New name for chronic fatigue syndrome?

A specially convened committee, appointed by the US Institute of Medicine (IOM) has recommended a new name – systemic exertion intolerance disease (SEID) – which it says will more appropriately capture the complexity and severity of the illness. 

The report, Beyond Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Redefining an Illness, states that many healthcare providers remain sceptical about how serious the condition can be, believing it to be a mental health condition.

According to the committee, previous research suggested that the name ‘chronic fatigue syndrome’ may lead to the trivialisation of the illness and promote misunderstanding. 

It added that several studies have shown that the term affects patients’ perceptions of