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Conventional medicine and chronic fatigue: the failed paradigm, Page 1 of 2

Watch as power point video, or read article below. Link to page 2


According to the Center for Disease Control, more than one million Americans have What is called Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, or CFS. [1]

chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), link to CDC page What is CFS?

Chronic is a medical term for any long term illness.

Chronic fatigue syndrome is a term for people have who have a debilitating lack of energy for an extended period of time.





How is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome diagnosed?

Simply being tired all the time by itself does not qualify anyone for the diagnosis of chronic fatigue syndrome. Specific criteria must be met, the first of which is severe chronic fatigue of six months or longer duration with other known medical conditions excluded by clinical diagnosis. [2]

Lab testing for chronic fatigue syndrome Lab Tests for Chronic Fatigue syndrome

There are no blood tests, or any other objective way to diagnose CFS. It is a diagnosis of exclusion, given when there is no other available diagnosis that can explain chronic fatigue.

The National Institute of Health even says "in clinical practice, no tests can be recommended for the specific purpose of diagnosing chronic fatigue syndrome. Tests should be directed toward confirming or excluding other possible clinical conditions." [3]


Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is a label conventional medicine has for fatigued people, when doctors don't understand where the fatigue is coming from.

In absolutely no way does the label "Chronic Fatigue Syndrome," describe a cause of chronic fatigue.

In addition to chronic fatigue for at least 6 months, without any other cause, there is a second criteria which must also be met to diagnose someone with chronic fatigue syndrome. [4]

symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome CFS secondary criteria

This additional criteria doesn't represent an actual pathology, or underlying cause of fatigue.

These is rather just other symptoms doctors have noticed many people with unexplained fatigue often also have.

Since these other symptoms are so common, they were added into the official CFS diagnosis.



Remember, when it comes down to it, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is a diagnosis of exclusion, and not based upon any actual lab tests.


The National Institute of Health's web site states:

The national institute of health states no one knows what causes chronic fatigue syndrome CFS Conventional Treatment

Conventional treatment for patients diagnosed with CFS are only meant to reduce symptoms.

Since medical doctors don't understand what causes CFS, or what it is, they have no way of actually treating it. [5]


Other causes of chronic fatigue

The CDC lists other possible causes of fatigue which should be excluded before a diagnosis of CFS is made. These include:

  1. Hypothyroidism
  2. Hormonal disorders
  3. Sleep apnea and narcolepsy
  4. Autoimmune disease
  5. Chronic mononucleosis
  6. Sub-acute infections
  7. Cancer
  8. Obesity
  9. Reactions to prescribed medications [6]

Based up this official information, you would think that a patient complains of unusual fatigue would lead to a thorough work up to discover what the cause of the fatigue is.


CFS patients at the doctor's office

When patients with chronic fatigue do go to their doctor, often every possible cause of fatigue is not considered, nor are these patients diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome.

diagnosis of chronic fatigue Chronic Fatigue - Typical Work up

One very typical response patients get from doctors is to have a CBC and basic blood labs run, a thyroid panel run, plus maybe some other tests such as for Lyme disease, and some basic physical exam.




Doctors often ignore patients who complain of fatigue

Sometimes medical issues do come up based upon the initial work up. However there are many people who still have normal basic labs and physical exam. Many doctors don't like these types of patients because they don't know what to do.

health tips from MD for chronic fatigue Doctors who don't know what they are doing tell patients things such as:
  • "Fatigue is normal”
  • "You're just getting older"
  • "It's just stress"
  • "There's nothing really wrong"
  • "Maybe it's fibromyalgia"

This can all be very frustrating to patients who don't feel right, they know something is wrong, but the doctor is telling them otherwise.


Chronic fatigue as a mental Illness

When doctor's don't know why a patient is tired, and don't know what to do, it's often easiest to dismiss chronic fatigue as a mental illness or a "chemical imbalance."


The National Institute of health official statement on depression

"Depression is a serious medical illness that involves the brain,” and then warns “If you are one of the more than 20 million people in the United States who have depression the feelings do not go away. They persist and interfere with your everyday life."

Symptoms can include:
Sadness, loss of interest or pleasure in activities you used to enjoy, feelings of worthlessness and thoughts of suicide." [7]

Symptoms of depression from national institute of health, symptoms that you would expect Non-mental symptoms of "depression"

These are change in weight, difficulty sleeping or over sleeping, and energy loss. [8]





Energy loss and chronic fatigue are essentially the same thing!

This article continues in page 2

Conventional Medicine and Chronic Fatigue - link to page 2