Since diagnosing CFS is not available, there are proper guidelines that doctors can follow in diagnosing chronic fatigue syndrome.
Upon consultation, your GP will gather your medical history and perform a physical examination. A urine or blood test will also be performed to eliminate other illnesses such as kidney or liver problems, anemia, or hormonal imbalance.
It takes time to diagnose CFS as other illnesses with the same symptoms need to be eliminated first. Symptom management will be provided while waiting for your diagnosis.
Diagnosing CFS or ME guidelines
According to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), if a patient suffers from unexplainable fatigue, diagnosing CFS or ME should be considered by doctors. Also, specific guidelines should be followed for the following symptoms of tiredness:
- Unable to perform things that you usually do
- Worsening fatigue after a short or gentle exercise or an activity like having a short walk
- Recurring or long-lasting tiredness
Other symptoms below may also manifest:
- Joint and muscle pain
- Sore throat
- Sleep problems
- Heart palpitation
- Inability to concentrate or perform exercises
If you experience severe symptoms or are uncertain about what is going on with your body, a consultation with a specialist is necessary. In other circumstances, if a young person or a child shows symptoms of CFS or ME, you should seek medical help from a pediatrician 6 weeks after seeing a GP for their symptoms.
Since there are similarities in the symptoms of CFS or ME from other diseases that resolve after a few days, CFS or ME may be suspected if your condition does not resolve within an expected time.
In order to receive the necessary treatment, the diagnosis of CFS or ME should be confirmed after ruling out other illnesses and if symptoms experiences have occurred for at least:
- 3 months for young persons or children
- 4 months for adults