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Medical Committee Renames and Redefines Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Posted on February 17, 2016 by Disability Help Group

The Institute of Medicine (IOM) estimates that as much as 91 percent of hundreds of thousands to millions of people with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) are living with the condition without a proper diagnosis.

A committee of health experts from the Institute of Medicine explains examined existing research on the condition, concluding that new diagnostic criteria and a new name are warranted. The committee proposed to change the name of the condition to systemic exertion intolerance disease (SEID). They hope this will draw attention to the central characteristic of the disease: any type of exertion (physical, cognitive, emotional) can adversely affect patients’ organ systems.

Along with a new name comes a new set of diagnostic criteria that the committee hopes health care providers will adopt. The new criteria designate the “core” symptoms of the disease as follows.

  • Impairment of day-to-day function
  • Worsening symptoms after physical, emotional, or cognitive exertion
  • Unrefreshing sleep

Additionally, patients must also exhibit at least one of the following symptoms.

  • Cognitive impairment
  • Onset of symptoms when standing

During diagnosis, health care professionals should also consider the frequency and severity of the patient’s symptoms. A SEID diagnosis may be questionable under these new diagnostic criteria if the patient does not exhibit symptoms with moderate, substantial, or severe intensity at least half the time.

While the IOM proposed these diagnostic criteria to health care providers, they are not yet proposed as guidelines for disability determinations. People with a previous diagnosis of chronic fatigue syndrome do not have to seek a re-diagnosis to continue disability benefits unless asked to do so by the Social Security Administration.

Receiving a doctor’s diagnosis and medical evidence of a disabling condition is the first step to developing your claim for Social Security disability benefits. Because chronic fatigue syndrome is often hard to support with medical evidence, many claims involving this condition are denied.

If denied SSDI or SSI for your chronic fatigue syndrome or any other disabling condition, Disability Help Group is here to help. For a free consultation about your situation, call us at 1-(800)-800-3332.