Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is also called Myalgic encephalitis (ME) in Canada, Great Britain and Australia. There are several diagnostic criteria, the Fukuda criteria of 1994 from the USA used by the CDC and more recently the Canadian Criteria of the Canadian Consensus Document of 2005. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/ME is considered to be a multisystemic chronic illness of uncertain etiology but may be associated with some viruses and bacteria, genetic factors or chemical damage to cells.
Study on Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
The Center for Disease Control recently completed a large study evaluating genetic and psychosocial factors for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/ME which has given validation the scientific basis for this disorder. There are degrees of severity from mild to severe. Many people report an episode of a “flu-like illness” at some time in the past from which they did not recover. A complete physical examination and extensive history is necessary. Blood tests are important to rule out common causes of fatigue such as anemia, thyroid disease, Valley fever etc. Then more specialized blood tests can be performed. It is also necessary to do Functional Medicine evaluations for the liver, GI tract and immune system. Since there is more than one cause fo Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, treatments need to be individualized.