What is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome? Part 1

What is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome? Part 1

There is a summary of the condition known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or ME. There are 3 parts of this article.
What is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome? (Part 1)
We all get tired. Many of us at times have felt depressed. But the mystery known as chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is not like the normal ups and downs we experience in everyday life. The early sign of this illness is a strong and noticeable fatigue that comes on suddenly and often comes and goes or never stops. You feel too tired to do normal activities or are easily exhausted with no apparent reason. Unlike the mind fog of a serious hangover, to which researchers have compared CFS, the profound weakness of CFS does not go away with a few good nights of sleep. Instead, it steals your energy and vigor over months and sometimes years.

The following chart shows some statistics taken in Australia regarding length of continuing disability symptoms, although is actually very unpredictable to forecast when are you going to improve your symptoms, and also if they may come back at a later stage.

Despite of the chart of persistence of CFS symptoms, full recovery is estimated at 10 percent, with the greatest chance of recovery appearing to be within the first five years of illness. Some people cycle between periods of relatively good health and illness, and some gradually worsen over time. Others neither get worse nor better, while some improve gradually but never fully recover

How does CFS begin, and what are CFS symptoms?

For many people, CFS begins after a bout with a cold, bronchitis, hepatitis, or an intestinal bug. For some, it follows a bout of infectious mononucleosis, or mono, which temporarily saps the energy of many teenagers and young adults. Often, people say that their illnesses started during a period of high stress. In others, CFS develops more gradually, with no clear illness or other event starting it.


Just for a sake of clarity, the name of this illness has brought a lot of controversy, and currently they are trying to change it to neuroendocrineimmune dysfunction syndrome, or NDS, which better reflects the symptoms of this illness, is not just fatigue...

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is an Illness characterized by a permanent fatigue (that it does not improve with the rest), for at least six consecutive months, accompanied of other symptoms as difficulty of concentration, lost of memory, non-refreshing sleep, muscular pains, pains you will articulate (without inflammation), migraines, general discomfort post exercise that extends more than 24 hours and alterations of the sleep.

This Chronic Fatigue Syndrome has also been called Immune Malfunction, epidemic Neuromiastenia and Myalgic Encephalomyelitis.

The illness has proven to be both complex and mysterious, and there is still no known cause or cure. However, there is abundant scientific evidence that CFS is a real biologic illness, not a psychiatric condition. And there are treatment options that can help patients manage symptoms, cope with the impact of the illness, improve function and manage activity levels.


There is not known yet the final cause of it, but it is believed that a viral infection is involved in it. Among the viruses responsible for CFS are: Epstein-Barr, HIV, HHV-6, Cytomegalovirus, retrovirus or enterovirus.

The World Health Organization has listed the discrete disease, CFS under neurological disorders specifically excluding it from psychiatric disorders. Doctors treating patients medically diagnosed with CFS describe them are more functionally ill than cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy, patients with HIV, Type 2 diabetes and another neurological disorder MS.

In one study, Ablashi et al. (15) found that 25% of the sera &am 300 CFS patients, tested for HHV-6 IgG and EBV-VCA IgG antibody, showed elevated antibodies to both HHV-6 and EBV.
There has been considerable interest in investigating its possible role in CFS. Most of us have already been infected with the virus in our first year of life. In most individuals the virus is latent. When HHV-6 is reactivated, or during reinfection, it may contribute to CFS.
Evidence of the involvement of HHV-6 in CFS, compared to that of other human herpes viruses (EBV, CMV, HSV-1 and 2, VZV, HHV-7), is much stronger. The evidence is based on:

1. Elevated IgG antibody;
2. Detection of anti-IgM antibody in equal to or less than 50% of patients, which is a good indication of virus reactivation;
3. Detection of HHV-6 antigen expressing cells in the peripheral blood mononuclear cells of CFS patients by culture techniques;
4. Detection of HHV-6 DNA in lymphocytes of CFS patients by PCR and Southern blot hybridization (22-23,33,35-36).


In the following chart, we can see how clinical diagnostic can be made, and RNASe biological marker is simply a confirmation of the clinical diagnostic.

Content Source: Bukisa - What is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome? Part 1


What is it like for someone living with Fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia is a little understood disorder or syndrome that can also be manifested as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. For many years doctors believed it was a psychiactric disorder and not a true disease process because it occurs primarily in women and does not show up in any known diagnostic testing. Recently however Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome has been legitimized.
How to understand what it is like living with Fibromyalgia and other chronic pain conditions

Content Source: Bukisa - What is it like for someone living with Fibromyalgia?

Surviving Fibromyalgia with Young Children

Surviving fibromyalgia with young children!

