What is ME/CFS?

ME/CFS is a relatively common condition with symptoms that can be as disabling as other chronic conditions.

This can have a profound impact on the person, as well as their family.

It affects people of all ages.

Extreme fatigue most of the time is the main symptom – this is very different from ordinary tiredness.

Simple mental or physical tasks can leave the person feeling exhausted and struggling to function.



Symptoms vary from person to person and can include:

  • persistent and/or recurrent debilitating fatigue
  • PEM (post exertional malaise)
  • feeling ill or flu-like, with painful glands and sore throat
  • joint and muscle pain
  • headaches
  • sleep disturbances
  • digestive problems
  • memory and concentration difficulties
  • dizziness and/or nausea
  • sensitivity to light and sound
Who will make the diagnosis?

The diagnosis is made by looking at your history and carrying out blood tests to exclude other conditions. Your GP will usually make the initial diagnosis and may refer you to our service for a specialist opinion.
If you are under 16 your GP will refer you to a paediatrician.

How do you rate this page?

Thank you for your feedback

Follow us on social media to stay up to date

We are sorry you did not find this page helpful

Tell us how we can improve this page

Page last reviewed: 14 December, 2021