Diagnosing Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

A lady with a bad headache

Chronic fatigue syndrome has straight forward diagnosis criteria that must be met for a diagnosis of chronic fatigue.

Are you curious if you have chronic fatigue syndrom?  Take this 5-minute online test for chronic fatigue syndrome by clicking the button below.

5-minute chronic fatigue syndrome test

In order to be diagnosed with CFS a patient must satisfy the following three criteria:

  1. Severe chronic fatigue must have lasted at least six months with other known medical conditions excluded by clinical diagnoses
  2. The fatigue experienced significantly interferes with work and other day-to-day activities
  3. The individual has 4 or more of the following 8 symptoms concurrently:
    • muscle pain
    • sore throat
    • unrefreshing sleep
    • tender lymph nodes
    • headaches of a new type, pattern or severity
    • post-exertional malaise lasting more than 24 hours
    • substantial impairment in short-term memory or concentration
    • multi-joint pain without swelling or redness

Additionally, the symptoms above must have persisted or recurred for six or more consecutive months and must not have predated the fatigue.


Which criterion are you using for CFS? It seems to be Fukuda, which of course diagnosis CFS, not ME/CFS which is now diagnosed with the SEID criterion. The CDC now uses the SEID criterion developed by the authors of the 2015 Institute of Medicine report.
Thank you for the insight and for taking the time to educate. We will review the SEID criterion and look to implement it.