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Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Information

  • Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), also known as myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), post-viral fatigue syndrome (PVFS) and various other names, is a syndrome (or group of syndromes) of unknown and possibly multiple etiologies, affecting the central nervous system (CNS), immune, and many other systems and organs. Most definitions other than the 1991 UK Oxford criteria, require a number of features, the most common being severe mental and physical depletion, which according to the 1994 Fukuda definition is "unrelieved by rest", and is usually made worse by even trivial exertion (controversially the Oxford and Fukuda criteria require this to be optional only)...
  • However, patients usually contend that they have many, often severe symptoms which are far more onerous than the research diagnostic criteria, such as pain, muscle weakness, loss of brain function, hypersensitivity, orthostatic intolerance, digestive disturbances, depression, immune and in some cases life-threatening cardiac and respiratory problems. It is these symptoms exacerbated by extremely low stamina that cause greatest suffering, not "fatigue", which more properly describes a normal state of recovery unrelated to pathology. Some cases resolve or improve over time, and where available, treatments bring a degree of improvement to many others.

    CFS remains a controversial diagnosis. For years, the illness was considered a physical manifestation of depressive symptoms. There is no significant evidence in support of this theory and anti-depressants may help with the sleep disorders symptom of CFS but do not cure it. Most sufferers of CFS do not respond to anti-depressants and show no obvious signs of depression. Research at Johns Hopkins University and other institutes has shown that limited blood flow to the brain may play a role. Hyperactivity of the immune system, creating flu-like symptoms plays yet another role. A general re-educating of the public approach towards CFS as a genuine illness would be of great benefit, as there is a popular misconception that such illnesses are 'in the mind' only. The reality is that they are just as 'physical' as any other illness.

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Because of the "energy deficiency" in fibromyalgia, too much exercise can cause you to "crash" and be bedridden the following day. On the other hand, too little exercise results in deconditioning and is also a problem. Fibromyalgia patients should walk as feels comfortable. After 10 weeks on the SHINE treatment protocol, energy production ... Read More »
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- People who score high on psychological tests assessing happiness produce about 50 percent more antibodies that the average person in response to flu vaccines.
Successful ways to cope with fibromyalgia exist. One important tool is a daily pain journal where you record your pain symptoms. You can also write down the location of the pain and the intensity on a scale of 1 to 10 (with 10 being the worst). Take this notebook with you to your doctor's appointment. Reviewing this information together will allow ... Read More »

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