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Beyond Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Last week The Institute of Medicine released its much anticipated report, “Beyond Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome; Redefining an Illness.” In it, IOM makes four key recommendations:

  1. That the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) develop a toolkit appropriate for screening and diagnosing patients with ME/CFS in a wide array of clinical settings in which these patients are encountered.
  2. Physicians should diagnose ME/CFS if diagnostic criteria are met, following an appropriate history, physical examination, and medical work-up. A new code should be assigned to this disorder in the International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Edition (ICD-10) that is not linked to “chronic fatigue” or “neurasthenia” (emotional disturbance).
  3. The disease be renamed “systemic exertion intolerance disease” (SEID), noting that the term “chronic fatigue syndrome” can result in stigmatization and trivialization and should no longer be used.
  4. Within 5 years, the diagnostic criteria set forth in this report should be re-examined when firm evidence supports modification to improve identification and care of patients.

The goal of IOM report is to make ME/CFS – or systemic exertion intolerance disease (SEID) – more readily diagnosable and for clinicians to consider it a serious condition.

For more details, and the full report, follow the links below.