Tuesday, August 24, 2010
History's Mystery Illnesses - Newsweek
The Centers for Disease Control notes, "The cause or causes of CFS have not been identified and no specific diagnostic tests are available. Moreover, since many illnesses have incapacitating fatigue as a symptom, care must be taken to exclude other known and often treatable conditions before a diagnosis of CFS is made." Though theories abound—infection from nanobacteria (though it's not clear such organisms even exist), postviral immune reaction, psychological disorder—nothing conclusive has been determined about the cause or causes of chronic fatigue syndrome. A study published Aug. 23 linked CFS to a class of viruses known as retroviruses (it is the second study to find that result), suggesting that retroviruses may play a key role in curing the disease. But, as doctors are often quick to point out, CFS is real and disabling no matter the cause. Here, a nurse discusses treatment options with Andrea Enright, who suffers from chronic fatigue and other illnesses.