Facts About Systemic Exertion Intolerance Disease (or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome)

Reviewed Oct 6, 2017

Close

E-mail Article

Complete form to e-mail article…

Required fields are denoted by an asterisk (*) adjacent to the label.

Separate multiple recipients with a comma

Close

Sign-Up For Newsletters

Complete this form to sign-up for newsletters…

Required fields are denoted by an asterisk (*) adjacent to the label.

 

Summary

  • Severe fatigue of 6 months or longer duration with other known medical conditions excluded
  • Cause unknown
  • No known cure, but coping strategies help

Whether it’s due to a hard, task-filled day at work, a fun-filled but long afternoon spent with the kids or a particularly restless sleep, we all know what it’s like to feel tired—even exhausted. But, systemic exertion intolerance disease (SEID) is not like the everyday tiredness that most people feel. People with SEID, a new name for the condition that is also known as “chronic fatigue syndrome,” have profound fatigue that is not helped by resting and may be worsened by physical activity. They often feel too tired to take part in in normal activities and are very worn out for no clear reason. Although many well-meaning loved ones may believe that a few good nights of sleep will “cure” this intense exhaustion, this is not the case with SEID.

Who is affected?

Despite much research on this illness, as of yet, there is no known cause of SEID. Nor are there concrete figures on the number of people who are affected by this disorder. Experts believe that almost three times as many women as men have SEID. It strikes people of all age, racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups.

How it is diagnosed?

Because there is no blood test, brain scan or other lab test to diagnose SEID, a diagnosis can only be made after ruling out other possible illnesses. Once other illnesses are ruled out, a doctor will compare the symptoms with the international case definition of SEID that was developed in 1994 by a panel of researchers worldwide. To be diagnosed with SEID, a person must meet these three criteria:

have severe chronic fatigue of six months or longer with other known health conditions excluded by clinical diagnosis

  1. have fatigue that greatly interferes with daily activities and work
  2. concurrently have four or more of the following symptoms:
  • Substantial impairment in short-term memory or concentration
  • Sore throat that is frequent or recurring
  • Tender lymph nodes in the neck or armpits
  • Muscle pain
  • Multi-joint pain without swelling or redness
  • Headaches of a new type, pattern, or severity
  • Unrefreshing sleep
  • post-exertional malaise (a feeling of general discomfort or uneasiness—an out-of-sorts feeling) lasting more than 24 hours

The symptoms must have persisted or recurred during six or more consecutive months of illness and must not have predated the fatigue.

Managing SEID

There is no cure for SEID. Therapy, therefore, is aimed at easing the individual symptoms. People with SEID should eat a balanced diet, get enough rest, exercise regularly without causing fatigue and pace themselves physically, emotionally, and intellectually. Over-the-counter pain medications, such as ibuprofen, might help lessen aches and pain. Emotional support from loved ones is important.

Also, many people find that cognitive-behavioral therapy, sleep-management therapy, graduated exercise programs and/or antidepressants help. Others use alternative therapy, such as acupuncture or massage, to help them cope with SEID.

It is important to find a health care provider who is familiar with SEID, and together, the patient and doctor can map out the best way to cope with this illness. 

By Shauna Gellerman
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CFIDS Association of America (Chronic Fatigue and Immune Dysfunction Syndrome), National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; Miranda Hitti.(2004) “Inactivity Linked to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome” WebMD Medical News.

Summary

  • Severe fatigue of 6 months or longer duration with other known medical conditions excluded
  • Cause unknown
  • No known cure, but coping strategies help

Whether it’s due to a hard, task-filled day at work, a fun-filled but long afternoon spent with the kids or a particularly restless sleep, we all know what it’s like to feel tired—even exhausted. But, systemic exertion intolerance disease (SEID) is not like the everyday tiredness that most people feel. People with SEID, a new name for the condition that is also known as “chronic fatigue syndrome,” have profound fatigue that is not helped by resting and may be worsened by physical activity. They often feel too tired to take part in in normal activities and are very worn out for no clear reason. Although many well-meaning loved ones may believe that a few good nights of sleep will “cure” this intense exhaustion, this is not the case with SEID.

Who is affected?

Despite much research on this illness, as of yet, there is no known cause of SEID. Nor are there concrete figures on the number of people who are affected by this disorder. Experts believe that almost three times as many women as men have SEID. It strikes people of all age, racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups.

How it is diagnosed?