I know fibromyalgia is difficult to live with. Add this to being a mom of young children, and wife, friend, and family member. I cannot tell you how to live this way, but I can tell you how I manage to get by.
The only thing worse than having fibromylagia is having fibromyalgia and toddlers.  I am a mother of two young children, Levi 3 and Ruby 1.  They are really good kids, but they are toddlers and like every toddler, they are very busy kids.  They run, climb, jump, fight, hate each other one minute, and love each other the other minute.  I love my kids and would never give them up, but sometimes, I feel like I can't do it for one more minute literally.

Content Source: Bukisa - Surviving fibromyalgia with young children!

Fibromyalgia: One Mother's Struggle for a Normal Life

Fibromyalgia: One Mother’s Struggle for a Normal Life

From getting a diagnosis to finding the right treatments, fibromyalgia is a daily struggle. A victim to the disease at the age of 20, I share the frustration and complications I experienced.
A single mom working two full-time jobs, I was outgoing and enthusiastic. I spent time with family and friends or worked on one of the many creative projects that I had on the go. With the exception of a few minor bumps in the road, my life seemed to cruise along smoothly until fibromyalgia slowly transformed my identity.

Content Source: Bukisa - Fibromyalgia: One Mother’s Struggle for a Normal Life

Letter to "Normals"

Almost every day I bookmark something on Fibromyalgia. Learning as much as I can about it, helps me to cope with being sick. One of the first things I found while searching for information on Fibromyalgia was the letter to “normals”. There are several different letters, but this one is my favorite. I wish I could express my thoughts on this illness as well as this author did.

There are the things I would like you to understand before you judge me...

Please know that being sick doesn't mean I'm not human. I may spend most of my day flat on my back and I might not seem like great company, but I'm still me stuck inside this body. I worry about school, work, family and friends and I'd still like to hear about yours.

Please understand the difference between "happy" and "healthy". When you've got the flu you probably feel miserable but it will pass. I've been sick for for so long that I can't afford to be miserable all the time, in fact I work hard at not being miserable. So if I sound happy, it means that I'm happy, it does not mean that I am well. I may be in pain and sicker than ever.

Please, don't say, "Oh, you're sounding better!".

I am not sounding better, I am sounding happy. If you want to comment on that, you're welcome.

Please understand that being able to stand up for five minutes, doesn't mean that I can stand ten minutes, or an hour. It's likely that five minutes has exhausted my resources and I'll need to recover - imagine an athlete after a race. They couldn't repeat that feat right away either. With a lot of diseases you're either paralyzed or you can move, but with Fibromyalgia it gets more confusing.

Please repeat the above paragraph substituting, "sitting up", "walking", "thinking", "being sociable" and so on ... it applies to everything. That's what a fatigue-based illness does to you.

Please understand that chronic illnesses are variable. It's quite possible (for me, it's common) that one day I am able to walk to the park and back, and the next I'll struggle to reach the kitchen.

Please don't attack me when I'm ill by saying, "But you did it before!".

If you want me to do something, ask if I can and I'll tell you. In a similar vein, I may need to cancel an invitation at the last minute, if this happens please don't take it personally.

Please understand that "getting out and doing things" does not make me feel better, and can often make me worse. Fibromyalgia may cause secondary depression (wouldn't you get depressed if you were no longer able to participate in life?) but it is not caused by depression. Telling me that I need exercise is not appreciated or correct - if I could do it, I would.

Please understand that if I say I have to sit down/lie down/take these pills now, that I do have to do it right now - it can't be put off or forgotten just because I'm doing something. Fibromyalgia does not forgive.

Please understand that I can't spend all of my energy trying to get well. With a short-term illness like the flu, you can afford to put life on hold for a week or two while you get well. But part of having a chronic illness is coming to the realization that you have to spend some energy on having a life now. This doesn't mean I'm not trying to get better. It doesn't mean I've given up. It's just how life is when you're dealing with a chronic illness.

If you want to suggest a cure, please don't. It's not because I don't appreciate the thought, and it's not because I don't want to get well. It's because every one of my friends has already suggested every theory known to man. I tried them all, but quickly realized I was using up so much energy trying new treatments I was making myself sicker, not better. If there was something that cured Fibromyalgia, all of us would know about it by now.

If you read this and still want to suggest a cure, submit it in writing but don't expect me to rush out and try it. If it is something new, with merit, I'll discuss it with my doctor.

Please understand that getting better can be a slow process. Fibromyalgia entails numerous symptoms and it can take a long time to sort them all out.

I depend on you - people who are not sick for many things but most importantly, I need you to understand me.

The above text may be printed freely, and shared as needed providing all content is kept intact. No other person shall ever publish this work citing themselves as the author.

Fibromyalgia Is Real by Kammy Salmon

This poem says it all.

