Chronic fatigue patients seek diagnostic test
When you think about chronic fatigue syndrome, what is your reaction? Many who have no experience with the condition find CFS something to joke about. Chronic fatigue syndrome is often misunderstood, causing frustration for those who suffer from it.
Chronic fatigue is characterized by six months or more of extreme fatigue, low fever, headaches, sore throat, swollen lymph nodes in the neck, difficulty concentrating, and weak muscles. CFS is debilitating, limiting a person's ability to work and socialize due to long periods of sickness and bed rest. It is estimated that four million in the US and 400,000 in Canada have chronic fatigue syndrome, but the condition is generally not diagnosed until all other conditions and diseases have been ruled out. There currently is very little funding for research and no tests to determine a diagnosis.
The Chronic Fatigue and Immune Dysfunction Syndrome Association of America is the largest patient-advocacy group for the condition and is raising money directly from CFS patients and their supporters to help fund research. The Association has given $125,000 dollars to Canada researcher Gordon Broderick at the University of Alberta. He will be studying CFS on a molecular level, and says CFS and other complex chronic conditions is difficult to research because they affect numerous body systems, such as immune, endocrine, and nervous systems. Broderick believes that, based on current research in several countries, there will be a test for the illness in the next five years.
Many patients and researchers believe that if the condition were given a different name, such as immune disorder Type 1 or 2, that CFS would be taken more seriously.
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Labels: chronic fatigue syndrome