Trial By Error: More On The CDC; Reader’s Digest; And BBC’s Newsbeat

David Tuller



By David Tuller, DrPH.


It’s been almost a year since the CDC removed its recommendations for GET and CBT as treatments for ME/CFS (or CFS, or ME, or CFS/ME, or even SEID or whatever else one calls this illness or cluster of illnesses). When questioned about the decision, the agency explained that people had misunderstood what was meant by CBT and GET—not that the science behind the recommendations was indefensible, as was clearly the case. Despite the CDC’s unwillingness to provide a credible explanation for its actions, the change marked a significant victory over the CBT/GET ideological brigades.

And yet the treatments continue to be recommended by major medical organizations and websites in the U.S. Here, for example, is a section about ME/CFS treatment from the Mayo Clinic’s site:

Graded exercise. A physical therapist can help determine what exercises are best for you. Inactive people often begin with range-of-motion and stretching exercises for just a few minutes a day. Gradually increasing the intensity of your exercise over time may help reduce your hypersensitivity to exercise, just like allergy shots gradually reduce a person’s hypersensitivity to a particular allergen.


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