ME/CFS often begins with an infection, exposure to a toxin, or some significant physical or psychological stressor that results in damage to the central nervous system (CNS). CNS abnormalities can lead to symptoms such as:
- Orthostatic intolerance – a significant change in blood pressure and/or heart rate upon standing that can result in lightheadedness, dizziness, nausea, tremors, sweating, pallor, fatigue, visual disturbances, difficulty breathing or swallowing, headache or swollen bluish-colored legs.
- Breathing irregularities such as holding your breath, irregular breathing, or shortness of breath following exercise.
- Irritable bowel syndrome – chronic abdominal pain, constipation and/or diarrhea, cramping and bloating
- Visual disturbances – blurring, sensitivity to light, eye pain, frequent prescription changes
- Burning sensations in the face or extremities.
- Chest pain.