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Headaches of a new type, pattern, or severity occur commonly in ME/CFS.



  • Katrina Berne reports a prevalence of 75-95% for headache, and 50% for daily headache.[1]
  • 87.8% - 92.0% of the 2073 patients in a Belgian study of 2001 reported headaches.[2]

Symptom recognition[edit]

  • In the Canadian Consensus Criteria, pain is a required criteria for diagnosis. It requires that "there is a significant degree of myalgia. Pain can be experienced in the muscles, and/or joints, and is often widespread and migratory in nature. Often there are significant headaches of new type, pattern or severity."[3]
  • In the Fukuda criteria, the symptom of headaches of a new type, pattern, or severity can be used to help form a diagnosis.[4]
  • In the Holmes criteria, generalized headaches (of a type, severity, or pattern that is different from headaches the patient may have had in the premorbid state) are an optional criteria for diagnosis, under the section Minor Symptom Criteria.[5]

Notable studies[edit]

Possible causes[edit]

Potential treatments[edit]

Learn more[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. Berne, Katrina (1 Dec 1995), Running on Empty: The Complete Guide to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFIDS), 2nd ed., Hunter House, p. 59, ISBN 978-0897931915 
  2. De Becker, P; McGregor, N; De Meirleir, K (Sep 2001), "A definition-based analysis of symptoms in a large cohort of patients with chronic fatigue syndrome.", Journal of Internal Medicine, 250 (3): 234-240, PMID 11555128 
  3. A Clinical Case Definition and Guidelines for Medical Practitioners: An Overview of the Canadian Consensus Document Pg 8. 2005.
  4. The CDC (Fukuda 1994) Definition for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  5. The 1988 Holmes Definition for CFS

The information provided at this site is not intended to diagnose or treat any illness.

From MEpedia, a crowd-sourced encyclopedia of ME and CFS science and history