Health Professional Referral Form
To refer your client to Complex Chronic Illness Support, please complete this secure form:
Health Professionals are often the first to see people with Complex Chronic Illnesses. CCI Support has a vision to “Empower People Towards Wellness” and our purpose is to improve the quality of life of people who suffer from a complex chronic illness, as well as that of their loved ones. Complex Chronic Illness Support would like to work together with Health Professionals to provide support and education to our clients.
We do have resource packs available for Health Professionals as well as extra brochures available for your clients. These can be ordered here:
RNZCGP accredited CME (Continuing Medical Education)
NZ Doctor (8th April 2020) ‘How to Treat’ article on Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/ Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Pages 25-29 – 1 RNZCGP credit M.E. Awareness | How to Treat ME/CFS
ThinkGP – Module 1 (Australia, 2021) “Busting the myths and redefining myalgic encephalomyelitis /chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS)”
Module 1. View our brief introduction to this RNZCGP-endorsed CME here. 1 RNZCGP credit
ThinkGP – Module 2 (Australia, 2021) “Ensuring a patient-centred approach to care for people living with myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS)”.
International Continuing Medical Education
Myalgic Encephalomyelitis / Chronic Fatigue Syndrome CPD, 10 clinical cases, StudyPRN (UK, May 2020)
Unrest CME (USA, Nov 2018)
International Continuing Medical Education
A good link for Physios is Physios for ME
CME/CNE session with Dr Ros Vallings - July 2021
This CME/CNE education session will assist attendees to further understand the condition and latest research; diagnosis efficacy and effective management, along with complex chronic illness support services, and how to refer.
Illnesses We Support
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS/ME)
ME (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis), also known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, has been described as an abnormal immune system response to any number of infectious or environmental triggers, causing a long term illness that can result in significant disability.
Main symptoms include:
- Persistent and overwhelming fatigue
- Post-exertional malaise (PEM)
- Muscle and/or joint pains
- Cognitive dysfunction - impaired memory & concentration
- Sleep disturbance
- Digestive problems
- Sensitivities to light and sound
- Sore throat and/or enlarged lymph nodes
- Dysregulated temperature control - fever/chills
- POTS / Orthostatic intolerance - erratic heart rate, feeling faint or dizzy upon standing
- Anxiety and/or irritability
Post Viral Fatigue/Syndrome (PVF/S)
In most straight-forward viral illnesses, recovery takes 2-4 weeks, with symptoms disappearing by six weeks. However, a small percentage of PVF's patients will take several months to recover.
If symptoms remain after 3-6 months, with the illness unchanged, a change of name/diagnosis to CFS/ME is appropriate.
This condition comes about after a person has experienced a viral illness like:
- Common cold
- Epstein-Barr Virus
- Herpes Virus
- Other virial illnesses like Corona Virus, SARS etc
Most people will recover from a viral illness after a week or two, but if after many weeks or months you still feel unwell with these symptoms you maybe experiencing PVS:
- Confusion and trouble concentrating
- Body aches and pain in the muscles
- Stiff Joints
- Sore Throat
- Swollen Lymph Nodes
- People who have compromised/weakened immunity or have pre-existing conditions maybe more prone to PVS.
There are no clear-cut answer as to what PVS is yet. It is possible it is caused by a delayed response from the immune system to the virus, inflammation in the brain, or an overload on the immune system from the virus. At present there is no clear treatment from GP’s for PVS.
It is important to act quickly if you think you may have PVS. Getting a diagnosis is important but responding to the symptoms is more important.
If left, PVS can develop into Myalgic Encephalomyelitis aka Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS), this is a long-term chronic illness with poor quality of life outcomes and few treatment options.
At Complex Chronic Illness Support we can provide you with the right information on how to manage your symptoms and how to live in a way that supports your body to heal itself. There are no quick fixes but CCIS are experts in symptom management information and providing the right support for conditions like PVS. We also support people with ME/CFS, Fibromyalgia, Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia, and Orthostatic Intolerance.
For some people, coronavirus (COVID-19) can cause symptoms that last weeks or months after the infection has gone. This is sometimes called post-COVID-19 syndrome or "long COVID".
Whilst this is a new 'condition', we at CCIS were all too aware of it's possible implication from SARS-CoV-2. What we are seeing is that 'long-covid', is essentially Post Viral Syndrome with organ damage complications. To date, the information we are getting is that many that are dealing with long-covid, may in fact have had 'mild' cases of covid-19, however may be unwell and have extreme fatigue weeks to months later. We may not be able to medically help with the issues related to long-covid, we can certainly give tools to help manage some of your symptoms. We can give support and walk this journey with you.
