A new study suggests that psychotherapy with gradual increase of exercise may significantly benefit patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS). This may seem like good news overall, but many CFS patients are likely to see this as just another study suggesting that their symptoms are related to a metal health condition.
The Lacent published these finding on Thursday, and there is sure to be some fiery debate on these findings–which has been ongoing as to the real cause of CFS and the most appropriate way to treat patients.
There have been many theories as to the cause of CFS, such as being an autoimmune illness, as well as the belief of many patients that the cause may be viruses related to murine leukemia viruses. This type of virus is a retrovirus called XMRV, which is similar to HIV.
Unfortunately, this type of treatment is expensive and is not covered by most health insurance companies due to prolonged testing over a long period of time, and because it is not a proven drug regimen for CFS.
This new study conducted at clinics in Britain and financed by that country’s government, is expected to lend ammunition to those who think the disease is primarily psychological or related to stress.
In the long-awaited study, patients who were randomly assigned to receive cognitive behavioral therapy or exercise therapy, in combination with specialized medical care, reported reduced fatigue levels and greater improvement in physical functioning than those receiving the medical care alone — or getting the medical care along with training in how to recognize the onset of fatigue and to adjust their activities accordingly.
Researchers and patient groups have challenged the criteria used by the British investigators as likely to include many people with depression, which often causes severe fatigue. They also note that the study excluded patients who could not get to treatment centers, most likely ruling out some of the sickest patients. And at least one survey has found that exercise therapy can significantly worsen many patients’ symptoms.
To learn more about this very complex illness, visit the web page of Jacob Teitelbaum, M.D. at http://www.endfatigue.com/. Dr. Teitelbaum is the Medical Director of the Fibromyalgia & Fatigue Centers, Inc. (FFC). He has battled this very debilitating illness himself and has a strong voice in the medical community regarding CFS. He offers valuable information regarding CFS and treatments that have proven to be successful for thousands of patients.
Source: The New York Times
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