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.
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 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.
Chronic fatigue is a symptom of many medical conditions. Common conditions that cause chronic fatigue include:
- Bipolar affective disorders
- Major depressive disorders
- Myalgic encephalomyelitis
- Autoimmune disease
- Subacute infections
- Alcohol or substance abuse
- Reactions to prescribed medications
- Multiple sclerosis
- Eating disorders
- Chronic mononucleosis
- Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS)
- Hormonal disorders
- Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE or lupus)
- Multiple chemical sensitivities
- Sleep apnea.