what is FM and CFS? A symptom or a disease?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by kansas55, May 12, 2006.

  1. kansas55

    kansas55 New Member

    My daughter is sick. Does she have a diseas or a symptom? Who decides? She want's an answer since she can't even bring herself to get out of bed these days.
  2. butterfly8

    butterfly8 New Member

    If it turns out that your daugher has cfs and/or fm, she has what the doctors call a syndrome. There are various criteria and guidelines in the medical profession - for the most part made up by doctors - which are used to decide. They are also available on web sites e.g., type in South Australia Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and you will find links to the texts of several guidelines.

    A syndrome means a set of symptoms that cluster together frequently enough to be recognized as a medical condition. Not everyone who is diagnosed with the syndrome has to have all the symptoms and some people can have some of the symptoms and not have the syndrome.

    In addition, to make things more complicated the symptoms often vary in severity.

    The symptoms are often general and could relate to a number of conditions. It is only when a person has a certain number of them together that they are regarded as having that syndrome.

    I hope this helps. Take care not only of your daughter, but also of yourself.
  3. usanagirl

    usanagirl New Member

    or Chronic Fatigue

    Fibromyalgia/chronic fatigue is a disease of exclusion. In other words, these patients have an array of symptoms and complaints, which mimic many illnesses. Physicians usually do very extensive workups only to find that everything appears pretty much normal.

    This disease used to be called "psychosomatic rheumatism." I fear that many physicians still believe this disease is simply in the patient's head. More and more doctors, however, are beginning to realize the seriousness of this disease and its tremendous affect on patients’ lives. Statistics estimate there are over 8 million people in the United States alone suffering with this disease. Eight out of nine are women.
    Fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue are considered by many to be different expressions of the same disease. All of these patients suffer from overwhelming and usually disabling fatigue. Fibromyalgia patients experience total body pain, unrestful sleep, and a myriad of other symptoms. Patients with chronic fatigue, on the other hand, have more swollen glands, recurrent fevers, and frequent infections.

    Fibromyalgia is diagnosed by excluding other possible diseases and then by doing tender point testing. By eliciting tenderness in at least 11 of 18 predetermined spots, a physician is able to diagnose the disease. Essentially all laboratory tests, X-rays, biopsies, and MRI's will come out negative.

    Chronic fatigue patients are diagnosed by eliminating all other possible causes of fatigue. Anyone who has suffered for more than six months with disabling fatigue essentially has chronic fatigue. The sad truth is that it usually takes approximately 6 to 8 years for these patients to finally be diagnosed by their physician with one of these diseases.

    Traditional medicine has no specific treatment for these diseases. With fibromyalgia, physicians typically place patients on a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory for pain, amitriptyline for sleep, perhaps a muscle relaxant and anti-depressant and then they tell the patient to find a support group and learn to live with it. What is even more concerning is the frequency with which these patients are being treated with narcotic pain medication. Now, they not only have a horrible disease but are also hooked on narcotic pain medication.

    Could it be possible that the root cause of fibromyalgia /chronic fatigue is oxidative stress?

    As we learn more and more about how oxidative stress can cause degenerative diseases, one has to wonder if this is the cause of the fibromyalgia/chronic fatigue syndromes. These syndromes are not high on the totem pole for research dollars. I have been unable to find any significant studies that have considered this as a possibility. I am hopeful more funds will be allocated toward these disabling diseases in the future.

    Hope this helps! Happy Mother's Day!
  4. usanagirl

    usanagirl New Member

  5. kansas55

    kansas55 New Member

    I learned more in these posts than I ever thought I'd learn. Thank you.

    My daughter was diagnosed with both FM and CFS. She has been ill for nearly three years and becoming steadily worse. I can't believe someone would believe this is psychosymatic (sp?):) It's not 'all in her head', she is physically ill.

    She was on here on Friday, but hasn't been able to get out of bed since.

    Thanks again,
    Kansan living in Nebraska
    Purple rules!!!
  6. usanagirl

    usanagirl New Member

    I'm so sorry to hear that your daughter is ill, how are you holding up?

    I recommend you visit Dr. Ray Strand's website regarding nutritional medicine....www.bionutrition.org and hope you find some answers you may be searching for.

  7. findmind

    findmind New Member

    I'm so sorry to hear about your daughter being diagnosed with Fm and CFS.

    I hope you can get her to eat well. we have severe energy crises, and good, well balanced diet is so important. I find I need good quality protein, even red meat, to keep my strength up at all. I also eat sweet potatoes, baked, nuked, or mashed, butter, cheeses, nuts, yogurt eggs, whole grain bread and cereal, beans, etc.

    She won't feel like making her own food, so if you just can make it available for her to get when she can muster the energy to reheat, that will make a huge difference for her.

    I hope you'll look at this site for the supplements most of us need. If she is newly ill, I'd say less than 5 years, she has a chance to improve considerably if she is supported nutritionally and supplementally.

    Also, read about "Stormyskye's Shake"
    on the search option here...a lot of people use it. She has a ton of good info for you, so take your time.

    If you have the money, you could look to see if there's a FibroandFatigueClinic near you; they are helping so many get not just better, but well. The first year of treatment I understand to be expensive, but after that, its less.

    The best to you and your daughter, I hope you find things to help....


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