Chronic fatigue syndrome, known in the medical community as myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS), is a complex condition that can baffle both patients and their health care providers. Symptoms can come and go and often mimic other illnesses, making it difficult to diagnose. That may be why almost 90% of the estimated 2.5 million Americans who suffer from chronic fatigue syndrome have not yet been diagnosed.
Jordan Bernard, ARNP, and her team at Optimized Wellness understand the frustration of living with chronic fatigue syndrome and your desperate need for answers and relief. From her practice in Centennial, Colorado, she helps patients get to the root cause of their symptoms and develops an effective, holistic treatment plan. Here’s what you need to know about this condition and her integrative approach to ME/CFS.
Why is chronic fatigue syndrome so hard to diagnose?
One of the reasons so many people are walking around with undiagnosed ME/CFS is that diagnosis is difficult.
You can’t make an appointment for a CFS test — no such test exists. So we start by ruling out other conditions that have similar symptoms. For instance, ME/CFS shares symptoms with these medical issues:
- Lyme disease
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Sleep disorders
The primary symptoms of ME/CFS include fatigue that doesn’t relent even after you rest, feeling wiped out after normal activities like shopping and showering, pain and problems with focus, concentration, and memory. If these symptoms persist for six months or longer, and you don’t have one of the conditions listed above, it may be ME/CFS.
Lack of medical training
Many health care providers miss the ME/CFS diagnosis because they haven’t been trained to recognize and treat it. In fact, many dismiss their patients’ symptoms as invalid complaints.
But Jordan Bernard has dedicated her career to helping patients who have failed to find answers with traditional medical approaches, which typically involve the automatic use of medication.
Instead, she takes your symptoms seriously and gets to the bottom of your chronic fatigue, so she can treat whatever may have triggered it.
Landing on an ME/CFS diagnosis begins with Jordan Bernard meticulously ruling out other possible causes. She takes the time to evaluate your personal health history, your family’s relevant medical conditions, your unique set of symptoms, and your journey with chronic fatigue. Our team also runs lab tests, like blood and urine, and conducts a thorough physical exam.
Sometimes, ME/CFS is brought on by something else. Although there is no singular known cause for ME/CFS, research has shown that some likely culprits may be:
- Viral infections
- Compromised immunity
- Hormonal imbalances
In order to diagnose ME/CFS accurately, you need to be patient. We may even suggest that you keep a journal for a few weeks to log your daily activity and symptoms.
Just as there is no precise test for diagnosing ME/CFS, there is also no cure. But Jordan Bernard has found that she can help many of her patients improve their symptoms through holistic therapies, such as:
- Oxygen therapy
- Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy
- Physical therapy
Chronic fatigue syndrome is different from normal tiredness. If you’ve been having symptoms for more than six months, call our office in Centennial, Colorado, at 720-370-2073 or book an appointment online to schedule a consultation and get started on the path to recovery.