follows:
1) Sudden severe fatigue;
2) Low grade fever of 100.4 °F, and chills;
3) Sore throat and swollen lymph glands (in the neck or underarms);
4) Muscle aches (myalgia) and joint aches, without any swelling or redness;
5) Headaches that are different from past experiences;
6) Sleep that doesn’t feel refreshing;
6) Unable to focus mentally, or forgetfulness and even confusion; and
7) Alteration in mood.
However, the over-riding symptom that causes the greatest hardship is that of fatigue. This fatigue, unlike general feelings of tiredness, will be a new experience to the person and can last at least six months. It is normally so severe that the person will only achieve half the normal daily activities without resorting to bed rest.
Because of these symptoms, any person with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome will understandably become irritable, and can easily slip into a state of depressive. The sufferer needs all the support he or she can get to move on through life – most specifically, the basic needs of daily living.