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Abstract: Chronic fatigue syndrome and eating disorders: concurrence or coincidence?

Int J Adolesc Med Health 2002 Oct-Dec;14(4):307-16

Fisher M, Krilov LR, Ovadia M.

Division of Adolescent Medicine, Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases, Division of Pediatric Cardiology, North Shore University Hospital, North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System, Manhasset, NY, USA. Fisher@nshs.edu

In this report we present four patients who were found to have both an eating disorder and the chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). Two of the patients presented for evaluation of an eating disorder and also had CFS, while two of the patients presented for evaluation of CFS and also had an eating disorder. In all four patients the eating disorder preceded the CFS. We consider the question of whether the occurrence of these two disorders in the same patients is merely a coincidence; whether an eating disorder can act as a precipitant for CFS, perhaps through the exacerbation of an underlying vascular instability; and whether overlapping etiologies may predispose some adolescents to develop both disorders. We also discuss similarities (including diagnostic dilemmas, cultural influences, psychological correlates, demographic similarities, perceptual biases, and cardiovascular effects) encountered in the management of both of these disorders.

PMID: 12613112 [PubMed – in process]