Neurology Now on CFS
Neurology Now recently posted an article targeted at neurologists with the headline “Beyond Tired: Is chronic fatigue syndrome a real medical condition? Yes, according to a report from the Institute of Medicine, which urges physicians to treat it accordingly.” The piece is primarily focused on the IOM report and its suggested diagnostic criteria. It is useful to read to understand what some medical professionals are being told about the IOM report and about diagnosing and treating CFS.
Dr. Sabin says the IOM’s proposed diagnostic criteria is “a simplification [of the condition], perhaps,” but one that clarifies the core symptoms and makes it easier to diagnose. He also thinks the report will draw attention to CFS, and he is happy that it confirms that the syndrome causes real suffering and should not be dismissed by doctors.
As the chair of the US Federal Advisory Committee on CFS, which is responsible for evaluating and implementing the IOM report, Dr. Levine says there is still debate about whether other common symptoms of CFS, such as viral infections, muscle and joint pain, and swollen lymph glands, should be included as part of the diagnostic criteria. Otherwise, she thinks the panel’s proposed criteria are a good start.
Dr. Berger adds that he believes too many people whose only symptom is fatigue are diagnosed with CFS. He thinks that physicians should apply the new diagnostic criteria for CFS strictly, and if their patients don’t satisfy them in full, they should look elsewhere for underlying causes.