We are thrilled to see that the ME/CFS Clinician Coalition has released recommendations for medical providers on specific tests and treatments to use for caring for people with ME/CFS.
This is a highly valuable tool for both COVID-19 long haulers experiencing ME/CFS symptoms (including post-exertional malaise, fatigue and cognitive dysfunction) to share with their doctors, and for long-term ME/CFS patients, the majority of whom have not been able to access an ME/CFS specialist.
There is no biomarker for ME/CFS and standard medical tests often show up as “normal,” so these recommended tests enable the medical provider to understand better the abnormalities occurring in a patient with ME/CFS, and to target those with treatments. The recommended tests also includes tests for identifying common co-morbidities, such as postural orthostatic intolerance.
The treatment recommendations are broken down by various aspects of ME/CFS, such as orthostatic intolerance, sleep and cognitive impairment, pain and immune impairment, and include both pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatments. In the Coalition’s recommendations, it is made clear that some people with ME/CFS may have a heightened sensitivity to medications, and for these patients, drugs should be started at low doses and increased slowly to avoid triggering drug sensitivities common in ME/CFS.
The U.S. ME/CFS Clinician Coalition is a group of US clinical disease experts who have collectively spent hundreds of years treating many thousands of ME/CFS patients. They have authored primers on clinical management, have served on CDC medical education initiatives, and are actively involved in ME/CFS research.
*Note: These treatment recommendations are intended as general guidance for medical providers and are not a substitute for clinical care by a physician.