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Medically Unexplained Physical Symptoms

Medically Unexplained Physical Symptoms

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Medically unexplained symptoms (MUS), such as chronic pain and fatigue, are common in the general and Veteran population.

The term medically unexplained symptoms is used for symptoms that do not have a clear medical cause.

While having unexplained symptoms can be frustrating and confusing, these symptoms usually are not life threatening. Many life threatening diseases become apparent after a health care provider completes a careful history, exam, and testing.

Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (Systemic Exertion Intolerance Disease) (ME/CFS (SEID)), Fibromyalgia (FM) and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) are among the most commonly diagnosed medically unexplained conditions.

Although having MUS can be distressing, there are treatments for these conditions including:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Graded exercise therapy
  • Self-management therapies
  • Good nutrition
  • Stress reduction techniques
  • Good support systems


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