Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
Chronic fatigue syndrome (also called CFS) is a disorder without a known cause, although CFS may be related to a previous infection. CFS is a state of chronic fatigue that exists without other explanation for
six months or more and is accompanied by cognitive difficulties (problems with short-term memory or concentration). You may have CFS if you meet the following criteria:
if you have severe chronic fatigue for six months or longer and all other known conditions that could cause fatigue have been excluded by your health-care provider, or
if you simultaneously have four or more of the following symptoms: significant problems with short-term memory or concentration, sore throat, tender lymph nodes, muscle pain, pain in several joints without swelling or redness, headaches that are different in pattern or severity from previous headaches, feeling tired and unrefreshed even after sleeping, and extreme tiredness lasting more than 24 hours after you exercise or exert yourself.
Chronic fatigue syndrome affects tens of thousands of people. It occurs more commonly in females than in males. This condition occurs most commonly in young to middle-aged adults. People with CFS are often unable to perform normally at work and home because of their long-term fatigue and problems with short-term memory. This can lead to depression, but depression is not a cause of CFS.
Treatment for chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) focuses on making you feel better so that you can resume a normal life. Simple measures you can take at home -- such as improving your sleep habits and getting gentle exercise -- are important parts of treatment.