How to Get Tested for a Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Diagnosis

by Helene Malmsio

Getting a chronic fatigue syndrome diagnosis is sometimes difficult because despite all the evidence, some doctors still do not accept that CFS is a real disease.

They may think that you are depressed (especially if you have become depressed as a result of being so inactive for so long) or even that you are claiming non-existent symptoms to try to get insurance or welfare payments.

However, chronic fatigue syndrome diagnosis criteria have now been established in most countries and by the World Health Organization, so if you persist, perhaps changing your doctor if necessary, you should eventually be able to get some help.

When you talk to doctors, it helps if you focus on the physical symptoms and emphasize that your anxiety or depression, if you have them, only started after the fatigue and as a result of it - assuming that this is true.

If the reverse is true, and the fatigue is a result of the depression, then a chronic fatigue syndrome diagnosis is probably not appropriate in your case and your symptoms would likely disappear with anti-depressant medication.

So it’s important to have the correct diagnosis.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Diagnosis: The Criteria

At present, CFS can only be diagnosed by exclusion.

This means that a chronic fatigue syndrome diagnosis is reached by considering all the symptoms and then ruling out other possible causes of them.

In most cases this involves blood tests.

The doctor will be looking for evidence of diseases and conditions that can cause similar symptoms, such as anemia, tuberculosis, mononucleosis, multiple sclerosis etc.

You may also be given an electrocardiograph (ECG) to test your heart function, a brain scan, x-rays and other tests.

If everything comes back negative and you have the symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome (see separate article) then you will likely be diagnosed with CFS.

After A Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Diagnosis

After you have been given a diagnosis of chronic fatigue syndrome (which may also be called post-viral fatigue syndrome or M.E.) you will probably be given some guidance on how to manage it.

Usually this involves setting a routine with plenty of rest so that you do not do too much even on days when you feel better.

It is important to consider emotional aspects too.

Chronic fatigue syndrome is a disease that varies hugely in severity from person to person and in many cases, from day to day.

If you have it mildly you will probably have heard that it could be much worse.

That can make us afraid and anxious.

Stress is one of the triggers of bouts of fatigue so it's important not to let that get to you.

Meditation and relaxation can help here.

If you have it more severely and are bedbound or housebound you may feel that people who are more active don't really have what you have - but they do.

Try to see it more positively and remind yourself that soon you too might be able to take exercise or work part-time.

Recovery is not 'all or nothing' - it is possible to have a chronic fatigue syndrome diagnosis and still be more active than you are now, even without finding a complete cure.

Learn more about CFS causes, symptoms and natural fatigue remedies when you read the rest of our information here about: How to treat Chronic Fatigue Syndrome CFS.


Friends and family don't understand chronic fatigue syndrome but we do. We can help you BEAT CFS and give you your life back. Feel normal again!

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