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Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: From Diagnosis to Management



The prevalence of CFS and the level of debilitation and disability that can accompany the illness -- and the cost to our healthcare system and economy -- result in a burden of illness of considerable dimensions. Although CFS is complex, and there is no cure, clinicians and the broader healthcare community can help reduce the burden of this illness through early diagnosis and intervention.

Diagnosing CFS can be time-consuming because symptoms are common to other diseases, and there is no diagnostic test. However, the process of sorting through symptoms and assessing abnormalities is no different from clinical assessment of other conditions. Like many other diseases, CFS symptoms form a specific pattern that, when combined with exclusionary laboratory tests, are diagnostic.

Effectively managing CFS is more challenging than diagnosing the illness, but there are many treatment options that can help. Working together, clinicians and patients can develop individualized treatment plans to reduce symptoms, improve function, and enhance quality of life. Establishing a good patient/provider partnership can also help break the cycle of frustration that often occurs between clinicians and patients who have difficult-to-manage chronic illnesses.

Post-Assessment: Measuring Educational Impact

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