CFS or Chronic fatigue syndrome symptoms are the basis for defining and diagnosing the disease. CFS is a disabling chronic illness defined by Fukuda et al. 1994 as being a combination of symptoms and those symptoms in certain conditions. Current research has indicated that CFS may in fact be misdiagnosed MSIDS or Multiple Systemic Infectious Disease Syndrome which is the many co-infections of Lyme Disease.
Since there are numerous medical conditions that produce similar symptoms CFS / ME, a doctor will want to rule out the following.
Theses include viral illnesses, glandular fevers, anemia, low thyroid, function, uncontrolled diabetes, severe asthma, chronic lung disease, heart disease, heart failure, tuberculosis, and depression. If not these, then the symptoms of chronic fatigue need to be considered.
Few doctors will rule out Lyme. In my personal surveying of people with these symptoms, numerous found relief when they were seen by a competent Lyme doctor and they refused to listen to their previous doctor saying it was all in their head.
Diagnosed with CFS / ME requires individuals having four or more of the following symptoms.
- sore throat
- lymph node pain
- muscle pain
- joint pain
- postexertional malaise
- headaches of a new or different type
- memory and concentration difficulties
- unrefreshing sleep
The symptoms must persist at least 6 months or more months. The symptoms must be of new or definite onset, with no relief realized from rest or sleep. The symptoms can not be the result of current physical or mental exertion.
The symptoms must results in substantial decrease in work, social, and personal activities.
The Fukuda et al. case definition (above) is still widely used to diagnose CFS / ME, there are others who have identified difficulties this definition pose to both clinicians and researchers.
There is more on this to come. The research continues. Please come back as this will be updated as new discoveries and understanding is made known.
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