Symptoms of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis


N.B. Not all these symptoms are normally present at one time - symptoms are variable.

A feeling of unnatural fatigue, muscles like lead, unable to lift arms or open a cupboard door at times.

Easily exhausted, inexplicably tired, sometimes first thing in the morning. 

Post exertional Malaise -profound exhaustion, both physical and mental, induced or exacerbated by minor exertion.

Activity/exertion or an infection can cause a return of severe, disabling symptoms  and is a defining symptom as it is peculiar to ME.

Sore throat, loss of voice control, dry sore mouth, ulcers in gums.

Drinking more frequently than usual.

Poor circulation. Cold extremities. or perspiring excessively.

Pins and needles in fingers.

Glandular swellings in any areas. (Above or below the belt).

Legs giving way. Painful joints. Burning muscle pains, maybe patchy.

Unable to move feet properly, dragging one behind the other.

Heart palpitations. Panic attacks.

Backache, top to base of spine. Localised pain, diaphragm, neck and chest.

Urinary infections, (possibly indicative of Candida or Cystitis).

Needing to visit the toilet more than usual.

Stools wrong size and shape, thin, small pieces, diarrhoea or constipation/ often watery discharge from anus.

Swelling of the stomach, bloating flatulence, indigestion.

Pallor of face. Dark circles round the eyes, or underneath.

Disturbed sleep.

Severe hunger, or alternatively/ not wanting to face food.

Forgetfulness, a feeling as though mental faculties are impaired.

Loss of concentration.

Short-tempered, even though usually placid. Too ill to cope, cannot be bothered.

Headaches, inflamed eyes, (itching, red, swollen area around lids) Blurring of vision, dizziness.

Feeling of despair, even to the point of being overcome by suicidal thoughts. (In some cases, doctors have failed to recognise this as a genuine part of the illness, and have told patients to "Pull themselves together-get out more-get a part time job, etc") This is stressful to the patient, and in fact the opposite of what they should do. Rest, rest and more rest is required. In the case of actual suicides, it has often been because patients have not had the correct advice.

Not wanting to meet people, or having the energy to dress and go out.

A feeling as though the patient has a permanent 'flu-like' illness head like cotton-wool.

Hyperacusis, an abnormally acute sense of hearing, can't stand noise.

Tinnitus, ringing in the ears.

Inability to digest certain foods.

Sickness, nausea.

Reactions to chemical sprays, odours, etc.