Chronic Fatigue Syndrome – Time to Move on

Dov Michaeli

First published 5/12/11 on The Doctor Weighs In

This post may strike you as “inside baseball,” some scientists arguing about arcane experimental results that have nothing to do with your life. I don’t think so. This post will show you how science works, and it will tell you why this is important.

In a February 21, 2011 post on this site we discussed CFS (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) and the vexing diagnostic and therapeutic problems associated with it. We have absolutely no idea what causes this syndrome, and without an identified cause it is exceedingly difficult to devise rational therapy; you are basically shooting in the dark.

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The Puzzle of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

By Dov Michaeli

First published 2/21/11 on The Doctor Weighs In

A study in the Feb. 18 online issue of Lancet on different therapeutic modalities of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is bound to raise howls with the “CFS community”, meaning their advocacy groups. So let’s take a dispassionate look at the issue.

What is CFS?

Here is the major problem: nobody knows. The CDC definition of CFS:

  1. A new onset (not lifelong) of unexplained, persistent fatigue unrelated to exertion and not substantially relieved by rest, that causes a significant reduction in previous activity levels.
  2. Four or more of the following symptoms that last six months or longer:
    • Impaired memory or concentration
    • Post-exertional malaise, where physical or mental exertions bring on “extreme, prolonged exhaustion and sickness”
    • Unrefreshing sleep
    • Muscle pain (myalgia)
    • Pain in multiple joints (arthralgia)
    • Headaches of a new kind or greater severity
    • Sore throat, frequent or recurring
    • Tender lymph nodes(cervical or axillary)

Continue reading “The Puzzle of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome”