Chronic Fatigue Doctors
Chronic fatigue doctors can help you overcome CFS.
You and Your Doctor
Your relationship with your doctor is important. You need a proper diagnosis before you can start an effective treatment program. Your chronic fatigue doctor can run tests and determine if you have chronic fatigue syndrome or one of the myriad of other diseases that mimic it. Your doctor may be able to determine which factors are influencing your chronic fatigue and develop a personal treatment plan to help you on your journey to recovery.
Finding a doctor.
Begin with your primary care physician. Do you already have a good relationship with your doctor? Is your doctor familiar with CFS, its symptoms, and its diagnosis? Is she open minded and willing to learn? Is she willing to run all the tests required for a diagnosis? Does she recognize CFS as a “real” disease? If you cannot answer yes to most if not all of these questions, then you may need to look for another doctor.
Local support groups
can be helpful in finding the right doctor for chronic fatigue. Here you will find other people in your area experiencing the same things you are experiencing. Some of them may have already gone through the process of finding a doctor and may have excellent recommendations for you. You can get a list of local CFS support groups from The CFIDS Association - send an e-mail request including your postal mailing address to: email@example.com or a self-addressed, stamped envelope to: The CFIDS Association of America, PO Box 220398, Charlotte NC 28222-0398, ATTN: Support Groups. All requests will be filled by mail.
Friends, relatives, neighbors, coworkers, and other community members are all good resources. Although many people choose health care providers according to “personality,” qualities like compassion, understanding, a good “bedside manner,” and an open mind count in a health care provider... especially when treating a chronic illness like CFS.
Gather basic background information
about your potential chronic fatigue doctor candidates. Are they licensed? Are they board certified? Have they ever been sued for malpractice? At which hospital(s) do they have privileges? Are they in your insurance plan? Do they accept Medicaid/Medicare (if applicable)?
before you make a commitment. Don't be afraid to call a new doctor's office before visiting, or make and appointment to just visit with the doctor. Say, “I have (or may have) CFS, a complex and debilitating illness, and I’m looking for a health care provider. Is the doctor familiar with CFS? Does he or she diagnose CFS? Does he or she treat CFS? How many CFS patients does he or she have?” Make sure that your doctor will be willing to help you the length of your journey to recovery.
Be ready to educate your doctor.
CFS is still not a very well understood disease. Arm yourself with plenty of information, and share your information with your doctor.
Refer him to the CFIDS Association of America.
The Association provides a medical information packet to doctors at no charge. This packet provides excellent resources for health care providers who are learning how to care for CFIDS patients. To send this information to a doctor, send your request by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Remember, doctors are people, too! All are fallible, and no one doctor can possibly keep up with all the new medical information coming out. But finding a good chronic fatigue doctor is a critical step towards treating your CFS and moving you towards a happier life.
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