Post Exertional Malaise Is Hallmark Symptom of CFS | ProHealth Fibromyalgia, ME/CFS and Lyme Disease Forums

Post Exertional Malaise Is Hallmark Symptom of CFS

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This is several articles on one page, so keep scrolling down to see them all.

An excerpt from the first article:

Post-exertional malaise is the hallmark symptom of chronic fatigue syndrome. The brief definition is an inability to repeat previous exertion. However, that's a long way from providing a true understanding of this complex symptom of a complex disease.

To fully understand this term, first it's important to understand its component parts:

  • Malaise is a vague feeling of bodily discomfort or a general feeling of being unwell, much like you feel when you're coming down with a cold or the flu.

  • Post-exertional means occurring after exercise or another type of exertion. This can include cleaning house, shopping, or any other activity in which you expend energy.
In chronic fatigue syndrome, post-exertional malaise is a period of intense exhaustion and a spike in other symptoms that lasts for more than 24 hours following physical exertion, along with an inability to exercise as vigorously during that time. Some people say they experience it after mental exertion as well.

This symptom is a hallmark of the disease. Some research suggests that it may cause detectable differences in the blood, many of which are being studied as a possible diagnostic marker. It's also the basis of a suggested alternative name for chronic fatigue syndrome: systemic exercise intolerance disease, or SEID.

The term "malaise" is a fairly weak one to describe what people with this disease go through. Along with intense exhaustion, they may also have considerable muscle pain, cognitive dysfunction, and flu-like symptoms (sore throat, fever, etc.) In some, it may last for a day or two.

In others, it may last for a week or more.

The amount of exertion it takes to trigger this symptom varies greatly. In someone with a mild case, it might take an extra-long workout at the gym or a vacation that includes a lot of walking. In someone with a severe case, it could just take getting out of bed and showering.

Post-exertional malaise is often a source of considerable disability.
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Since CFS is a name for a set of symptoms, if a person wants to recover, it is helpful to find the root causes of the symptoms, so they can be addressed.

Babesia and Lyme are 2 common infections that can cause post-exertional malaise.

Unfortunately, Lyme tests are extremely unreliable, missing up to 50% of cases of Lyme disease, a serious bacterial infection that can spread throughout the body and become persistent.


Well-Known Member
Thanks for your input, Nanie. Didn't know the post-exertional-malaise could be from Lyme, too.

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