ME vs. FM

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by gapsych, Aug 27, 2009.

  1. gapsych

    gapsych New Member

    I have broken up the following paragraphs for easier reading.


    *O* Myalgic Encephalomyelitis vs Fibromyalgia by Jodi Bassett

    Do M.E. and Fibromyalgia really have as much in common as some people claim? The reality is that the similarities between the two illnesses are minimal and superficial at best but their differences are truly profound.

    Even if they do share one or two symptoms is this really significant when in so many much more important ways they are so VERY different and have so very little in common? The idea of these two very different patient groups being mixed up and treated as if they represented the exact same patient group is utterly terrifying, the results could only be disastrous for all concerned.

    Fibromyalgia and Myalgic Encephalomyelitis are distinct and unique illnesses and it is vitally important that they are always seen that way for the benefit of all patients involved.

    Similar lists could also be created to show the differences between Myalgic Encephalomyelitis and; Lupus, Lyme disease, multiple sclerosis or Gulf War Syndrome.

    Although M.E. does have far more in common with all of these illnesses than with Fibromyalgia, these illness are all (more significantly) unique and distinct illnesses with different symptoms, core characteristics, aetiology’s, and pathologies which it would be equally unwise (and unscientific) to treat as if they represented the same illness.

    What follows is a brief selection of some of the many research studies and articles which show that
  2. karynwolfe

    karynwolfe New Member

    Ooh, good site, good references

    There's also an updated (though different) version of the page on their new site

  3. gapsych

    gapsych New Member


  4. jasminetee

    jasminetee Member

    Hummingbird's site is a good one to get info on ME.

    I think the Canadian Definition of ME also shows how different it is from FMS. Specifically, these parts of it:

    1. POST-EXERTIONAL MALAISE AND FATIGUE: There is a loss of physical and mental stamina, rapid muscular and cognitive fatigability, post-exertional fatigue, malaise and/or pain, and a tendency for other symptoms to worsen. A pathologically slow recovery period (it takes more than 24 hours to recover). Symptoms exacerbated by stress of any kind. Patient must have a marked degree of new onset, unexplained, persistent, or recurrent physical and mental fatigue that substantially reduces activity level. [Editor’s note: The M.E. Society prefers to use “delayed recovery of muscle function,” weakness, and faintness rather than “fatigue.” Further, we disagree that the muscle dysfunction and post-exertional sickness is “unexplained.” See our Cardiac Insufficiency Hypothesis page and our Research-Based Subsets page for researchers’ medical explanations on this website.]

    4. NEUROLOGICAL/COGNITIVE MANIFESTATIONS: T photophobia and hypersensitivity to noise --
    AUTONOMIC MANIFESTATIONS: Orthostatic Intolerance: e.g., neurally mediated hypotension (NMH), postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS), delayed postural hypotension, vertigo, light-headedness, extreme pallor, bladder dysfunction, More cardiac symptoms should be listed such as left-side chest aches and resting tachycardias, which, in addition to low blood volume, have also been documented in the research. The full text of the case definition does suggest 24-hour Holter monitoring, and when tachycardias with T-wave inversions or flattenings are present that they not be labeled as nonspecific since they aid in the diagnosis of ME/CFS. The frequent tachycardias seen in ME/CFS have been shown by Dr. Paul Cheney to be a compensatory mechanism that serves to increase cardiac output in the presence of low stroke volume due to diastolic dysfunction in the heart. Orthostatic problems may also be related to diastolic dysfunction as recently shown by Dr. Paul Cheney. See our Cardiac Insufficiency Hypothesis page.]

    NEUROENDOCRINE MANIFESTATIONS: loss of thermostatic stability, heat/cold intolerance, anorexia or abnormal appetite, marked weight change, hypoglycemia,
    IMMUNE MANIFESTATIONS: tender lymph nodes, sore throat, flu-like symptoms, general malaise, development of new allergies or changes in status of old ones, and hypersensitivity to medications and/or chemicals.

    6. The illness persists for at least 6 months. It usually has an acute onset, but onset also may be gradual. Preliminary diagnosis may be possible earlier. The disturbances generally form symptom clusters that are often unique to a particular patient. The manifestations may fluctuate and change over time. Symptoms exacerbate with exertion or stress."

    However, much of the definition that I've cut out here are the same in FMS or at least severe FMS. [This Message was Edited on 08/28/2009]
  5. gapsych

    gapsych New Member

    Yes, it is confusing when the symptoms overlap.

    I will go look at your site.