Chronic fatigue syndrome, also known as ME (myalgic encephalomyelitis) or SEID (systemic exertion intolerance disease), is a very elusive disease, unknown to most and misunderstood by many. Although it affects so many people in such severe ways, little research has been done to find sure ways to help those who suffer from it. With that said, if the cause was given enough funding, there would be plenty of research done.
There are no tests that can be done to prove chronic fatigue syndrome as the cause of the symptoms it describes. On top of that, its symptoms are also very similar to symptoms caused by other diseases. All of this makes it very hard to be diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome, even if it is exactly what is being suffered from.
The symptoms can vary between those affected and depend on the severity of affection. Usually the most common symptom is heavy fatigue that keeps you from going about with your typical daily activities. In order to be diagnosed, a person must suffer from four or more symptoms consistently for at least six months.
Symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome include: severe fatigue (primarily), sore throat, headaches, enlarged lymph nodes in the armpits and neck, memory or concentration loss, insomnia, unexplained muscle and joint pain without redness or swelling, feeling unrefreshed after a night's sleep, extreme exhaustion after physical or mental exertion lasting more than 24 hours, sensitivity to light or noise or emotions, dizziness, fainting, irritable bowel, chills, night sweats, depression, or issues with mood.
Sometimes, people may suffer from these symptoms in cycles, feeling better at some points in between bouts of suffering, which can make diagnosis even more difficult. On top of this difficulty, there are many other disease that share common symptoms with chronic fatigue syndrome. These diseases include: mononucleosis, Lyme disease, multiple sclerosis, lupus (SLE), hypothyroidism, fibromyalgia, and major depressive disorder (depression). It is important to speak with a doctor first to make sure these other diseases are not the cause of your symptoms. Do not self-diagnose.