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CDC has changed it recommendations for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, also known as Myalgic Encephalitis, is a syndrome that affects between 836,000 and 2.5 million Americans.  This condition is characterized by incapacitating fatigue, sleep abnormalities, autonomic manifestations, cognitive problems, and joint pain.  Symptoms are usually made worse by physical, emotional or cognitive exertion and those with the condition usually have to take extreme care to regulate their activity.  If they over exert themselves it can trigger relapses and they usually become much sicker.

In these patients their bodies generate energy inefficiently and can be debilitated if they exceed their limited capacities.  This syndrome causes the body to respond poorly to stress and is accompanied by immune system disruptions such as high levels of cytokines and poorly functioning natural killer cells and T-cells.   The Institute of Medicine is recommending the name be changed to Systemic Exertion Intolerance Disease (SEID) in light of new evidence showing biological causes for the condition.

The Center for Disease Control no longer recommends gradual exercise and psychotherapy as a treatment for this condition.  This is a significant change because chances are that if you saw a physician today and were diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome the odds are that your physician would prescribe that exact treatment.  After many years of treating this condition as a psychological disorder, many leading health organizations now recognize that it is a serious long-term illness similar to rheumatoid arthritis but without signs of tissue damage.

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