We may know chronic fatigue syndrome by several other names, myalgic encephalomyelitis and systemic exertion intolerance disease among them. Doctors and scientists have not yet found what causes chronic fatigue syndrome. Infections and other medical and biological events are among the many possible triggers, but with no certain cause this disease is difficult to diagnose. A systematic approach to evaluating people with persistent symptoms combined with new diagnostic criteria offers hope for more accurate and faster diagnosis.
Chronic fatigue syndrome is a devastating disorder. There is a lot about this disease that we don't know, but what we know for sure is that patients with chronic fatigue syndrome are suffering. Patients experience not only extreme fatigue, but often many other symptoms such as impaired thinking and insomnia. This condition can persist for years, and those with chronic fatigue syndrome are often unable to work, participate in daily activities, or attend school. Over the past several years, research has shined new light on this complex condition. The Institute of Medicine is encouraging healthcare providers to look at chronic fatigue syndrome in new ways.
In this session of Public Health Grand Rounds, our expert panel of clinicians, epidemiologists, and researchers will discuss how they approach diagnosis and treatment in their own practices, how the diagnostic criteria for chronic fatigue syndrome have changed over the years, and how the public health community can continue to improve knowledge and understanding of this complex disorder.