What are the symptoms?

The central feature of ME is the way in which symptoms behave. Fatigue, malaise, muscle pain and other symptoms are characteristically provoked by increased activity of any type, usually with a delayed impact.

1. Persistent fatigue

2. Post-exertion malaise

3. Pain

  • Painful or aching muscles (with or without muscle twitching)
  • Painful or aching joints
  • Nerve pains/pins and needles
  • Headaches/migraine

4. Cognitive (activities relating to thinking) impairment

  • Reduced attention span
  • Short-term memory problems
  • Word-finding difficulties
  • Inability to plan or organize thoughts
  • Spatial disorientation
  • Loss of powers of concentration

5. Sleep disturbances

6. Other nervous system symptoms

  • A feeling of poor temperature control
  • Dizziness on standing up
  • Dizziness (vertigo), balance difficulty
  • Increased sensitivity to light and sound

7. Recurrent sore throat (with or without swollen lymph nodes)

8. Digestive disturbances

  • These symptoms can be exacerbated by certain foods e.g. wheat and dairy products and high cereal fibre foods.

9. Intolerances and increased sensitivity

  • Particular features in children – Children commonly experience pain, tummy ache and headaches and are more likely to experience loss of appetite or weight gain, abdominal pain and nausea. Although these symptoms can be very unpleasant, children stand a very good chance of complete recovery.