The Institute of Medicine (IOM) committee just announced they are recommending changing the name of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome to Systemic Exertion Intolerance Disease (SEID). Why the name change and what does it mean for patients suffering from this condition?
Essentially, experts caring for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome patients felt their patients were being labeled as malingerers or fakers. The name ‘chronic fatigue’ did not help in having this condition recognized as a real disease.
THE NEW DIAGNOSIS FOR CHRONIC FATIGUE, NOW SEID
The committee now requires 3 core symptoms to make the new diagnosis of Systemic Exertion Intolerance Disease:
- Substantial impairment in the ability to engage in pre-illness levels of activities. The fatigue is usually debilitating and not relieved by rest.
- Postexertional malaise following physical, cognitive or emotional stress.
- Unrefreshing sleep.
In addition, patients should have cognitive impairment or orthostatic intolerance for at least 6 months.
LET’S BREAK THESE POINTS DOWN
Basically, patients will be diagnosed with Systemic Exertion Intolerance Disease if:
- They cannot function in their normal capacity prior to their diagnosis.
- They don’t get better by resting or taking a break.
- Any type of stress makes them weak.
- They don’t get adequate deep sleep, so they feel exhausted all the time.
- They cannot think straight and get weak just standing up for short periods of time.
THE FRUSTRATING PART OF CHRONIC FATIGUE
The frustrating part of Chronic Fatigue is that we don’t know the underlying cause. Is it due to a virus like Epstein-Barr? Is it due to a hormonal imbalance in the adrenal glands? Is it due to an undiscovered tick-borne disease, like Lyme’s disease? Remember, it’s not that long ago that children with Lyme disease were originally thought to be faking their illness.
THE COMMON DENOMINATOR
We see the following symptoms with many of our patients:
- They are female
- They tend to have low blood pressure, to begin with.
- The difficulty they have standing up is exacerbated when their blood pressure drops by even a few points.
In some cases, we have seen an apparent viral infection set off the fatigue. In other cases, true-life catastrophes seem to drain the body’s metabolism. The common denominator in many of the patients is their lack of good, deep sleep.
OUR APPROACH TO TREATING SEID
It’s estimated there are 835,000 to 2.5 million Americans with Chronic fatigue or now Systemic Exertion Intolerance Disease. However, only about 10% of these people will receive a proper diagnosis. At Mitchell Medical Group, you won’t have to worry about getting properly diagnosed – we know this illness when we see it!
With our thorough examination and laboratory testing, we check your vitamin and mineral levels, thyroid and adrenal hormone levels, and possible infections to give us clues as to the best way to restore your health.
TO TREAT YOUR CHRONIC FATIGUE OR SEID
We recommend you get good, deep sleep and we will balance your hormones if needed. We also treat any underlying infections, offer state of the art nutritional advice and design safe ways for you to exercise, even while dealing with Systemic Exertion Intolerance Disease.
To add to all of this, we have specially formulated intravenous vitamin drops to boost energy and we use gamma globulin injections to boost immune defenses.
Ultimately, we don’t care what they call this illness…. we just focus on getting you and all of our patients better and back to your lives!
– Dr. Dean Mitchell
Mitchell Medical Group, NYC