From time to time we all feel tired. Usually, getting a good night’s sleep or drinking a cup of coffee can fix this. But when tiredness is so severe that it actually begins to impede on your day-to-day life you may have a more serious health problem.
Characterized by an overwhelming and debilitating tiredness, chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) affects over one million Americans. However, there is still much unknown about the condition, so the syndrome goes undiagnosed in many people. It’s important to recognize the signs and symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome to ensure a prompt diagnosis and know how to distinguish between simple exhaustion and CFS.
You’re beyond exhausted: Not only do you feel tired, but you can feel this exhaustion right in your bones. It seems you don’t even have the strength to carry on with your day.
Sleeping becomes difficult: Even though you’re extremely tired and exhausted, falling asleep or staying asleep is a challenge. This can further add to your weariness, continuing the vicious cycle.
You have difficulty concentrating: Not only you are tired, but you have difficulty concentrating or focusing. You may also become forgetful and get easily distracted.
Any activity leaves you fatigued: It doesn’t matter what you are doing – folding laundry, making dinner, walking to the bathroom – any type of activity makes you feel completely drained.
You’re unstable: Symptoms of CFS may worsen in a standing position, compared to when you are sitting or lying down. Researchers believe that patients experience orthostatic intolerance, meaning, there is a decrease in blood flow when they are upright.
You experience all-over pain: Aside from the fact that you’re already tired, you may also experience aches and pains all over your body. Joint pain, muscle soreness, headaches, and even a sore throat may all come along with your fatigue and exhaustion.