Thursday, February 22, 2018

In the News: Article on ME/CFS for Family Doctors Published

The winter 2018 issue of Family Doctor: A Journal of the New York State Academy of Family Physicians (volume 6, number 3) includes an article on ME/CFS called, "Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: What Every Family Physician Needs to Know." The article is co-authored by Dr. Susan Levine (a top ME/CFS expert), Mary Dimmock (a well-known ME/CFS activist whose son has the disease), and Terri L. Wilder (a patient and volunteer with #MEAction). You can read the full article at the link - it's a few pages long and begins on page 23.

The article provides a thorough overview of ME/CFS, including its history, the IOM effort to establish diagnostic criteria, demographics, diagnosis, and treatment. It is, of course, written specifically for practicing family doctors, so it provides facts to dispel the most common myths that doctors might have heard about ME/CFS in the past. The section on treatment is brief, but the article lays the groundwork for doctors who see patients to at least begin to recognize ME/CFS, understand how severe it can be, and begin to treat. As we all know, just getting doctors to recognize that ME/CFS is real, is debilitating, and that real medical treatments are available would be a huge step forward.

I was happy to see my home state (I grew up in Rochester) once again taking the lead in educating its doctors about ME/CFS. The NYS Department of Health also issued a letter to doctors last year about ME/CFS. Now, we need to get the other 49 states to follow its lead!

This is a great article to share with your doctor, as it provides a good overview and a long list of scientific studies to back it up. Just click the link to the article above and print pages 23 - 25.

As a reminder, an ME/CFS Pediatric Primer was also published last year, which is an excellent document to print and share with your pediatrician or family doctor, if your child has ME/CFS (or is suspected to).

Things are looking up! It's going to get harder and harder for ignorant doctors to remain in the dark, as great information like this continues to be published.

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