The numerous symptoms of ME/CFS vary among individuals and even in
the same person over time. Symptoms include but are not limited to: debilitating
fatigue, post-exertional malaise, especially following minor activity,
sore throat, cervical or axillary lymph node enlargement, new onset of
headache, myalgia (muscle soreness or pain), arthralgia (joint pain but
no associated swelling), sleep disorders, unrefreshing sleep, cognitive
dysfunction, low-grade fevers and night sweats; chest pain, sensitivities
to noise, light, foods, medications and chemicals, gastrointestinal symptoms,
depression, mood swings, and decreased libido (sex drive). Exposure to
multiple sensory inputs such as noise, motion and sound can lead to sensory
overload, irritability and relapse. Weight gain is common. Prolonged relapse
of symptoms often occurs after simple viral or bacterial infection, emotional
stress or exercise. Vaccination can cause self-limited, mild relapse in
about half of the patients.
Symptoms often improve when patients become pregnant but could get worse about 6-8 weeks after delivery.