FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

CFS FACT SHEET in HTML and PDF formats including Symptoms, Diagnosis, Progress, Recovery, Treatment, Prevalence, Causes, Research

CFS Fact Sheet on PREGNANCY

CFS Fact Sheet on Children and Adolescents

Fact Sheet for Caregivers of CFS Patients

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ABBREVIATIONS

CDC: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
CFIDS: Chronic Fatigue and Immune Dysfunction Syndrome
CFS: Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
CFS/ME: Inclusive term now being used by a number of organizations.
EI: Environmental Illness
FM: Fibromyalgia
MCS: Multiple Chemical Sensitivity
ME: Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (name for CFIDS used in other countries)
NIH: National Institutes of Health
PWC: Person With CFIDS or Person With CFS
SSD: Social Security Disability
YPWC: Young Person With CFIDS
 

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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What is CFS?
How is it Diagnosed?
What is the New Jersey CFS Association?
Can the New Jersey CFS Association recommend doctors?

What is CFS?

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) attacks people of all ages and walks of life, leaving many indefinitely disabled. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the number of suffers is growing. CFS can strike anyone. It causes a wide array of symptoms including overwhelming weakness, extreme fatigue, chronic sore throat and tender lymph nodes, fever, muscle and joint pain, cognitive and neurological problems, irritable bowel syndrome, nausea, and vertigo.

 The course of CFS is uncertain. Some patients improve and recover, while others remain ill for long periods. Public awareness has grown in recent years and increased governmental resources have been devoted to understanding CFS. The CDC recently raised CFS to a "Priority 1" status in its new, infectious disease category. (Other diseases in "Priority 1" include cholera, malaria, hepatitis C and tuberculosis.)

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How is it Diagnosed?

The diagnosis of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is not arrived at easily. Other illnesses must first be ruled out, such as Lyme disease, lupus, rheumatioid arthritis, hepatitis, cytomegalovirus, asthma, multiple sclerosis, anemia, immunodeficiencies, mononucleosis, AIDS/ARC, Sjögrens syndrome, myasthenia gravis, giardiasis, brucellosis, toxoplasmosis, hemochromatosis.

 CFS is NOT a serological diagnosis at this time; there is no blood test that absolutely proves you have it. The diagnosis is based on observation of a pattern of clinical symptoms after other causes have been ruled out. CFS must never be self-diagnosed, as there are so many conditions that can cause these symptoms.

 Only physicians experienced with CFS and capable of interpreting tests for the illnesses mentioned above should be relied on to make this diagnosis. These are usually immunologists, infectious disease specialists, rheumatologists, or hematologists.

 The New Jersey CFS Association assists with physician referrals by maintaining a list of specialists who are familiar with this illness, but we make no guarantees of suitability and accept no responsibility for this service.

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What is the New Jersey CFS Association?

The New Jersey CFS Association, Inc., is a not-for-profit, tax exempt organization whose purpose is to support patients, disseminate reliable information, and promote research. It sponsors a wide range of activities, including: support groups, newsletter, phone list, statewide conferences, informational helpline, and interfacing with the CFS community. 

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Does the NJCFSA recommend doctors?

The NJCFSA maintains a referral list of physicians and lawyers familiar with CFS issues in the greater New Jersey region.  The list is derived from a survey of our members and is periodically updated.  Although our members report knowledgeable and sensitive care and service from these providers, these are only recommendations and may not be found suitable by everyone.  Because it is subject to revision, the list is not published.  However, you can call us for referrals at 888-835-3677 during business hours.

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For more information phone 888-835-3677 or write to:

NJCFSA
PO Box 477
Florham Park, NJ 07932


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