March 4, 2015 – Name Change


Anchor lead:  What’s behind a recent name change for chronic fatigue syndrome? Elizabeth Tracey reports

Chronic fatigue syndrome, abbreviated by some providers as CFS, has been renamed by no less an august body than the Institute of Medicine, at the request of various federal agencies.  Now abbreviated SEID, for systemic exercise intolerance disease, the hope is that more people will become aware of the condition.  Peter Rowe, an SEID expert at Johns Hopkins, who helped craft the new name, describes the reasoning.

Rowe: What are the key features of this illness?  One of them was a profound reduction in the person’s ability to do what they had done before. With that most people had what had been termed ‘post exertional malaise’ which is a bit of a cumbersome term but it refers to the fact that if you exceed your limits of activity you will get two or three days of amplification of all of your symptoms. Much worse exhaustion, terrific difficulty with cognitive fogginess, lightheadedness, pain is worse, people just feel awful.   :30

Rowe hopes the new name is more reflective of the reality of the condition.  At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.