Because there is no blood test, brain scan or other lab test to diagnose SEID, a diagnosis can only be made after ruling out other possible illnesses. Once other illnesses are ruled out, a doctor will compare the symptoms with the international case definition of SEID that was developed in 1994 by a panel of researchers worldwide. To be diagnosed with SEID, a person must meet these three criteria:

have severe chronic fatigue of six months or longer with other known health conditions excluded by clinical diagnosis

  1. have fatigue that greatly interferes with daily activities and work
  2. concurrently have four or more of the following symptoms:
  • Substantial impairment in short-term memory or concentration
  • Sore throat that is frequent or recurring
  • Tender lymph nodes in the neck or armpits
  • Muscle pain
  • Multi-joint pain without swelling or redness
  • Headaches of a new type, pattern, or severity
  • Unrefreshing sleep
  • post-exertional malaise (a feeling of general discomfort or uneasiness—an out-of-sorts feeling) lasting more than 24 hours

The symptoms must have persisted or recurred during six or more consecutive months of illness and must not have predated the fatigue.

Managing SEID

There is no cure for SEID. Therapy, therefore, is aimed at easing the individual symptoms. People with SEID should eat a balanced diet, get enough rest, exercise regularly without causing fatigue and pace themselves physically, emotionally, and intellectually. Over-the-counter pain medications, such as ibuprofen, might help lessen aches and pain. Emotional support from loved ones is important.

Also, many people find that cognitive-behavioral therapy, sleep-management therapy, graduated exercise programs and/or antidepressants help. Others use alternative therapy, such as acupuncture or massage, to help them cope with SEID.

It is important to find a health care provider who is familiar with SEID, and together, the patient and doctor can map out the best way to cope with this illness. 

By Shauna Gellerman
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CFIDS Association of America (Chronic Fatigue and Immune Dysfunction Syndrome), National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; Miranda Hitti.(2004) “Inactivity Linked to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome” WebMD Medical News.

Summary

  • Severe fatigue of 6 months or longer duration with other known medical conditions excluded
  • Cause unknown
  • No known cure, but coping strategies help

Whether it’s due to a hard, task-filled day at work, a fun-filled but long afternoon spent with the kids or a particularly restless sleep, we all know what it’s like to feel tired—even exhausted. But, systemic exertion intolerance disease (SEID) is not like the everyday tiredness that most people feel. People with SEID, a new name for the condition that is also known as “chronic fatigue syndrome,” have profound fatigue that is not helped by resting and may be worsened by physical activity. They often feel too tired to take part in in normal activities and are very worn out for no clear reason. Although many well-meaning loved ones may believe that a few good nights of sleep will “cure” this intense exhaustion, this is not the case with SEID.

Who is affected?

Despite much research on this illness, as of yet, there is no known cause of SEID. Nor are there concrete figures on the number of people who are affected by this disorder. Experts believe that almost three times as many women as men have SEID. It strikes people of all age, racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups.

How it is diagnosed?

Because there is no blood test, brain scan or other lab test to diagnose SEID, a diagnosis can only be made after ruling out other possible illnesses. Once other illnesses are ruled out, a doctor will compare the symptoms with the international case definition of SEID that was developed in 1994 by a panel of researchers worldwide. To be diagnosed with SEID, a person must meet these three criteria:

have severe chronic fatigue of six months or longer with other known health conditions excluded by clinical diagnosis

  1. have fatigue that greatly interferes with daily activities and work
  2. concurrently have four or more of the following symptoms:
  • Substantial impairment in short-term memory or concentration
  • Sore throat that is frequent or recurring
  • Tender lymph nodes in the neck or armpits
  • Muscle pain
  • Multi-joint pain without swelling or redness
  • Headaches of a new type, pattern, or severity
  • Unrefreshing sleep
  • post-exertional malaise (a feeling of general discomfort or uneasiness—an out-of-sorts feeling) lasting more than 24 hours

The symptoms must have persisted or recurred during six or more consecutive months of illness and must not have predated the fatigue.

Managing SEID

There is no cure for SEID. Therapy, therefore, is aimed at easing the individual symptoms. People with SEID should eat a balanced diet, get enough rest, exercise regularly without causing fatigue and pace themselves physically, emotionally, and intellectually. Over-the-counter pain medications, such as ibuprofen, might help lessen aches and pain. Emotional support from loved ones is important.

Also, many people find that cognitive-behavioral therapy, sleep-management therapy, graduated exercise programs and/or antidepressants help. Others use alternative therapy, such as acupuncture or massage, to help them cope with SEID.

It is important to find a health care provider who is familiar with SEID, and together, the patient and doctor can map out the best way to cope with this illness. 

By Shauna Gellerman
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CFIDS Association of America (Chronic Fatigue and Immune Dysfunction Syndrome), National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; Miranda Hitti.(2004) “Inactivity Linked to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome” WebMD Medical News.

The information provided on the Achieve Solutions site, including, but not limited to, articles, quizzes and other general information, is for informational purposes only and should not be treated as medical or health care advice. Nothing contained on the Achieve Solutions site is intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment or as a substitute for consultation with a qualified health care professional. Please direct questions regarding the operation of the Achieve Solutions site to Web Feedback. If you have concerns about your health, please contact your health care provider.  ©2017 Beacon Health Options, Inc.

 

Close

  • Useful Tools

    Select a tool below

© 2017 Beacon Health Options, Inc.