Part of our ongoing series about life with CFS
Pop quiz: name three symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Fatigue is a gimme, so come up with three more.
Could you do it? Compare your list to the following:
1. Muscle pain, not related to injury or overuse
2. Joint pain, with no redness or inflammation
4. Sore throat
5. Swollen glands
6. Irritable bowel syndrome
7. "Post-exertional malaise" - a fancy term for needing a 4 hour nap after a 20 minute walk
8. Memory problems, both short and long-term
10. Word finding difficulties, both spoken and written
11. Inability to sustain concentration at pre-illness levels, such as only being able to read for one hour instead of four
12. Processing difficulty, specifically in understanding spoken or written information
13. Reduced reaction time
14. Difficulty sustaining focus, such as being able to block out sensory input to focus on a task or conversation
15. Insomnia and/or hypersomnia
16. Sleep disturbances, such as nightmares
17. Unexplained weight loss and/or weight gain
18. Orthostatic intolerance, which involves abnormal drops in blood pressure while standing
There are other symptoms that have been found in research studies, such as a variety of bloodwork abnormalities and dysfunction in oxygen use during exertion. And this doesn't count the anecdotal reports that patients are familiar with: increased risk of miscarriage, increased risk of certain cancers, and so on.
Something is clearly wrong with our bodies. And "fatigue" doesn't begin to describe what we endure.