For Patients Who Think They Might Have CFS
It can be difficult to talk to your doctor or other health care professional about the possibility that you may have CFS. A variety of health care professionals, including doctors, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants, can diagnose CFS and help develop an individualized treatment plan for you.
CFS can resemble many other illnesses, including mononucleosis, Lyme disease, lupus, multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia, primary sleep disorders, and major depressive disorder. Medications can also cause side effects that mimic the symptoms of CFS.
Because CFS can resemble many other disorders, it’s important not to self-diagnose CFS. It’s not uncommon for people to mistakenly assume they have chronic fatigue syndrome when they have another illness that will respond to treatment. If you have CFS symptoms, consult a health care professional to determine if any other conditions are responsible for your symptoms. A CFS diagnosis can be made only after other conditions have been excluded.
It’s also important not to delay seeking a diagnosis and medical care. CDC research suggests that early diagnosis and treatment of CFS can increase the likelihood of improvement.