Dr. Buchwald admits that there are doctors who are reluctant to recognize and diagnose chronic fatigue syndrome, although this is now much less common than some time ago. She also admits that it is difficult to diagnose. One of the reasons is that doctors very often hear from patients about severe fatigue. But only a few fall under the criteria for chronic fatigue syndrome, developed by more than a dozen experts in conjunction with specialists from the Atlanta Disease Control Center.
In accordance with the criteria developed, patients with chronic fatigue syndrome are people who suffer from exhausting fatigue (or quickly get tired) for at least six months, whose performance has decreased by at least half. At the same time, any mental illness, such as depression, which has similar symptoms, various infectious diseases, hormonal disorders, for example, associated with impaired thyroid function, drug abuse, exposure to toxic substances, should be excluded (with the help of their doctors). They should have at least 8 of the following 11 symptoms constantly or again and again recurring for six months or longer.
Symptoms of a cold or mild fever.
Swollen or painful lymph glands.
Incomprehensible general muscle weakness.
Soreness in the muscles.
Extreme fatigue within 24 hours after doing physical work.
Headaches that are different from those you have experienced before.
Joint pain without swelling or redness.
Forgetfulness, excessive irritability, inability to concentrate or depression.
Rapid onset of symptoms within hours or days.
A disease is diagnosed if six of these symptoms are present plus sore throat, swollen or painful nodes in the neck or under the armpits.