By Felicity Nelson in Medical Republic.
NICE’s clinical guidelines still recommend potentially damaging treatments for chronic fatigue syndrome, but they won’t be updated until 2020.
The 2007 NICE guidelines currently recommend the use of graded exercise therapy (GET), a treatment that only helps a minority of patients and can cause significant harm in some cases.
Patients undergoing GET are encouraged to gradually increase their physical exercise over time, using CBT to help them overcome any psychological barriers.
But for some patients with chronic fatigue syndrome, pushing beyond their energy envelope can exacerbate their symptoms. Post-exertional malaise can last for days, weeks or even months.
The tide is slowly turning against GET, with the CDC in the US now warning doctors that patients with ME/CFS (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) cannot tolerate vigorous exercise regimens.
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