March 6, 2015 – Several Treatments


Anchor lead: How many medicines can someone with chronic fatigue syndrome or severe exercise intolerance disease expect to take?  Elizabeth Tracey reports

Systemic exercise intolerance disease or SEID is the new name for chronic fatigue syndrome, and it is thought to affect between 800,000 to a couple of million people in the US alone.  Because there are a wide range of symptoms, Peter Rowe, an SEID expert at Johns Hopkins, says a range of treatments may also be needed.

Rowe: We often need to treat people with more than one medication and we call that rational polypharmacy.  For many of these patients with SEID and CFS, there’s an overlap of a lot of other comorbid conditions, and so they need to be treated and one of the effective ways to treat them is to peel each one away and keep encouraging improvement in their exercise and activity level and you see improvements over time with that approach.  :27

Rowe says for people who are already disabled and housebound by SEID, about 25% of people with the condition, multiple treatments and prolonged duration may still not bring results, pointing to the need for more research into the cause of the condition.  At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.