Symptoms: What it’s not

Alright, first off I’m going to say that no two people with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome are going to have the exact same symptoms. The way you are diagnosed is you have to have had symptoms for more than 6 months, and by eliminating the following other possibilities:

Exclusionary criteria:

  • Pregnancy within past 12 months.
  • Stroke with no full recovery.
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder.
  • Congestive heart failure.
  • Insulin dependent diabetes.
  • Uncontrolled diabetes type 11
  • Anemia/ Sickle cell anemia
  • Uncontrolled hypothyroidism or uncontrolled hypertension
  • BMI > 40
  • Cancer within 5 years or current chemotherapy
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Active epstein barr (mono virus)
  • CMV-active
  • Lyme disease
  • Neuropathy
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus
  • Connective tissue disorder
  • Sjogren’s
  • Inflammatory arthritis or Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Polymyalgia rheumatica
  • Dermatomyositis
  • Polymyositis
  • Adrenal disorder
  • Chronic renal failure
  • Untreated depression or history of major depressive episode
  • Schizophrenia
  • Bipolar
  • Dementia
  • Substance abuse problems within past 2 years, OR history of substance abuse prior to past two years
  • Sleep apnea
  • Restless legs syndrome
  • Anorexia nervosa within past 5 years
  • Bulimia nervosa within past 5 years
  • Dysthymia
  • Generalized anxiety disorder
  • Panic disorder
  • Obsessive compulsive disorder
  • Post traumatic stress disorder
  • Psychotic disorders
  • Mood disorder with psychotic features
  • Antisocial personality disorder
  • Suicidality
  • Hepatitis B or C

That’s a long list. Did you read it? If you did, and you already know the symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, you will realize why each of those happens to be on Mayo Clinic’s list.

Why? Because Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (and its twin sister Fibromyalgia) mimic or are similar to all of those in one way or another.

Yep, all of those.

I should note that if you have any of the above, you’re allowed to say you experience “chronic fatigue” but you’re not allowed to say you have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Yeah, it’s confusing, but they’re two separate things. (We need a new name!)

Next up? Symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

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