Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by Annette2, May 18, 2003.

  1. Annette2

    Annette2 New Member

    What does the doctor do to figure out if you have it? I'm so tired all the time now and feel drugged all the time. I know it's not from any meds so it has to be "internal". I have a doctor appt. next week and wonder what he'll say?

  2. DebP

    DebP New Member

    I myself am wondering if i also have CFS, and I dont know how they go about diagnosing either. Maybe we will both get the knowledgeable answers we need from the people on the board....
    Love and God Bless,
    Deb Parfait
  3. teach6

    teach6 New Member

    I copied this from the CFS home page on this site. In my own experience my doc took a very detailed history. His office sent me the paperwork so I could work on it a couple of weeks before my appointment. Without that I would never have been able to include all the details requested on his forms.


    Overview: What is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?
    12-12-2000 -

    How do you know if you have CFS?
    Diagnosis of CFS is complicated by the fact that fatigue is the single most commonly reported complaint but fatigue is a feature of countless other conditions as well. Because of this, a doctor's first goal is to rule out other illnesses.

    The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has established certain criteria for diagnosing CFS:

    1. Fatigue that is persistent, relapsing or debilitating; does not improve with bed rest; and reduces or impairs average daily activity level by more than 50 percent for a period of at least 6 months. Patient has no previous history of fatigue.

    2. The patient has 4 or more of the following symptoms, which must have persisted or recurred during 6 or more consecutive months and predated the fatigue:

    Short-term memory or concentration problems

    Sore throat

    Multi-joint pain without joint swelling or redness

    Muscle pain

    Headaches of a new type, pattern or severity

    Non-refreshing sleep

    Post-exertional malaise lasting more than 24 hours

    In addition, a number of minor symptoms may also appear:

    Poor sleep


    Brain fog

    Increased thirst

    Bowel disorders

    Recurrent infections

    Exhausting after minimal exertion

    The CDC criteria should not be thought of as final guidelines in diagnosing CFS. Research has shown the people with disabling fatigue who fit the CFS criteria have the same immunologic changes and responses to treatment as those who don't fit the criteria.

    According to Edward J. Conley, D.O, author of America Exhausted, "At least 50 percent of the patients we see for CFS do not have symptoms severe enough to be classified as CFS, but that does not mean these people are healthy. They just don't fit a committee's definition for CFS."

    "My experience also suggests that the underlying causes and the response to treatment are not affected by whether patients strictly meet CDC guides," says Jacob Teitelbaum, M.D. "I prefer to use the term Severe Chronic Fatigue States (SCFS) for these conditions."

    In his book, From Fatigued to Fantastic, Dr. Teitelbaum states that it is important to look for and treat all of the factors simultaneously. Chronic fatigue states are unusual in that each problem can trigger other problems. Because of this, it is rare to find only one single underlying problem by the time the patient seeks medical help.

    The process that occurs is analogous to an automobile with no battery and no starter. If you fix only the battery or the starter, the car won't run. If both the battery and the starter are fixed at the same time, the care would be fine. In the same way, if we treat all of a patient's problems simultaneously, the person feels well.