CDC Warns Past Studies Underestimated Misunderstood Syndrome

( – CDC researchers unveiled the results of a recent poll of over 57,000 Americans suggesting chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) may be more common than previously believed. Their recent poll revealed as many as 3.3 million Americans might have the condition if their sample is representative.

Previous studies indicated the percentage of people suffering from the condition was lower, suggesting the impact of the pandemic may have made CFS more prevalent. Doctors had previously theorized that the enigmatic condition was the result of an injury to the immune system that never quite recovered.

CFS is described as a prolonged period of more than six months in which the patient suffers an uncharacteristic lethargy. Rest does not improve the condition, and commonly suggested cures like exercise can make things worse. Sufferers also report brain fog, inability to focus, trouble working, and the lack of an established protocol for treatment or a blood test makes things even more complicated.

Many patients reported trouble being believed in years past, with doctors waving their complaints off as garden-variety depression or anxiety-related. Many doctors still believe the condition is nothing more than that.

The CDC polled over 57,000 U.S. adults between 2021 and 2022 and found that 1.3% said they’d been diagnosed with CFS or myalgic encephalomyelitis and still were dealing with it.

The study also showed it was more prevalent in women than men, and amongst whites than other races. These findings were consistent with previous studies. It did find a smaller gap between men and women than prior research indicated and found it impacts poor people more than the wealthy, which is the opposite of what was believed.

The data was self-reported, however, and researchers did not verify the medical records of the individuals polled.

Dr. Daniel Clauw is the director of the University of Michigan Chronic Pain and Fatigue Research Center. He pointed out that the diagnosis of CFS is unpopular among physicians due to a lack of treatment protocols.

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