New Name and Diagnostic Criteria May be Coming for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

In a development that may help veterans seeking service connection for chronic fatigue syndrome, the Institute of Medicine has proposed a new name and new diagnostic criteria for this condition.

The group proposes renaming the condition “systemic exertion intolerance disease.” It seems to me that doctors occasionally struggle to grasp precisely what criteria must be present for a diagnosis of the condition. It also seems that many doctors are hesitant to render an opinion as to what causes the condition. Sometimes, VA doctors will write that they are unable to determine whether a veteran’s condition can be traced back to active service, which can impede a veteran’s request for service connection.

I have noticed that a high number of veterans who served from the 1980s to the present day seem to have symptoms of the condition. Many served in places where they were exposed to toxins in the air. Symptoms of the condition seem to include fatigue after performing seemingly little physical activity as well as fatigue after sleep. As you might expect, the condition can severely impact a person’s ability to work effectively.

Hopefully, defining new criteria for diagnosing the condition will lead to improved and more consistent examinations, which are the cornerstone for fair adjudication of VA compensation claims.

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