I subscribe to Cort Johnson’s “Health Rising” blog. He has taken up the cause of those suffering with ME/CFS for a long time (he is one of the millions of patients). As in one of my recent posts, the plight of sufferers of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) has been taking up space in headlines of top newspapers.
The current post on Cort’s blog, speaks to the similarities between MS (Multiple Sclerosis) and CFS (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome). CFS is a misnomer for ME (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis); however, CFS seems to be a more recognizable name, since its coining by the CDC many years ago.
The issue that Cort addresses in this latest post is the “fatigue” suffered by patients who have the two diseases: MS and ME/CFS.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) ranks amongst the most fatiguing disorders known. Both ME/CFS and MS are fatiguing disorders – but is their fatigue similar?
Cort goes on to describe the differences and similarities between MS and ME/CFS regarding:
- At what stage in development of disease does fatigue start to occur;
- Types of fatigue;
- What causes the fatigue to appear at different times of day;
- Does weather cause changes in severity of fatigue;
- How does exercise regimens affect patients’ fatigue;
- How does exercise affect pain experienced by patients;
- What other actions contribute to fatigue?
The word “fatigue” is a word that really doesn’t properly describe the bone- muscle- nerve-deep total exhaustion (and pain) experienced by ME/CFS patients; and yet, it is used offhandedly by the medical community, some scientists, the governmental agencies who are charged with caring for the health of their citizens, and others who are incapable of understanding the type of “fatigue” meant.
As part of his conclusion, Cort states:
Despite both disorders being associated with high rates of fatigue, people [with] ME/CFS and multiple sclerosis had very different responses to exercise – and display very different types of fatigue. The fatigue in MS is omnipresent, but is not greatly affected by exercise. The fatigue in ME/CFS is..