The Diagnosis of CFS
As we have discussed previously, there is no diagnostic test for CFS. The diagnosis is a clinical one: the patient’s symptoms must meet the case definition criteria (See “Do I have CFS” box below) and all other medical possibilities must be ruled out. As a result, the diagnosis is often missed. Any doctor can make the diagnosis, regardless of their specialty. However, because many physicians have a low level of awareness of CFS, patients often consult several physicians over several years before getting an accurate diagnosis. There are a small number of self-designated CFS specialists in the US who can be identified from referrals or internet searches.
If there are scientists or researchers reading this, at the top of my wish-list--after wishing for my son’s sudden and miraculous recovery—is my wish for a blood test to diagnose CFS based on biomarkers. Why? It is my belief that until a blood test specific for CFS markers is developed, we will not be able to fully identify patients who are “really” affected by CFS. Until we can identify those patients with certainty, we will not be able to conduct focused clinical trials on potential medical therapies to treat these patients. Take Dr. Donnica's Decisionnaire ™
For more information about CFS, go to www.cfids.org or www.njcfsa.org.
Created: 11/4/2008  - Donnica Moore, M.D.