Consequential Symptoms[edit | edit source]
Consequential is a medical term meaning symptoms worsen with exercise, exertion, continued immune activation, continued sensory overload, or on going sleep disturbance. Effects of these triggers can last months, years, or even be indefinite.
For example patient A has a headache causing 9/10 pain but if the headache doesn't get worse with activity or sensory overload then the headache is medically inconsequential.
Patient B has 1/10 fatigue. If Patient B exerts himself by walking for 5 minutes he will be in PEM. His fatigue will increase to 8/10, pain will become 7/10. Patient B will take 1 month to recover from the walk. These symptoms are consequential.
Consequential symptoms are fundamentally incompatible with any psychological or psychiatric diagnosis because those categories have an embedded meaning of symptoms being inconsequential.
post-exertional malaise (PEM) - A notable exacerbation of symptoms brought on by small physical or cognitive exertions. PEM may be referred to as a "crash" or "collapse" and can last for days or weeks. Symptoms can include cognitive impairments, muscle pain, trouble remaining upright (orthostatic intolerance), sleep abnormalities, and gastro-intestinal impairments, and others.