Common long COVID symptoms include:
- extreme tiredness (fatigue)
- shortness of breath
- chest pain or tightness
- problems with memory and concentration ("brain fog")
- difficulty sleeping (insomnia)
- heart palpitations
- pins and needles
- joint pain
- depression and anxiety
- tinnitus, earaches
- feeling sick, diarrhoea, stomach aches, loss of appetite
- a high temperature, cough, headaches, sore throat, changes to sense of smell or taste
Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition that causes fatigue, widespread pain, and tenderness throughout the body and often co-exists with CFS/ME and/or many of the symptoms of this condtion. People with Fibromyalgia generally experience pain in specific points around the body and these points are used as a gauge for diagnosis.
The points around the body are:
- Back of the head
- Area between the shoulders
- Front of the neck
- Top of the chest
- Outside of the elbows
- Top and sides of the hips
- Insides of the knees.
- Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS)
- Neurally Mediated Hypertension (NMH)
In these conditions the autonomic nervous system (ANS) is dysregulated which can lead to blood pressure problems, heart problems, trouble with breathing and swallowing, and erectile dysfunction in men.
Main symptoms include:
- Light headedness
- Altered vision
- Heart palpitations
- Exercise Intolerance
- Neuro-cognitive deficits
- Abdominal discomfort
- Syncope (fainting)
Primers and Diagnostic Tools
This primer was developed by consensus among members of the primer committee for use by clinical practitioners. The primer provides information essential to understanding, diagnosing and managing the symptoms of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) otherwise known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)
ME/CFS Pediatric Primer
This primer was written by the International Writing Group for Pediatric ME/CFS. The primer provides information essential to understanding, diagnosing and managing the symptoms of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) otherwise known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) in children and adolescents.
General Information Brochure on Orthostatic Intolerance and its Treatment by Peter C. Rowe, MD, Chronic Fatigue Clinic at the Johns Hopkins Children Center
Current diagnostic criteria and management of Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome.
Fedorowski, A. (2018). Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome: Clinical presentation, aetiology and management. Journal of International Medicine, 285(4), 352-366.
CCI Support has been following research from around the world for over 4 decades. This link will take you to what we feel is some of the most reputable sites for information of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and related disorders.
As an agency, we like to keep up to date with the research going on around the world. Here are some articles of interest.
There has been a flurry of activity in the media recently with Prof. Warren Tate, Dr Rosamund Vallings and others speaking with the media about new research in ME/CFS. The interest of the media has been piqued by Long Covid Syndrome which Dr Vallings suggests maybe...
I have been reading and thinking about slower living and how I can live a simpler lifestyle. I have been pondering on how to simplify routines and live a more peaceful existence. My first baby step is to stop writing to do lists, this seems so counterintuitive to me...
Dr Vallings tells Nine To Noon that there are always people who will suffer long-term effects from a viral illness and it’s come to the fore because of the widespread nature of Covid-19. Dr Vallings on Radio New Zealand
The Otago University Emeritus Professor has been on a 30-year crusade to learn more about the mysterious illness which struck his daughter Katherine at the age of 14. Original Article:...
Media release from the University of Otago Original Article: https://www.nzdoctor.co.nz/article/undoctored/proof-chronic-fatigue-syndrome-not-psychsomatic
Original article appeared in the Otago Daily Times on 24 November 2020: https://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/chronic-fatigue-syndrome-poorly-recognised-nz-despite-evidence Chronic fatigue syndrome has still not been well recognised by New Zealand health professionals or...
In November 2020 the UK-based ME Association put together a very practical 10 point guide for people with ME/CFS to reduce the risk of infection of Covid-19. This FREE leaflet is all about staying safe during the pandemic and reviews personal hygiene measures, social...
This article summarises ideas and a model to explain ME/CFS published in the Journal of Primary Health Care (2019) by Angus Mackay. Mackay writes from the perspective of being a long-term sufferer and researcher of ME/CFS. Mackay explains the onset, symptomology and...
New Fibromyalgia research reviewed https://www.hindawi.com/journals/prm/ Roie Tzadok and Jacod N. Ablin of the Department of Internal Medicine H, Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Centre and Sackler School of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel published the...
An article Cherie (Field Officer Rotorua Lakes) recommends is a research on perspectives of people living with CFS on the use of technology as a self management technique of CFS. Very interesting reading. Patient Perspectives on Self-Management Technologies for...
If you’d like to learn more about any of our services, or get involved, we’d love to hear from you.