As already pointed out, Myalgic Encephalomyelitis is a very serious and well defined illness; so, what is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?
ME has been called for many years CFS, that is CFS and ME have been identified as the same illness. This has been a big mistake. In another post we will talk about the ME story.
The Nightingale Definition of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis by Dr. Byron Marshall Hyde MD (in English, French, Norwegian and Danish) give us some definitive arguments on the question:
First of all let’s say that CFS is not a psychiatric illness.
The same definition of CFS led the door opened to interpretations (page 3), but visiting patients supposed to have CFS Dr. Hyde examined them more deeply.
And he found out a lot.
CFS is a Syndrome, like the name says :”M.E. is a clearly defined disease process. CFS by definition has always been a syndrome.”
A syndrome that must be investigated in every patient, because it is a manifestation of something still not visible.
After looking for other causes of their fatigue syndrome he could diagnose a severe diabetes in one case, an arterial obstruction in another case, and many other times he could diagnose known illnesses, with a known therapy:
Those persons could be cured.
So we can say that CFS diagnosis is a “passing diagnosis”, to another one.
CFS presents many common symptoms with ME patients and it has more than a definition:
from which I isolate this for you:
“In order to receive a diagnosis of chronic fatigue syndrome, a patient must satisfy two criteria:
-Have severe chronic fatigue of six months or longer duration with other known medical conditions excluded by clinical diagnosis; and
-Concurrently have four or more of the following symptoms: substantial impairment in short-term memory or concentration; sore throat; tender lymph nodes; muscle pain; multi-joint pain without swelling or redness; headaches of a new type, pattern or severity; unrefreshing sleep; and post-exertional malaise lasting more than 24 hours.”
ME and CFS may be and must be distinguished.
Dr. Hyde said:
“I do not describe a patient as having M.E. unless there is an abnormal SPECT. If the SPECT is normal, I often repeat it along with xenon SPECT. If the brain scans remain normal, I conclude that it is unlikely to be M.E. I then refer to the patient as a CFS patient and search for other causes of the fatigue syndrome.”
Note that he has been analyzing and scanning and making any kind of tests on thousands of patients for decades.