Chronic fatigue and ME/CFS

(Myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome)

Chronic fatigue is a common problem. A smaller number of people have severe fatigue that seriously affects their ability to function, including their ability to work and lead a "normal" family life. Chronic fatigue can be related to a variety of infections, autoimmune problems, hormone issues, nervous system and sleep problems, and others. In many cases the body has difficulty with standing upright (orthostatic intolerance) and many patients experience significant trouble with thinking and concentration ("brain fog") as well as other symptoms such as aches, headaches, bowel problems, fevers, difficulty with heat or cold, etc.

Depending on their symptoms, patients with severe exhaustion are sometimes diagnosed as having chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) or myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), or ME/CFS. Some people and even doctors may believe that because one cannot, say, run one particular blood test and tell if someone has ME/CFS that it is not a serious illness. This could hardly be further from the truth. ME/CFS is not "all in one's head", although it certainly involves problems with the brain. Unfortunately, very few doctors are well-acquainted with current evidence regarding underlying problems (such as specific infections, autoimmune issues, or blood abnormalities) in the bodies of patients with ME/CFS or with what we do know about how to help individuals who have this debilitating illness.

What you can expect with an evaluation

For someone with a complicated history of fatigue, the first visit may take two or more hours. This includes taking a detailed history from the start of the illness to the present time and then going over different important aspects of the present illness in detail and performing a detailed physical examination.

An evaluation involves a thorough look at a variety of important factors in the illness. It will usually involve both looking for treatable underlying causes of the illness and deciding what supportive treatments may help (including treatments for the brain fog, difficulty with standing, sleep, pain, and so forth). To set up an appointment, please call.