Medical professionals can find ME/CFS a frustrating illness to diagnose and treat. However, the number of management options may surprise you.
Advances in research over the last 25 years have demonstrated there are many more management options than Graded Exercise Therapy and Cognitive Behaviour Therapy.
The literature has transitioned from framing ME/CFS as a psychological illness to a biomedical illness. New breakthroughs are spawned each year. High profile research programmes (including those led by Stanford University, Harvard, Columbia and The Institute of Medicine) are discovering a number of physical abnormalities and potential treatments for ME/CFS patients.
The latest management strategies can make a huge difference in the lives of people with ME/CFS. If you have a patient with this illness, please see our resources below.
Primer for Clinical Practitioners | 2014
The primer is a practical tool to help clinicians diagnose and manage patients with ME/CFS. It 'boils down' the literature on ME/CFS into a guide that is usable in clinical practice.
The Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners has distributed the primer to practitioners throughout New Zealand.
Treatment (management strategies by symptom)
Fatigue and post-exertional malaise
Other clinical concerns
Good Fellow Unit - MedCase written by Dr Vicki Mount, General Practitioner, MBChB, DipPaeds, with expert review by Dr Rosamund Vallings, MNZM, MB BS (Lond), MRCS LRCP, Dip Clin Hyp, BA (Massey)
Reviews on ME/CFS | 2015
Institute of Medicine & National Institute of Health
In 2015, the Institute of Medicine (IoM) and a National Institute of Health commissioned group (NIH) conducted separate reviews on ME/CFS.
Both reviews arrived at similar conclusions, and call for drastic changes to the way ME/CFS is diagnosed, managed and researched.
We consider the reviews to be the most credible, complete and up-to-date views on ME/CFS for the following reasons:
Comprehensive: The IoM analysed all literature on ME/CFS since 1950. It encompassed a wide consultation process, including both patients and medical specialists
Current: Completed in 2014 & 2015
Independent: The NIH review was conducted by independent medical experts. None had an interest in ME/CFS - be it a research or clinical interest
Credible: The reviews were conducted by prestigious and reputable institutions
Both reports make very firm statements about ME/CFS which need to be understood by any practitioner with ME/CFS patients.
International experts lecturing in New Zealand | 2014 & 2011
Dr Ros Vallings | Pediatrician Kathy Rowe | Immunologist Nancy Klimas
Dr Ros Vallings, GP | 2014
Dr Kathy Rowe, Pediatrician | 2014
Dr Nancy Klimas, Immunoligist | 2011
Dr Vallings lectures at Otago University on ME/CFS. The talk covers a range of treatments proven to help manage symptoms of ME/CFS. It also outlines diagnosis, management and the latest research.
Dr Vallings has over 35 years experience working with ME/CFS patients, is the author of Diagnosis & Management of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome ME and serves as Medical Advisor to ANZMES.
Dr Kathy Rowe, Pediatrician, visits New Zealand and speaks about pediatric ME/CFS.
Dr Rowe has an excellent track record helping children, youth and young people suffering from ME/CFS. Many of her patients become functional again and lead normal lives.
Dr Nancy Klimas, Immunologist, outlines research on ME/CFS during a visit to New Zealand.
The lecture covers biological aspects of ME/CFS such as autonomic dysfunction, hypotension, hormonal imbalances, immune abnormalities, viral infections, restorative sleep, Fibromyalgia, aerobic thresholds, and more.
Dr Klimas is an internatially recognised ME/CFS researcher and clinician.