Warning Signs of Systemic Exertion Intolerance Disorder (SEID) Disease
“Knowing Your Disease is Halfway to Getting Well”. It’s bad enough to have a health problem or suffer from a disease. But it’s even worse if you do not know what exactly is ailing you. In this episode, Dr. Oz confesses that he is passionate about such topics as today’s because, “women are often ignored with their legitimate problems that we cannot put our finger on”. The discovery of the new disease in many American women is a very special breakthrough because patients no longer have to grope in the dark wondering if they are crazy or whether what they’re feeling is fake or made-up. This discovery is also good for doctors because, now, they can have criteria for diagnosing it. This disease was previously classified as chronic fatigue syndrome.
Dr Oz: Do You Have Chronic Fatigue?
Doctors are skeptical about this disease and for a long time there’s a doubt about its existence despite the exhaustion felt by so many American women. Dr. Jennifer Caudle, a Family Medicine Physician, is saying that now science is backing up the existence of this mysterious illness. The government is saying that the millions of women are right, that this is a valid physical illness, and they are redefining this disease. The Institute of Medicine proposed a new name calling this “Systematic Exertion Intolerance Disorder” or SEID. This new name better reflects what is actually happening with women who complain of being fatigued, and can’t do the activities of their daily life.
Since there’s a new criteria for the diagnosis, the following symptoms you are feeling that cause your exhaustion may be an indication that you have SEID:
- Do you have prolonged unexplained fatigue that lasted 6 months or longer?
Profound fatigue says Dr. Caudle means “you feel being wiped-out, absolutely floored wiped-out that you take much more energy to do something than you know they should”.
- Do simple tasks like climbing a flight of stairs exhaust you?
- Do you have un-refreshing sleep?
When you wake up you are not rested. Imagine sleeping 8 to 10 hours for one night and waking up feeling like you have only slept for 10 minutes.
- Do you have a hard time focusing or feel brain fog?
- Does standing for a short period of time make you feel even more tired?
If your answer YES to four of these, then you may have this disorder.
At this stage, science has put the pieces together. They considered all the studies and factored in all the symptoms that patients have been complaining about. And they found that patients have worsening symptoms because this disorder progresses over time.
Dr. Ian Lipkin explains also that research has made a huge amount of advances in this area, and they have examined this disorder since 1997. He admits that people with this problem have not been diagnosed for several years. And one of the reasons is that there is no good diagnostic test. So they looked at all the criteria and identified the common theme, to be able to say that a patient therefore must have this disorder.
He further says that there are two major things they are trying to establish:
- Develop a bio-marker. This term means a finding in the blood, or someplace else, which is unequivocal that any doctor can look at it and say, “this is a patient with the disorder”. Their work will enable them to come up with a bio-marker that will allow doctors to readily diagnose somebody with symptoms, so that patients don’t have to go through months and years of work-up.
- Get insights into why people become ill.
Dr. Lipkin is saying that they are finding out that this is likely to be an infectious disorder. There is something that triggers an abnormality in the immune system which then results to all the problems and symptoms that patients are describing. So, what they are trying to find out is what might be the trigger for this disorder. They study the blood, they look in the mouth and lower gastrointestinal tract for bacteria and viruses that might infect, and result to abnormalities in the immune system which could then make patients feel the way they do.
How to Relieve Suffering From Chronic Fatigue:
Considering all these facts about the ongoing research and studies on Systemic Exertion Intolerance Disorder, Dr. Caudle takes us back to the realities of everyday struggle with the disorder and how patients can combat this effectively. She presented two practical approaches:
1- In dealing with this issue, the best thing to do is to always be hopeful.
2- Looking at the stress and anxiety factors that come with the disorder, it’s very important to pace yourself.
So, her prescription specifically is the “Not To Do” list. This is a prescription to pace yourself and slow things down. Get your “To Do” list. Cut down few activities, and focus only on the top 3 things that you really want to get done in one day and get them done. This will make you feel good about what you do, and also helps you manage the symptoms.
Extra Tips To Lower Stress And Control Your Cry Mood:
Dr. Julie Holland, author of Moody Bitches Book was another guest in the show, she says that when anxious or stressed, every mood manifests differently. For those who have sad or crying moods, she assures everyone that crying is good for you. It is the easiest way to feel better because this is when you can let yourself feel deeply, let yourself have a good cry, and then move on. But when in inappropriate situations, like when you are in public, there is one effective way to contain your tears. Try, for example, subtracting 7’s from 100 in your mind. Or think of rhyming words. This way you shunt the blood from your emotional center over to your thinking, rational, emotional center. Another way to soothe yourself is by eating carbs. Carbs help boost serotonin to calm you down. But you must choose to eat only anti-inflammatory diet to boost your mood.
Otherwise, if you eat white carbs, it will only add to your depression because it adds to high blood sugar in the body. Comfort foods come handy when you are stressed or anxious. But surely, you want complex carbs, and not simple carbs. Food does work wonders to ease your anxiety and stress, but eat those that do not have side effects. Limit sugar and flour because the resulting inflammation can add to anxiety later on. Example of complex carbs are turkey meat, fish and chocolate which is high-cacao and not the one loaded with sugar. Moreover, fish oil in fish decreases over-reactivity and helps you to get calmer.
If you are plagued by fatigue, anxiety or depression, the first thing to do is to not lose hope. Then you can commit yourself to doing simple, practical steps in managing the symptoms. These two things will go a long way in alleviating the symptoms of Systemic Exertion Intolerance Disorder by giving yourself room to have some control, rather than the “mystery” of the disease gaining control over you.