Fibromyalgia is real

There is no doubt

If you don’t believe it

Here’s what it is all about !

It’s about being a professional

At the top of your career

And losing your future

In less than a year

It’s about having unrelenting pain

No one can figure out

Having test after test

That shows nothing but doubt

It’s about knowing your pain is real

And fighting for your rights

Being so upset and frustrated

Getting no sleep so many nights !

It’s about trying to find the right doctor

Who can offer you some hope

Who knows what it’s all about

Who can give you what you need to cope !

It’s about learning to live again

With a whole new personality

Letting go of the person you once were

And facing a whole new reality !

It’s about losing friends and family

Because they think “it’s all in your head”.

But truth be known, there are days

You hurt so much, you can’t get out of bed !

It’s about setting new priorities

“So what if there is dust”

You have to take care of yourself now

And do only what you must !

It’s about holding on to hope

Each new day could bring a cure

It’s holding on to this hope

That will raise your mood for sure !

It’s about being thankful for the few

Friends and family that are true

Believing and hoping for a miracle

Praying for strength to make it through !

© 2004Kammy Salmon


The Effects of Fibromyalgia on Sexual Relationships

Fibromyalgia takes over every aspect of our lives including our sexual relationships. This often becomes a touchy subject within a relationship or marriage because often times our partners or spouses may feel like we’re just making excuses because we no longer find them sexually attractive and this couldn’t be farther from the truth. The fatigue, pain, medications and the negative self-image we obtain from the Fibromyalgia greatly affects our desires and ability to have sex.


Those of us with Fibromyalgia don’t always get the kind of sleep we need and we often are left feeling exhausted. The thought of sex when we are this tired is incomprehensible. Sex takes a lot of energy and when we just don’t have it, we don’t want it.


We are all aware of the horrible aches and pains we get with Fibromyalgia. When you’re hurting it’s hard to get into the mood, much less take on the physical task of having sex. Fibromyalgia also affects the pelvic muscles and this can make sex extremely painful and unbearable.


The medication is never in short supply when you have Fibromyalgia. The medicine that helps us control our Fibromyalgia can also wreak havoc on our sex lives. Many medications can cause decreased libido and erectile dysfunction and well, it makes us just not want it even if we are feeling halfway decent. There’s not a whole lot we can do about this one either. We have to take our medicine.


Fibromyalgia is an emotional bully. Our bodies can change greatly because of the Fibromyalgia. We may gain weight or lose too much weight, our skin can be blotchy and red and sometimes our hair falls out, so every time we look in the mirror we hate what we see. We just don’t feel sexy anymore and the thought of taking our clothes off for someone else to see is just not something we want to do.

All of these things turn a once pleasurable activity into an extremely negative experience but don’t let Fibromyalgia destroy your relationship. Talk to your partner about how you feel and make sure you listen to their concerns as well. Fibromyalgia doesn’t just effect us. It effects our family, our friends and everyone around us. Remember that it’s just as hard for them to accept that we have morphed into different people as it is for us, so be patient.

5 Exercises for Fibromyalgia

The best treatment for Fibromyalgia is exercise. Exercise is hard to do when you are in constant pain, but eventually, exercise will help you control the pain. It’s important to start out slow and then increase your work-outs a little at a time. You don’t want to overwhelm yourself right away. The five best exercises for Fibromyalgia are walking, Yoga, swimming, Pilates and biking.


Walking is a great beginner exercise for someone who has Fibromyalgia. Start walking just ten minutes a day for at least five days a week. Every week increase your time by five minutes. You’re going to be extremely sore, but don’t stop. The more you walk, the better you will feel. Another great benefit of walking is that it gives you a feeling of accomplishment. This may seem silly to most people, but those of us who have Fibromyalgia understand the importance of the little victories.


Yoga is very beneficial for those who have Fibromyalgia. The deep breathing allows us to relax, and the poses stretch out our tight, aching muscles. It’s very important to start out slow with Yoga, because the breathing can cause you to pass out if you’re not careful. Start at a beginner’s level and work your way up as you feel comfortable doing so. Don’t worry about doing everything perfect, just do it.


Swimming is great because it is very low impact. It doesn’t put any stress on our bodies and the water can be very relaxing. You don’t have to be an Olympic swimmer. Actually, you don’t even have to know how to swim. Strap on a floaty and move around the pool. When you’re working out in a nice swimming pool it just doesn’t seem like exercise. So enjoy yourself, but don’t overdo it.


Pilates has basically the same benefits as Yoga, but it will also strengthen your muscles. Dancer’s use Pilates so that they can strengthen their muscles without getting bulky muscles. Some of the Pilate exercises may be a little difficult to do when you have Fibromyalgia, but find the ones you can do and get into a routine.


