“Chronic Fatigue Syndrome” Gets a Make-Over

March 4, 2015


by Dr. Jennifer Caudle, Family Medicine

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, a condition that has long been difficult to diagnose and treat, is now getting a make-over. The Institute of Medicine (IOM) estimates that between 800,00 and 2.5 million Americans suffer from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome which is characterized by fatigued, trouble carrying out daily activities, sleep difficulties and cognitive problems.

As a physician, I have to admit that I didn’t learn a lot about Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, or how to treat it, in medical school or residency. I’m not alone, however, as many physicians lack appropriate knowledge about this condition. Furthermore, biases about “Chronic Fatigue Syndrome” do exist and some feel the condition is fake or non-existent.

These biases as well as the lack of knowledge about the condition make it very difficult for patients to get help and physicians to make the diagnosis. To this end, the Institute of Medicine examined the medical literature that exists for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. As a result of this in-depth analysis, the IOM committee proposes to change the name of “Chronic Fatigue Syndrome” to “SEID- Systemic Exertion Intolerance Disease.” The committee also proposes new diagnostic criteria to help doctors and patients with diagnosis.

I have always enjoyed appearing on the Dr. Oz Show and have been on the show a number of times but I wanted to discuss this topic in particular because of the new changes proposed by the Institute of Medicine. Tune in to the Dr. Oz Show on Thursday, March 5th as I discuss the ‘make-over” and new criteria proposed for SEID- Systemic Exertion Intolerance Disease. Check your local listings for air times.

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Dr. Jennifer Caudle is a Family Physician and Asst. Professor in the Department of Medicine at Rowan School of Osteopathic Medicine. She appears regularly on CNN, The Dr. Oz Show, CBS Philly, Fox and others. Please visit her at www.jennifercaudle.com and on Instagram and Twitter at @drjencaudle.

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