Intended for healthcare professionals

Editorial

What causes chronic fatigue syndrome?

BMJ 2004; 329 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.329.7472.928 (Published 21 October 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;329:928

Re: What causes chronic fatigue syndrome?

Some time has elapsed since this editorial was written, and it may be relevant now to point out that 30,000 cases of post-traumatic hypopituitarism are missed each year, and many of them are misdiagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome http://dailym.ai/1gWRisu The incidence of PTHP is between 30 and 50 per 100,000 so the prevalence in the UK may, after decades of neglect, be around a million. If these people were removed from the CFS equation we might well see the prevalence of ME/CFS/fibromyalgia reduced by a third. Several hypopituitarism patients who have experienced an ME misdiagnosis have written to the BMJ and their stories may be found on these links:
http://www.bmj.com/content/346/bmj.f1988?tab=responses
http://www.bmj.com/content/347/bmj.f4572/rr/657462
http://www.bmj.com/content/346/bmj.f894/rr/643479

References
Schneider HJ et al, Hypothalamopituitary Dysfunction Following Traumatic Brain Injury and Aneurysmal Subarachnoid Haemorrhage: A Systematic Review, 2007, JAMA

Fernandez-Rodriguez E et al, Hypopituitarism following traumatic brain injury: determining factors for diagnosis, Front Endocrinol 25 August 2011 doi: 10.3389/fendo.2011.00025

Competing interests: No competing interests

26 June 2014
Joanna Lane
retired
None
Coulsdon CR5 2DT