Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Disability/Illness Description:

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) also known as chronic fatigue and immune dysfunction syndrome (CFIDS), myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) and by other names is a complex and debilitating chronic illness that affects the brain and multiple body systems. CFS is characterized by incapacitating fatigue (experienced as profound exhaustion and extremely poor stamina) and problems with concentration and short-term memory. It is also accompanied by flu-like symptoms such as pain in the joints and muscles, unrefreshing sleep, tender lymph nodes, sore throat and headache. A distinctive characteristic of the illness is post-exertional malaise, a worsening of symptoms following physical or mental exertion occurring within 12-48 hours of the exertion and requiring an extended recovery period.
(Information from CFIDS Association of American)

Typically, for an official diagnosis of CFS, an individual must have been sick for six (6) or more months with fatigue severe enough to reduce the individuals activity level by at least 50% and at least four of the following symptoms: impairment in short-term memory or concentration, sore throat, tender lymph nodes, muscle or multi-joint pain without swelling or redness, headaches, unrefreshing sleep, and post-exertional malaise. Physicians must rule out other causes of the symptoms.


International Association for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (IACFS/ME)
to promote, stimulate and coordinate the exchange of ideas related to CFS, ME and fibromyalgia (FM) research, patient care and treatment.
The International Association for CFS/ME
9650 Rockville Pike
Bethesda, MD 20814
Voice Mail : 301-634-7701
Fax: 301-634-7099
Online Membership Form

CFIDS Self Help
a non-profit organization offering low-cost online self-help courses and other resources for people affected by Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) and fibromyalgia (FM).
CFIDS & Fibromyalgia Self-Help Program
777 San Antonio Rd. #121
Palo Alto, CA 94303

Massachusetts CFIDS/FM Association
works to educate health-care providers and the general public regarding these often severely-disabling physical illnesses.
PO Box 690305
Quincy, MA 02269-0305
Information Line: 617-471-5559 (Call for local support listing)
Contact Form

National CFIDS Foundation
provides information, education, and support to those people who have CFIDS (also known as chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) and many other names) — as well as related illnesses such as Gulf War Illness (GWI) and Multiple Chemical Sensitivities (MCS).
103 Aletha Road
Needham, MA 02492
Phone: 781-449-3535
Fax: 781-449-8606
Newsletter: The National Forum

Other Information:

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome – US National Library of Medicine

Center for Disease Control – Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Additional Resources found on our Fibromyalgia Fact Sheet


Fact Sheet last updated on: 1/18/2017