Overlap with some other conditions

The following conditions are often reported at the same time as ME/CFS:

Fibromyalgia/persistent pain:

  • Pain that continues for more than 3 months after an injury / mechanical problem / initial onset, or even when sufficient time was allowed for healing / recovery 
  • Pain that occurs even when there is no injury, damage, or apparent trigger and even if scans or investigations come back as “normal”
  • Pain that can spread over more areas of the body than the original problem or include the whole body

For more information on persistent pain, you can visit Versus Arthritis and Pain Toolkit.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS): a digestive system disorder that causes abnormal bowel activity and/or sensitivity. For more information, please visit Guts CharityThe IBS Network.

Restless legs syndrome: an irresistible urge to move legs. For more information, please visit The Sleep CharitySleep Foundation.

Hypermobility: a heritable disorder of connective tissue, causing pain and laxity in multiple joints. For more information, please visit HypermobilityPain Toolkit.

Postural Tachycardia Syndrome / Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS): increased heart rate within 10minutes of standing, by 30bpm (in adults), lasts for more than 30s and with additional symptoms of light-headedness / dizziness on standing, disorientation/imbalance, fainting. It can be linked to hypermobility and also sympathetic nervous system over-activity. For more information please go to our page ‘POTS’ 

Depression & Anxiety: there can be a link between ME/CFS and low or anxious mood. If you are struggling with your emotional wellbeing, this is likely to have a negative knock on effect on your ME/CFS symptoms and at the same time, ME/CFS symptoms would in turn cause low mood and anxiety. If you would like to seek help for low mood or anxiety, you can self-refer to your local IAPT, or speak to you GP. For information on self-help, please refer to our page on the role of emotions and our resource hub