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Term – What is Fatigue?
Fatigue has been on everyone’s lips since the Corona virus outbreak. The publications with the latest figures on the high proportion of fatigue symptoms (20-60% depending on the study) in the so-called LongCovid Syndrome. LongCovid stands for persistent symptoms beyond the actual period of illness, even in people who had a mild course.

Here the similarity to CFS becomes clear. A viral disease (usually EBV) is also observed in CFS as a trigger for the fatigue symptoms.

Now what is fatigue?

Colloquially, the term exhaustion stands for a physical and/or mental state that is described as being tired, drained or powerless.

However, there is a form of tiredness and exhaustion that differs significantly from normal levels. This particularly pronounced form is referred to in medical jargon as fatigue. Such fatigue of medical disease value is characterized by extreme tiredness, lack of energy reserves or a massively increased need for rest, which cannot be alleviated by sleep and which is absolutely disproportionate to previous activities.

CFS patients have often completed an odyssey of visits to the doctor to get to the bottom of this phenomenon of profound and unresponsive fatigue that goes beyond normal levels of fatigue. Here they immediately find themselves in a tautological vicious circle when they meet a doctor who does not know this clinical picture or who, prejudiced against it, “does not believe” that it exists.

Unfortunately, due to ignorance of the disease, many colleagues in this country largely equate the chronic fatigue syndrome with neurasthenia ICD10, F48.0, a depressive syndrome F 32.1 or a “somatization disorder” or “somatoform pain disorder”. I now have great expectations that with the realization that fatigue also occurs after Corona, the disease CFS will be taken more seriously. The first research funds have already been approved. With our biomarker research project, we have already taken the first steps towards developing diagnostics that help differentiate fatigue from purely psychological exhaustion ( CFS biomarker research project).

The renowned US institute “National Academy of Medicine” also comes to the conclusion with the group of experts specially set up for this topic that misunderstandings and disbelief in the medical community mean that 84% to 91% of patients are not diagnosed and the patients ” undergo treatment strategies that worsen their symptoms (National Institute of Medicine 2015).

In this respect, the clinical picture with its misinterpretations is similar to the clinical picture of multiple sclerosis (MS). In the 1950s, these patients were also classified as hysteriform or mentally ill, until the development of computed tomography and laboratory findings from the liquor allowed the characteristic disorders to be identified. This is the stage of CFS disease, but now there are investigative findings that clearly identify an underlying somatic disorder.

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