Your Syndrome’s Missing Benefit
The prestigious Institute of Medicine recently issued a comprehensive report on the vexing condition long known as both “chronic disease syndrome” and “myalgic encephalomyelitis.” The report, commissioned because of the frustrations engendered by the enigmatic condition for patients and providers alike, runs to 305 pages.
For our purposes here, just a few lines will do. First, the committee recommended that the condition be renamed to: systemic exertion intolerance disease. The functional reference, that people with the condition are generally intolerant of physical exertion, is important. More important, though, is that last word: disease.
The use of “disease” was clearly no accident, as it recurs in the opening paragraph of the summarized recommendations. That paragraph reads as follows:
The primary message of this report is that ME/CFS is a serious, chronic, complex, multisystem disease that frequently and dramatically limits the activities of affected patients. In its most severe form, this disease can consume the lives of those whom it afflicts. It is ‘real.’ It is not appropriate to dismiss these patients by saying, ‘I am chronically fatigued, too.’ ...