I stumbled on a toolkit for physician’s on the web site of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) whilst researching for my RachelCreative blog post for International ME/CFS Awareness Day 2008 on 12th May (this coming Monday).
Within the overview I found some interesting bits that confirmed some things for me:
- US Doctors are supposed to accept that CFS/ME/CFIDS is a real physiological illness
- US Doctors do have tools to diagnose CFS with
“After more than 3,000 research studies, there is now abundant scientific evidence that CFS is a real physiological illness. It is not a form of depression or hypochondriasis. A number of biologic abnormalities have been identified in people with CFS, but how they contribute to the illness is still unclear.”
“Although there is no laboratory test or marker to identify CFS, there is an international case definition for chronic fatigue syndrome that provides a reliable diagnostic algorithm.”
What really blew me away was these statistics:
- At least 1 million Americans have CFS. This illness strikes more Americans than multiple sclerosis, lupus, lung cancer or ovarian cancer.
- Less than 20% of Americans with CFS have been diagnosed.
Most shocking of all:
- The annual economic impact of chronic fatigue syndrome in the United States is estimated to be $9.1 billion in lost productivity, not including medical costs or disability payments.