Biking is great if you are able to do it. I tried this one, but my body just wasn’t ready for it. If you can do it though it’s a fun way to get your exercise in for the day. As with all the exercises, start out slow and build yourself up. Even if you only ride for five minutes a day, it’s better than sitting on the sofa.

Doing just one of these on a daily basis will make a world of difference. So pick one, two or even three of these and get your Fibromyalgia under control. Always remember that you have Fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia doesn’t have

Symptoms of Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition that causes widespread pain, tenderness and a whole host of other symptoms. The pain and fatigue that are associated with Fibromyalgia are debilitating and relentless, but this chronic invisible illness involves so much more than that. So many are unaware of the multitude of Fibromyalgia symptoms and the effects they have on day-to-day living.
The most prominent symptoms of Fibromyalgia include pain. The pain can manifest in many ways such as burning, stabbing, aching, numbness and tingling. Pain symptoms include headaches, tender points or trigger points, muscle pain, muscle twitching, muscle weakness, paralysis or severe weakness of an arm or leg, joint pain, TMJ syndrome and chest pain. The chest pain can be so severe that it feels like a heart attack.
The basic symptoms of Fibromyalgia are fatigue that is made worse by stress or physical exertion, recurrent flu-like illness, sore throat, hoarseness, tender or swollen lymph nodes, shortness of breath, frequent sighing, tremor or trembling, severe nasal allergies, cough and night sweats. Other basic symptoms are low-grade fevers, feeling cold or hot often, cold hands and feet, low body temperature (below 97.6), heart palpitations, dry eyes and mouth, increased thirst and symptoms worsened by temperature changes, air travel and stress.
It was recently in the news that researchers have found a neurological connection to fibromyalgia. Neurological symptoms include lightheadedness, inability to think clearly (also known as brain fog or Fibro fog), seizures, seizure-like episodes, fainting, dizziness, numbness or tingling sensations, ringing in one or both ears, sensitivity to light and noise intolerance. Other symptoms are feeling spatially disoriented, balance difficulty, clumsy walking, dropping things frequently, difficulty judging distances and difficulty seeing what you are looking at.
The cognitive symptoms can be the most frustrating. They include difficulty with simple calculations, difficulty finding the right word, using the wrong word, difficulty expressing ideas in words, difficulty moving your mouth to speak, slowed speech, stuttering or stammering, inability to concentrate, easily distracted during a task, difficulty paying attention, difficulty following a conversation when there is background noise, losing your train of thought in the middle of a sentence and difficulty putting tasks or things in proper sequence. Those with Fibromyalgia may also experience short-term memory loss, long-term memory loss, forgetting how to do routine things, difficulty understanding what you read, verbal dyslexia, written dyslexia, difficulty remembering names of objects or people, difficulty recognizing faces, difficulty following written or verbal instructions, poor judgment, difficulty making decisions, difficulty following directions when driving, becoming lost when driving and feeling too disoriented to drive.
Gastrointestinal symptoms are stomachache and cramps, nausea, vomiting, heartburn, frequent diarrhea and constipation, bloating, decreased or increased appetite, food cravings and weight gain or weight loss.
Fibromyalgia greatly affects a person’s mood. Emotional symptoms are depression, suicidal thoughts, suicide attempts, frequent crying, feeling helpless and hopeless, inability to enjoy previously enjoyed activities, anxiety, irritability and overreaction, anger outbursts, unpredictable mood swings, phobias and personality changes. It’s important to note that Fibromyalgia causes depression. Depression does not cause Fibromyalgia.
Sleep symptoms include excessive sleeping, unrefreshing or non-restorative sleep, difficulty falling asleep, difficulty staying asleep and vivid or disturbing dreams or nightmares. The sleep symptoms of Fibromyalgia can be some of the most frustrating because without a good night’s sleep, the body can’t rest and this causes the pain to become even more unbearable.
Fibromyalgia causes you to be more sensitive to just about everything. You become more sensitive to medications, odors from cleaning products, exhaust fumes, colognes, hairsprays, etc., and foods. Those with Fibromyalgia may also experience Alcohol intolerance and an alteration of taste, smell and hearing.
Other symptoms of Fibromyalgia include rashes or sores, eczema or psoriasis, hair loss, mitral valve prolapse, cancer, dental problems, gum disease, canker sores, eye pain, changes in visual acuity, difficulty switching focus from one thing to another, blind spots in vision, hemorrhoids, nose bleeds, frequent urination, painful urination or bladder pain, prostate pain, impotence, Endometriosis, worsening of PMS and decreased sex drive.
Fibromyalgia is difficult to treat and even harder to understand. All of the symptoms of Fibromyalgia make it extremely difficult for people to believe you and this makes coping with this invisible illness all the more harder. The symptoms are real. Fibromyalgia is real.