While it's common to crave more energy in our day-to-day lives, life-altering fatigue is not a normal state. If you are concerned that your lack of vitality may be signaling a severe condition such as chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), check the list below and determine if you need to consult your health care practitioner.

In addition to six or more months of debilitating fatigue, four or more of the following symptoms may signal a problem:

  • self-reported impairment of short-term memory or concentration (severe enough to cause a substantial reduction in life activities)
  • sore throat
  • tender lymph nodes in your cervical or underarm areas
  • muscle discomfort or pain
  • joint pain without join swelling or redness
  • headaches of a new type, pattern or severity
  • unrefreshing sleep
  • malaise following exertion and lasting more than 24 hours.

Typically, CFS comes on quickly, often following a flulike illness. Other symptoms may include muscle weakness, visual disturbances, dizziness, depression, irritability and anxiety.