Dear Hopeful -
Joint pain and sore throat are very common symptoms of CFS. For some people, the sore throat is relapsing-remitting; for others it is more or less constant. The sudden onset of a sore throat usually means that you've either over-exerted and are experiencing a post-exertional crash or you may have been exposed to some sort of infection - the sore throat is a sign that your immune system is over-responding (people with CFS typically have immune systems that over-react to the presence of allergens and viruses). if this is the case, rest should help.
However, any new symptoms should be thoroughly checked out with your doctor. As mine often reminds me, never assume that a new or different symptom is CFS - there's always a chance it could be something else.
A new sore throat could possibly be caused by an infection, like strep throat or mono. Strep needs to be treated immediately with antibiotics. Mono is a known triggering infection for CFS, so if someone with CFS gets mono, they should be treated aggressively with anti-virals (even though this is not the standard approach for a normal person who gets mono) in order to prevent a permanent or long-lasting reduction in functioning.
The joint pain is more troubling to me. New joint pain should definitely be investigated. One very likely explanation is that you have Lyme disease which would need to be treated with antibiotics for at least a month. This happened to me last year. I've had CFS for 7 years but suddenly got Lyme last summer - my main symptoms were an increase in the flu-like CFS symptoms (fatigue, fever, sore throat, etc.) plus sudden, severe pain in my knees.
You need to see your doctor and ask to be tested for Lyme disease as a first step. Unfortunately, the Lyme screening tests are not completely accurate; some people have Lyme disease but have a negative test result. Many doctors feel that the only truly accurate test for Lyme in a patient who has the symptoms is to try treating with doxycyline (the antibiotic used for Lyme). if symptoms clear up for a day or two, and then get much more severe, you almost certainly have Lyme disease. If there;s no effect from the antibiotics, it is probably not Lyme. If Lyme is not treated immediately, it often requires 3-6 months of doxycycline or more, especially in someone with CFS. Joint pain would be a sign that the Lyme is already at Stage 2 and would need longer term antibiotic treatment.
But the first step is to be examined by your doctor, explain your new symptoms in detail, and ask for ELISA and Western Blot Lyme tests. if those are negative, but your symptoms still suggest Lyme, you can try a PCR test. That is still not 100% accurate, though, so you may need to just try doxycycline to see if it helps.
For more information on typical symptoms of CFS, go to:
For more information on Lyme, try this site:
The most important thing is to go see your doctor right away. Good luck!