Your average doctor pretty much has no clue how to treat chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS). It's not something they're taught in medical school, and many of them have never had a patient who was diagnosed with it.
Sure, some doctors refuse to consider the diagnosis at all, but for those who do care enough to do some research, two toolkits are available.
The first toolkit came from the CDC and, really, it's pretty weak. As many of us have come to expect, it leans heavily on mental-health approaches, lifestyle changes, and maybe a little Tylenol (acetaminophen) for pain.
More recently, the IACFS/ME (International Association for CFS/ME) has published its own toolkit, with the help of many of the illnesses top researchers. It's more than double the length of the CDCs and has a lot more information on diagnostics, treatments and overlapping conditions.
Is the IACFS/ME toolkit perfect? No. But for a 42-page primer that doctors can use to become familiar with the issues surrounding ME/CFS, it's not bad.
ME/CFS writer and advocate Cort Johnson, at the website Phoenix Rising, has done a section-by-section comparison of the two toolkits that's well worth the read. You can find it here:
The toolkits themselves are here:
What do you think of the toolkits? What information would you like to see in them? Is your doctor familiar with either of them? Leave your comments below!