Fortunately most health care professionals, including family practice physicians and internists can work on your chronic fatigue syndrome if they take you seriously.
Time is valuable – and it is a pity if your PCP (primary care physician) won’t take you seriously. Luckily, it is still possible to know your PCP’s awareness on chronic fatigue syndrome beforehand. In essence, before you decide that a PCP can give you all the treatments you need, it is necessary to know that he is on your side.
These are three important CFS questions you should ask in your first visit:
Is it possible that CFS is influenced by physical factors?
If the PCP says yes, then you can be sure that he knows the basics of CFS and will likely take you seriously.
Do you have the experience of treating someone with chronic fatigue syndrome?
If he answers yes, then it is likely that he is sensitive to CFS.
What did you prescribe for CFS patients?
Make sure you write down his preferred medications, and if he includes any relaxation technique and exercise. You should inquire about whether these treatments are effective.
Diagnosing CFS can be difficult, there’s no doubt about it. A PCP, no matter how skilled or experienced he is, needs to consider many factors before reaching a conclusion. It’s fine if your family doctor has no experience with chronic fatigue syndrome – as long as he is certain that it exists. You can urge him to understand your condition, making your family doctor a trusted partner. You need to work together to maintain and regain your health. Even if the doctor is an expert on CFS, don’t spend the whole day with him. He needs to see other patients too!
Above all, you should understand that doctors are just like us. They can still make some mistakes, of course, it still depends on how serious those mistakes are. If one of his procedures bothers you and you are concerned it can affect your health in a bad way, it is a good idea to see another doctor.
You may feel intimidated inside the doctor’s office. People are often afraid to ask a question or speak up. But doctors are just normal people, too. To make sure you get the proper care, you should address your needs to know whether the doctor can treat your condition as well.
Are you wondering if your PCP can diagnose and treat your CFS symptoms? Well, often you are in good hands if the PCP can do these:
o Performs accurate tests to rule out unrelated factors before concluding that you have chronic fatigue syndrome. This diagnostic procedure involves a series of tests – including CT scans and blood tests.
o Understands the official definition of chronic fatigue syndrome and understands that symptoms can be unique in each person and may come and go.
o Understands that CFS can affect everyone, from Caucasian to African American, from rich to poor.
o Understands about medicine sensitivities and starts the treatment with minimal effective dosages first.
o Asks patients to lie down as standing up too long may cause dizziness on some people.
o Makes priority on sleeping quality. Bad sleeping habits may make your CFS symptoms get worse.
o Allows enough time during a visit.
o Offers you the chance to take notes or tape visits.
o Makes suggestions on your exercise regimens and diet. Energy conservation and healthier diets can lessen the symptoms severity.
o Offers a sympathetic ear and helpful support.
o Has respect on his patients, which is a good thing for any good CFS doctor.
o Understand that symptoms of CFS can overlap or also be similar to symptoms of other diseases.
If the PCP has other specialties, like endocrinology, neurology, immunology or rheumatology, he is more likely to believe CFS is essentially a physical disease; even so some of the biggest naysayers belong to one of these specialties. Specialists in these areas could be more focused on determining physical causes, but it doesn’t always true in the clinical realm; some clinical practitioners are still not aware of research literatures.
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