COVID source shout-out: Diagnosing and managing ME/CFS

As research on Long COVID progresses, many scientists and clinicians working on this disease are learning from other chronic conditions that share symptoms with—and are often co-diagnosed with—Long COVID. One of the most common is myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS), a condition characterized by extreme fatigue that often gets worse after physical or mental exertion.

Despite impacting millions of people prior to the pandemic, ME/CFS is not well studied; research into the condition is underfunded, and doctors typically don’t learn about it during their training. A new paper from the Rochester Mayo Clinic and ME Action, a ME/CFS advocacy group, may help change this, by offering guidelines for doctors who have patients with this condition.

The paper describes common ME/CFS symptoms, provides guidance on diagnosing the condition, explains how ME/CFS may intersect with other chronic conditions, and shares symptom management techniques, such as pacing to avoid post-exertional malaise and monitoring symptoms over time. Mayo Clinic clinicians can read the paper for continuing medical education credit.

In the week since it was published, the paper has seen wildly high engagement metrics as people with ME/CFS and Long COVID have shared it, study author Jaime Seltzer (from ME Action) wrote on Twitter. Seltzer encouraged people in these communities to share the paper with their clinicians, as a resource for doctors who weren’t previously familiar with ME/CFS.

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