ME and Fibromyalgia Symptom Comparison – Google Scholars
Anyone can have ME/CFS; it is a common condition affecting people from all age groups. However, while most cases are of younger adults aged 40 and above, the disease affects mostly children, teens, and even adults of different ages. Among older adults, women seem to be affected more frequently than men. Even though the symptoms sometimes go unnoticed by some, the condition is oftentimes misdiagnosed and may not be taken seriously by some health care providers.
What is ME/CFS? This term is used as a synonym for Myalgic Encephalomyleitis/Myalgia Syndrome. It is a chronic, multifaceted illness that is characterized by recurrent unprovoked, usually brief pain or discomfort, usually in the upper back, neck, shoulders, or head, resulting from exposure to environmental factors like allergens, irritants, or stress. Common triggers of the symptoms can also be psychological and physical, with the former being more prominent. Common signs and symptoms include muscle weakness or fatigue, frequent fever, persistent chills, dry mouth, headaches, shortness of breath, or decreased sense of well-being, loss or numbness of certain body parts, muscle weakness, joint pain, and muscle spasms.
ME/CFS is diagnosed through several means. These include physical exams, thorough medical histories, laboratory tests, diagnostic imaging studies, and viral markers (such as HIV and monoclonal gammopathy). Abnormalities in brain function are some of the possible causative factors for the illness. Additionally, some ME patients display signs or symptoms that are beyond the control of medicine, such as loss of balance, speech problems, or coordination problems.
In an interesting piece by Jason Latessa of Google Scholar ja, comparing and contrasting ME vs. CFS, Jason points out that “there is no significant difference between the number of people who report chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and those who do not.” However, when you consider that “severity of the disease often accompanies disability” and that “many people with ME have such severe limitations that it is essentially a life-threatening illness,” one could make the argument that the two illnesses are somehow different. Latessa goes on to point out, moreover, that ” ME and CFS can be treated and better understood,” and that it is “timely and inexpensively” to treat ME than it is to treat CFS.
Furthermore, many ME patients find much relief from their symptoms through self-therapy techniques and cognitive behavior therapy. ME has been described as a symptom of poor functioning in an individual’s psychological and physiological networks. This may explain why so many ME patients have poor self functioning and are fatigued.
There is no doubt that ME is a very real and debilitating disorder. It can be a very distressing illness for those who suffer from it, both directly and indirectly. But there is no reason to think that ME must be without treatment. Currently there are multiple medications that can be used to treat ME and the symptoms of fatigue syndrome, including sertraline, paroxetine, fluoxetine, and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). In addition, there are natural supplements that can be used to treat the symptoms of this condition. And, most importantly, there are plenty of exercises and other strategies that can help to alleviate some of the symptoms of ME.