Chronic fatigue syndrome may get a new name and new diagnosing guidelines based on an Institute of Medicine report.
Doctors may soon have a new checklist to help them diagnose chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). The IOM panel suggested the following checklist of symptoms to help doctors diagnose CFS:
- Extreme fatigue that lasts more than six months and isn’t brought on by excessive exertion or alleviated with rest
- Extreme malaise or fatigue after minor activity
- Unrefreshing sleep
- Cognitive impairment or brain fog
- Orthostatic intolerance (meaning symptoms improve when lying down and patients find it hard to stay upright for long)
The IOM suggested giving CFS a new name, too: systemic exertion intolerance disease, or SEID.
According to the IOM, as many as 2.5 million Americans have CFS. The syndrome makes patients feel tired, sluggish and lethargic. It can severely impair patients’ ability to live normal lives. Current figures estimate between 836,000 and 2.5 million Americans currently have this illness. But a staggering 84% to 91% of them are not yet diagnosed.