Independent Article: What is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and what are the Symptoms?

September 23, 2021

The Independent has an article about ME/CFS after the singer and songwriter Nao announced she was not going on tour because of how the illness is affecting her.

The article covers many aspects of ME/CFS and includes quotes from Dr Charles Shepherd who was interviewed for the piece.

The article appears on the Independent site and requires a free account to read the full content.


The cause of the condition is unknown, but experts believe it may be triggered by an infection, problems with the immune system or a hormonal imbalance. Other suggested causes include mental health problems, such as stress and emotional trauma and genetics.

The symptoms of CFS/ME are broad, but most people with the condition report feeling extremely tired and generally unwell.

Other symptoms include disrupted sleep, muscle and joint pain, headaches, sore glands and nausea.

For those who suffer from the condition, it can also affect memory and make it difficult to concentrate.

The symptoms also tend to vary from day to day, with patients reporting that they have “good” days and “bad” days.

Some patients are predominantly affected by mobility problems whereas others find aspects of cognitive dysfunction or pain to be a far more disabling component of their illness

Where symptoms persist beyond three months and the person concerned has been unable to resume a normal way of life, serious consideration should then be given towards making a provisional diagnosis of ME/CFS

It’s (Long COVID) making clinicians and researchers more aware of CFS/ME. People with long Covid are suffering from the same sort of debilitating fatigue that occurs in people with ME

If you’ve got someone who hasn’t got lung problems, respiratory problems, and they’ve just got me CFS/ME type symptoms following Covid-19, in my view, these people probably have almost certainly got post-Covid ME

Dr Charles Shepherd

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