You get up and feel lightheaded, almost to the point of fainting. At the same time, you’re experiencing frequent headaches. While there are many drivers behind these two symptoms, if they occur together along with other symptoms, they could signal chronic fatigue syndrome.
To help you get to the bottom of these mysterious symptoms, you should start by seeking the counsel of a specialist like Dr. Jonathan Singer here at HealthFirst.
In the meantime, here are a few things to consider when trying to determine whether chronic fatigue syndrome is to blame for your dizzy spells and headaches.
Chronic fatigue syndrome — a complex problem
When it comes to chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), the disorder is so complex that medical experts are still trying to adequately label the problem. CFS is also known as myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), and it's often abbreviated as ME/CFS. This moniker still hasn't satisfied many medical experts, some of whom have proposed systemic exertional intolerance disease.
The reason why we bring up this labeling quandary is to underscore just how complex chronic fatigue syndrome can be.
Symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome
While the experts continue to hash it out over naming the problem, we’re all on the same page about several points, not the least of which is that CFS can have a significant impact on your life.
At the core of CFS is that middle letter — fatigue. People with CFS experience debilitating fatigue that lasts for six months or more. This fatigue often worsens with activity, and even the smallest physical or mental exertion can leave you feeling depleted.
Making matters worse, no amount of rest seems to solve the issue, as your sleep isn’t refreshing.
Aside from the fatigue, people with CFS often report:
- Dizzy spells, especially when you stand up
- Problems with cognitive function, including memory and focus
- Joint and/or muscle pain
- Enlarged lymph nodes
So, if you’re feeling this unusual fatigue and it’s accompanied by frequent headaches, dizzy spells, and any of the other symptoms we mention above, CFS may be the underlying cause.
Other causes of dizzy spells and headaches
There are other problems that can lead to co-occurring headaches and dizzy spells, and they can range from very serious to only mildly concerning.
In order of severity, these are:
- Brain aneurysm
- Traumatic brain injury
- Bacterial or viral infections
- Drinking too much alcohol
Any time you experience a sudden onset of symptoms like dizziness and head pain together, we urge you to get to medical help right away.
If these symptoms develop gradually but with some frequency, we recommend that you come see us at your earliest convenience so we can diagnose the underlying problem.
Whether you have CFS or another non-life-threatening issue, we’re confident that we can help. To get started, contact one of our offices in Cheyenne, Wyoming, or Greenwood Village, Colorado.