Fast Five Quiz: Commonly Misdiagnosed Conditions

B.S. Anand, MD; Michael Stuart Bronze, MD; Herbert S. Diamond, MD; Helmi L. Lutsep, MD


June 02, 2021

According to the National Academy of Medicine, diagnosis of CFS (ME) requires the presence of the following three symptoms for > 6 months, and the intensity of the symptoms should be moderate or severe ≤ 50% of the time:

  • Fatigue: A noticeable decrease or impairment in the ability of a patient to engage in activities that they enjoyed before the onset of the illness, with this impairment continuing for > 6 months and associated with new-onset severe fatigue, unrelated to exertion, and not relieved by rest.

  • Postexertional malaise: Patients experience worsening symptoms and function after exposure to physical or cognitive stressors that were previously well tolerated.

  • Unrefreshing sleep: Patients feel tired after a night's sleep.

Criterion fulfillment for diagnosis requires all three of the symptoms above, along with one of the symptoms below:

  • Cognitive impairment: Problems with the thought or executive function, worsened by exertion, effort, or stress or time pressure

  • Orthostatic intolerance: Worsening of symptoms upon assuming and maintaining an upright posture. Symptoms are improved, although not necessarily eliminated, by lying back down or elevating the feet.

Read more information about CFS (ME).

This Fast Five Quiz was excerpted and adapted from the Medscape Drugs & Diseases articles Fibromyalgia, Multiple Sclerosis, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis).

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