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Medical Understanding of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Improving

Here at Roboostoff & Kalkin, we have represented many people who are disabled because of medical conditions that can be hard to prove, giving disability insurance companies an excuse to deny their claims. Chronic fatigue syndrome, known as CFS, is a classic example of this type of illness with its myriad of subjective symptoms.

While symptoms like pain, fatigue and weakness may not be objectively measurable, they are still very real and can prevent people from being able to work.

As researchers study CFS and doctors see patients with it over time, our understanding of the disorder is sharpening. A recent Jane Brody article in the New York Times sheds light on new discoveries of what happens to the body facing CFS.

It is not Just in Your Head

First, CFS is not an emotional or mental disorder. Brody says that it is a “serious, long-term illness possibly caused by a disruption in how the immune system responds to infection or stress,” similar to the processes of “autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis but without apparent signs of tissue damage.”

To reflect this, the new name “myalgic encephalomyelitis” or ME or ME/CFS for the disease is gaining use. The phrase means “brain and spinal cord inflammation with muscle pain.” Common symptoms include joint pain, sore throats, allergic reactions, problems with digestive function, severe fatigue, headaches and debilitating malaise after physical exertion.

According to the article, about one-tenth of CFS patients report suffering from one of three serious infections (Ross River virus, Coxiella burnetii or Epstein Barr) before the CFS onset — more evidence that the illness has its roots in physical abnormalities.

For example, CFS is characterized by persistently high numbers of cytokines, tiny proteins important in immune-system regulation. Infection-fighting T-cells and other similar cells function at diminished capacity.

Associated Emotional and Mental Impacts

While not a mental illness, the symptoms, prognosis and interruption of daily life from CFS can understandably be associated with depression, anxiety and other similar mental conditions.

Victims also may experience confusion, impaired concentration, memory issues and, according to the Huffington Post UK, cognitive problems like “[d]ifficulty remembering words, planning or organizing thoughts, and processing information.”

Relevant to CFS patients making claims for long-term disability benefits under private or group policies, Brody says that government officials in the U.S. and U.K. describe the disease as lasting at least six months and potentially for years. There is still no known cure.

Critical to a long-term disability claim based on CFS is careful diagnosis by a doctor with specific CFS knowledge and experience.

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Just when I thought there was no hope to recover my LTD benefits, I found attorney Constantin Roboostoff. With his expertise, I was able to recover all of my back long term disability benefits. Other attorneys wouldn’t take my case because it wasn’t cut and dry. Mr. Roboostoff took the challenge and did an incredible job. Not only did he get my current disability benefits going, he also recovered all my back benefits. He was a true blessing and I would recommend him whole heartedly. CW
It was my pleasure to make contact with Scott Kalkin three years ago after other lawyers had turned me away and told me I would not succeed in my lawsuit. Thanks to Scott's thoroughness, dedication, and diligence, my lawsuit WAS successful and he saw me through to the end, which included putting legal pressure on the insurance company which had invested so much time, personnel, and money, in not paying me what was due. RB
As soon as I met with Scott, I could tell he was knowledgeable, resourceful, experienced, highly professional, and would be dedicated to getting me fair treatment. Scott has handled all interactions with my insurance company ever since. Being able to rely on him to represent me has been a huge relief for a chronically ill person. SO