Dear Chronic Fatigue Patients
And Their Physicians
Dear Chronic Fatigue Patients And Their Physicians If I were to speak with or write a letter to chronic fatigue
patients and their physicians I would want to put in that letter the very latest information from researchers and
highly regarded physicians.
Some of the information may be gleaned from the results of a think tank. A think tank is an organization or
group of experts researching and advising on issues of society, science, technology, industry, or business.
They are opportunities for learning. A think tank may be organized in order to conduct intensive research or to
solve specific problems. During the dates of March 16 18 of the year 2000 a think tank was formed in Reno,
This is the spot where the 1984-85 outbreak of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome occurred. Researchers and Physicians
participated in the two-panel event. Nancy Klimas, MD, of the University of Miami, oversaw the Panel.
The think tanks purpose was to address the disease by studying and assessing treatment and scientific findings
surrounding the disease; so that they could make recommendations on how this information could be useful to those
treating CFS patients.
The information that came from this think tank is beneficial to both physicians who treat Chronic Fatigue
Patients and to the patients themselves, whom can now better understand their own symptoms.
The panels made recommendations based on their study. What follows is a brief summary of some of those
Recommendations General Physician Suggestions It is suggested that physicians who treat CFS patients should be
trained in diagnosis, treatment. It is also important for physicians to be knowledgeable regarding disability
claims so as to assist their patients in filing for disability. Physicians need to be aware of the dangers of CFS
patients donating blood, as this could compromise their possibly already low blood volume.
Physicians should also be made aware that using live vaccines could pose a risk of relapse and should be
Goals Concerning CFS During the treatment planning stage all efforts should be made to address therapy centered
on the needs of the patients daily living routine.
Daily tasks like household chores, meal preparation and other tasks normally done in the maintenance of the home
life may pose fatigue and pain issues. Therapy would be able to address how to accomplish these tasks in such a
manner as to alleviate as much as possible any aggravation of these symptoms. The overall goal of therapy is to
address not only accomplishing these daily tasks but to improve the patients function capabilities.
One goal that can be overlooked is the one to maintain social contact, especially in young patients. Managing
Fatigue Suggestions that were made to enable CFS patients to better cope with the fatigue issues were to strive for
a balance between physical activity and rest, making use of supportive equipment in doing tasks, and setting
priorities when planning daily tasks.
There are many adaptive devices available that can aid a patient in accomplishing daily chores that will take
away some of the energy output needed to accomplish the tasks.
Early Intervention Initiating therapy in the earlier onset of the disease can help minimize the biological
effects of the disease. Early intervention can help improve patients function.
Rehabilitation Rehabilitation programs have been more successful the earlier they are started during the course
of the illness.
Chronic Fatigue Fast Facts
The Nitty Gritty Important Issues Surrounding CFS
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or CFS is a poorly understood ailment. Annals of Internal Medicine in December of 1994 published a definition for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome under the guidance of the Center For Disease Control. Here is a shortened outline of that definition:
To be diagnosed with CFS the patient must present with new, unexplained fatigue that has been of 6 month duration or longer that can not be attributed to physical exertion, cannot be relieved by rest and limits or reduces the...
Speech therapy has been shown to help treat Chronic Fatigue Syndrome patients cognitive dysfunction, in areas such
as word finding, memory and information processing.
Immune Tests These tests can be used to rule out other diseases and can suggest by process of
elimination the diagnosis of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. The tests can also be used when making out disability claims
as illness markers.
Exercise The CFS patient cannot tolerate normal therapy exercises and therefore any exercise plan
must be formulated with improving function as a goal, through gentle exercising.
Sleep Disturbances CFS patients commonly suffer from wakeful periods during their normal sleeping
times and often experience difficulty maintaining adequate amounts of REM sleep.
To determine if the patient is suffering from any sleep disorders outside of the normal patterns
seen in CFS patients a sleep questionnaire is suggested. Sleep testing should only be ordered if the physician
suspects that the patient is suffering from symptoms that suggest a sleep disorder not associated with disturbances
seen in CFS patients normally.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Facts
If a person has become dependent on any illegal substances such as, marijuana, or cocaine, or
has been drinking large amounts of alcohol on a regular basis can cause a case of extreme
exhaustion, which can mimic Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
The physician should be aware that some medication such as Klonopin, Flexeril and Prozac, used in
CFS patients could actually exacerbate sleep pattern disturbances.
To facilitate better sleep patterns, physicians may wish to include Tricyclic antidepressants and
behavioral management such as warm baths, setting bed-times and bed-time routines as suggestions to their