The A-Z of ME/CFS

It is estimated that around a quarter of a million Australians have Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) – there is currently no government funding for researching this condition. Therefore, money is raised by non-for-profit organisations, patients, crowd funding and through private donations.

ME/CFS is so much more than simply being ‘tired’ – no amount of ‘getting some sunshine’, ‘rest’ or ‘eating well’ cures it. This condition affects crucial bodily systems including the nervous, endocrine and immune system. The severity and number of symptoms fluctuate differently per person. My friends and family are familiar with myself reducing this condition either a ‘good day’ or a ‘bad day.’

Below are the symptoms I have experienced with this condition; for some stages in my life, I have had them all, for others just a handful.


Blurred vision

Brain fog (cognitive impairment)

Bowel irregularities (constipation/diarrhea)

Bone pain

Chest pain




Ear sensitivity




Food allergies and intolerances

Frequent urination (particularly at night!)

Gut dysbiosis

Hair thinning

Headaches & migraines

Heart arrhythmia

Hormonal imbalances



Irregular periods

Joint stiffness and aches

Loss of appetite

Low blood pressure

Lymphatic stagnation/swelling

Malfunctioning body temperature regulation

Muscle wastage

Muscle pain (stabbing, cramping, tender, throbbing, tension)


Night sweats

Numbness and tingling in hands/feet

Painful daily bloating

PCOS (aka freaky ovaries)

Poor memory

Puffy eyes

Restless leg syndrome

Skin inflammation (dryness, rashes)

Swollen glands and neck

Suicidal thoughts

Thyroid disorders (hypothyroidism)

Unrefreshing sleep

Weight gain

Weight loss


Further reading:

These links are helpful, particularly if you have been newly diagnosed or want to become part of the movement towards breaking the stigma and silence that surrounds this ‘invisible illness.’

ME Association (UK)

Emerge Australia


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