Institute of Medicine Redefines Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

The authoritative Institute of Medicine (part of the distinguished National Academies of Science, Engineering, Institute of Medicine and National Research Council) convened a high level commission to review Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. They have modified the diagnostic criteria as described below.

Psychiatry Advisor reported on February 24, 2015:

The IOM report lays out new diagnostic criteria to help streamline the process. According to the new report, people suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome suffer three core symptoms: (1) impaired ability to engage in pre-illness levels of activity that persists for more than six months and is accompanied by often-profound fatigue; (2) a worsening of these symptoms after any type of exertion, including physical or mental exercises or emotional stress; and (3) sleep that does not alleviate fatigue.

To diagnose someone with chronic fatigue syndrome, a physician also must find the person is suffering from one of two additional problems: impaired ability to think and/or inability to remain upright, with symptoms that improve when lying down.

A diagnosis also depends on these symptoms persisting for at least six months, and they must present at least half the time with moderate to severe intensity, the IOM panel concluded. Doctors also should treat symptoms even if the person hasn’t met the six-month timeframe for chronic fatigue syndrome diagnosis, IOM committee chair Ellen Wright Clayton, MD, a professor of law and pediatrics at Vanderbilt University in Nashville said during an IOM news conference.

The report can be downloaded below:

NAM Chronic Fatigue Syndrome