Senior Health Home > Chronic Fatigue Symptoms

Chronic fatigue is a symptom, while chronic fatigue syndrome is a condition (a set of multiple symptoms). In addition to chronic fatigue, symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome include such things as short-term memory loss, sore throat, tender lymph nodes, muscle pain, joint pain, headaches, insomnia, and post-exercise fatigue lasting more than 24 hours.

Chronic Fatigue Symptoms: An Overview

Fatigue refers to a sensation of exhaustion during or after usual daily activities, or a lack of energy to begin these activities. While most people will experience fatigue at some point in their lives, it will generally go away. Fatigue may result from exertion or lack of sleep. However, chronic fatigue occurs when symptoms of exhaustion or lack of energy last for more than six months.
 

Chronic Fatigue Symptoms Versus Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Chronic fatigue is a symptom of many diseases. While chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a condition, chronic fatigue is one symptom. In order to be diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome, a person must have chronic fatigue and four or more of the following symptoms:
 
  • Substantial impairment in short-term memory or concentration
  • Sore throat
  • Tender lymph nodes
  • Muscle pain
  • Multi-joint pain without swelling or redness
  • Headaches of a new type, pattern, or severity
  • Unrefreshing sleep (insomnia)
  • Post-exercise fatigue lasting more than 24 hours.
     

Conditions That May Lead to Chronic Fatigue

Chronic fatigue is a symptom of many medical conditions. Common conditions that cause chronic fatigue include:
 
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
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