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Why the three names FMS, CFS and ME?


Fibromyalgia (FM, FMS also called Fibro) is one of those mysterious modern ailments that is labeled a "syndrome" because it is characterized by a number of symptoms and lacks a definable cause. Pain is the most prominent symptom of FMS, but fatigue, sleep disturbances, digestive disorders, headaches, memory problems and depression are also typical. The U.S. National Institute of Health estimates that 3.4 % of women and 0.5% of men over the age of 18 suffer from Fibromyalgia.

Unfortunately, at this time there is no cure for FMS. That doesn't mean it can't be effectively managed. Many individuals have found relief for specific FMS symptoms, and by improving their overall health have been able to make their FMS go into remission.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS, CFIDS, M.E) is a disorder characterized by extreme exhaustion, muscle pain, cognitive problems and a number of other physical symptoms, similar to FMS. The cause of CFS is still not known and treatment is intended primarily to relieve specific symptoms.

Neither FMS nor CFS is understood well enough to be curable yet. Pathological research has however shown progress in the last few years, including viral and bacterial studies, which may be useful in finding a cure. But right now the best we can realistically hope for is help in reducing its most bothersome symptoms. Relief from symptoms like fatigue and pain is priceless. Join us in the discussion of dealing with this disease.

Why the three names FMS, CFS and ME?

Researches are unclear wether these three illnesses are in fact the same disease. But doctors recognize the symptoms to be overlapping.

Among patient organizations, especially in England, the term ME is used often. ME is short for Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (or more recently Myalgic Encephalopathy). Some people use the two terms "CFS" and "ME" interchangeably, but often "ME" is regarded as more 'correct' by patients organizations. We use both terms.

Chronic Pain

Pain seemingly needs little explanation. It is safe to say that everyone has experienced some kind of physical pain in lifetime. For most people, it is a normal, if unpleasant, sensation triggered by the nervous system to alert them to an injury or the need to seek medical treatment. With medical care and the body's amazing power to heal it self, such pain normally stops, tapers off, or disappears, leaving little more than a vivid memory. Doctors call this acute pain.

Chronic pain is something quite different. It persists sometimes for weeks, months, or years after the injury or infection that initially caused it has healed. Sometimes it is caused by an illness like FMS, CFS, ME or by back problems. Pain may have no apparent cause or reason, no discernable physical insult or injury to which it can be attributed.

It is easy to see how chronic pain can overwhelm even the sturdiest, most resolute people. Without relief, and eventually without even the hope of relief, we can lose the ability and desire to eat, sleep, work, or function in any way normally. Pain may become the defining factor in our lives, leading to an endless cycle of sleeplessness, irritability, and depression. We want to help others and ourselves in the struggle to live and cope with chronic pain. Join our support group and meet informed people who understand and cares.


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