Exhausted worker with chronic fatigue

What Is Chronic Fatigue?

Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), otherwise known as myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), is a long-term illness that deeply impacts numerous body systems resulting in a range of wellness issues.

The CDC estimates that globally around 17-24 million people from CFS or ME and those that suffer often cannot perform life’s daily activities. As an essential provider that is committed to health and wellness, at Progressive Medical Center, our team is composed of board-certified physicians and medical team experts that are dedicated to helping our patients turn their lives around through therapies and treatment protocols.

When it comes to CFS/ME patients, we are keenly aware of the overwhelming fatigue that can affect both the mental and physical aspects of patients. We are also aware that of the estimated 2.5 million Americans suffering, more than 90 percent of individuals with this illness have been able to attain the correct diagnoses.

Whether due to miscommunications with healthcare providers, lack of medical training, or education on timely diagnosis and care, it can be a difficult and lonely road to find the right type of treatment.

Core Symptoms

There are three main symptoms of CFS/ME:

  1. Diminished ability to perform usual activities

    A drop-in activity levels accompanied by fatigue that lasts longer than six months is one of the primary symptoms. Fatigue can include severe tiredness, not finding relief in sleep, not attributable to rigorous activities, and was previously not an issue.

  2. Display of post-exertional malaise (PEM)

    PEM is a type of unpredictable physical and mental collapse that occurs after doing routine tasks like going to the grocery store, doing laundry, taking a shower, or attending a social gathering outside of the house. This “crash” worsening CFS/ME symptoms like headaches, sore throats, issues with sleeping and may not allow the sufferer to do anything including leaving the house for several days.

  3. Problems staying asleep

    Falling asleep and/or staying asleep proves a difficult task for people with CFS/ME. Even if a full night of sleep is possible, those with this condition rarely feel well-rested.

Additional Symptoms

There are two additional core symptoms, one of which must be present for a diagnosis to be complete. The first includes struggling with memory or thinking skills and feeling stuck in a brain fog. The second involves something called orthostatic intolerance which refers to a worsening of symptoms like feeling dizzy, faint, or lightheaded in addition to vision changes when seated upright or standing.

Other Symptoms

Other common symptoms that impact people with CFS/ME include:

  • Joint pain
  • Tender lymph nodes
  • Digestive problems including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Frequent sore throat
  • Muscle pain or weakness
  • Sensitivity to light, odor, noise and chemicals


While there is no cure for CFS/ME, there are different ways to manage or treat the numerous symptoms. Learning how to actively manage the worst symptoms is an excellent coping strategy that can reduce the disruptive nature of the disorder.

At Progressive Medical Center, we take a unique approach to health and wellness and offer a wide array of extensive, non-invasive options for treatment. To learn more and discuss why our center might be the right partner to get to the bottom of any chronic fatigue experience, get in touch today.