The May issue of ACP Observer (by the American College of Physicians) has written an article on the myths of CFS. The article notes that:
- CFS can be as disabling as AIDS or MS
- Prevalence is greater than that of lung cancer, ovarian cancer or lupus
- Even with all of this, many internists doubt that it still exists
The article goes on to discuss the symptoms, what happens if CFS patients are not treated properly and doctor’s opinions on CFS.
One of the doctors interviewed, Dr. Lawrence Edwards, who is a professor of rheumatology at a university in Florida, is a skeptic of CFS. He said that he often sees patients with persistent pain and fatigue. But he doesn’t diagnose them with CFS.
This is what Dr. Edwards had to say: “To view it as a separate disease process rather than one that is associated with other medical problems or depression is beyond what we know scientifically,” Dr. Edwards said. “I think there are a lot of ways to treat fatigue without raising it to the level of a disease process.” There were other internists that wanted to remain anonymous for the interview that agreed with Dr. Edwards.
A commonly stated belief was that chronic fatigue syndrome is a catch-all term for another condition that hasn’t been properly diagnosed like a sleep disorder or clinical depression. Yet recent research on chronic fatigue syndrome patients indicates otherwise, according to Anthony L. Komaroff, FACP, a Harvard Medical School professor of medicine and CFS expert.