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 Fibromyalgia: Fibromyalgia: The Muscle Pain Epidemic - Is it ME by Another Name? (Part 1) 
 

Goldenberg lists other similarities between fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. 8
There is no known cause
There are no highly effective treatments
There are chronic symptoms which include fatigue, myalgias, neurocognitive dysfunction, mood disturbances and sleep disturbances.
The population most affected is women aged between 20 and 50.

How Disabling is Fibromyalgia (FMS):
100 out of 394 patients (that is 25.3%) with FMS (all female) and 12 out of 44 males (27%) were shown in a recent survey to be sufficiently badly affected by the condition as to be unable to work - they were effectively disabled. 8a

Almost all the others surveyed claimed that their FMS affected their job performance very badly. In Canada a single insurance company, London Life, reported in 1989 that it was issuing monthly long-term disability payments to over 630 people with a diagnosis of fibromyalgia - involving a total of around a million dollars a month.

Change the Name, Change the Attitude
An example of why the naming of a condition matters can be seen from the word ‘fibrositis’ the previously used name for fibromyalgia. When a word ends in ‘itis’ in medicine it signifies that there is an inflammatory process involved. No evidence has ever been produced that the muscular aches and pains of fibrositis and/or fibromyalgia have much to do with inflammation.

Anti-inflammatory drugs therefore do not influence the condition and because of this many doctors assumed that the condition was a fiction - and that the symptoms complained of were unimportant or were imaginary.

By changing its name to ‘fibromyalgia syndrome’ the ‘inflammation’ element was removed and with this came the possibility for research and a wider understanding of the processes involved. The change in name has been accompanied by a rash of research and review articles in the medical journals - with a few in 1985 but around 100 in 1990.

CFS(ME) and FMS: Are They the Same? 9
There is disagreement amongst experts as to whether or not ‘fibromyalgia syndrome’ and ‘chronic fatigue syndrome’ are the same condition.

Both CFS(ME) and FMS often seem to begin after an infection or a severe trauma (physical or emotional) , and as indicated above the symptoms are very similar. The only obvious difference seems to be that for some people the fatigue element is the most dominant while for others the muscular pain symptoms are greatest (and for an unfortunate few both are markedly present). In other words for many people the diagnosis CFS(ME) and FMS seem to be interchangeable terms, although there are certain symptoms (fever, swollen glands for example) which are found in a higher percentage of CFS(ME) patients than those with FMS, which makes the comparison less precise.

Some doctors insist that the psychological aspects of these conditions [FMS as well as CFS(ME)] is the most important cause and they use the terms ‘masked depression’ and ‘somatoform disorder’ to describe such conditions. This is resented by those afflicted by CFS(ME) or FMS who see the psychological and emotional symptoms as being the result of their fatigue, pain and general illhealth, and not as causes.

‘Foggy Brain’ Symptoms 10
Memory lapses, inability to concentrate, dyslexic episodes [inability to recall simple words], are all part of many people’s fibromyalgia (and of most people’s chronic fatigue) and modern technology has now identified what may be happening in the brain with these conditions.

CONTINUED      Previous   1  2  3  4  5  6  7  Next   
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 About The Author
Leon Chaitow ND, DO, MROA practicing naturopath, osteopath, and acupuncturist in the United Kingdom, with over forty years clinical experience, Chaitow is Editor-in-Chief, of the ...more
 
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