Myalgia – otherwise known as chronic fatigue syndrome (CDS) – is a debilitating and complex medical condition. People with ME / CFS often cannot perform most of their usual daily functions. Sometimes, ME / CFS even prevents them from being able to sleep.
ME / CFS is classified as a progressive multi-system illness, which means it has many underlying causes. These causes include bacterial, viral, neurological, and environmental causes. Measles, chicken pox, rheumatoid arthritis, hypothyroidism, neurologic disorders, and psychiatric diseases such as post traumatic stress disorder, delusional parasomnia, and multiple sclerosis all can cause symptoms of ME / CFS. It is difficult to pinpoint the exact cause of this disease, however, there is considerable evidence that suggests many of its underlying causes are linked to various brain chemistry factors.
The most common symptoms of myalgia include severe pain and swelling in the feet or legs, the arms or shoulders, and difficulty concentrating, both mentally and physically. A combination of these symptoms makes it difficult to hold a job or accomplish daily activities. People with ME / CFS can sometimes feel depressed, anxious, or irritable. Many people with ME / CFS also experience depression, anxiety, or irritability. In addition, chronic fatigue syndrome is often accompanied by an inability to concentrate or a noticeable decrease in one’s energy level.
Some people with ME / CFS have no clear signs or symptoms. Because the illness progresses over time, when a person first gets diagnosed, the diagnosis might be considered mild. Over time, with the gradual onset of symptoms, it can be considered moderate to severe. A myalgic erysipelacis, which is an acronym for myalgia, is diagnosed only when the length of time it has been occurring is longer than three months, when symptoms of ME / CFS start to become apparent, or if there is another, identifiable, physical illness that causes fatigue and loss of concentration. When a doctor rules out other diseases, such as cancer, dehydration, hypothyroidism, and stress as causes of the myalgic condition, it becomes easier to treat those specific symptoms.
ME / CFS is divided into two main categories, based on the severity of the symptoms. Symptomatically similar to a heart condition, which often involves swelling of the heart, is Multisystemic Arthritis (MSRA). Also called systemic sclerosis, it is caused by several factors, including inflammation of the body’s joints. Another classification is Functional Medical Disease, which is characterised by a combination of symptoms that affect various organs and systems in the body, but tend to be associated with an actual disease. And, finally, other symptoms include Kebab disease, pseudogout, and vitamin deficiency.
As of this writing, there are at least twenty-two different ME / CFS symptoms, with the number growing each year. Many doctors believe that the real number may be double-ninths of a million people, with many more never coming forward. The official diagnosis of ME / CFS still hinges on a series of tests that involve measurements of muscle function and muscle fatigue, brain function and memory, and symptoms experienced by the patient. Although significantly improved, researchers are still not certain about what causes this disease, or what causes the symptoms. However, there is hope, as research is steadily turning up new and promising causes and treatments of this debilitating disease.