Health organizations are emphasizing that myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome is a serious long-term illness, not a psychological disorder, and that standard forms of exercise do not help. Instead, they’re acknowledging that exercise can make the disease much worse unless doctors and patients are very careful.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has already revised its patient guidelines on ME/CFS and is currently revising guidelines for physicians.
The action by the federal agency is a significant shift in the years-long controversy over diagnosis and management of the disease, which is characterized by months of incapacitating fatigue, joint pain and cognitive problems.
And last week, the National Health Services in the U.K. said it would reassess its guidelines for ME/CFS recommending exercise, after 20 members of Parliament signed a petition urging a review.
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