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Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and fibromyalgia (FM)

Posted Dec 02 2008 7:28pm 4 Comments

Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and fibromyalgia (FM) are not autoimmune diseases. But they often have symptoms similar to some autoimmune diseases and other illnesses. Just two of
these symptoms are being tired all the time and being in pain.

- Chronic fatigue syndrome is a complex disorder that can cause you to be very tired, have trouble concentrating, feel weak, and have muscle pain. Symptoms of CFS can come and go. We don’t know what causes CFS.

- Fibromyalgia is a disorder that has symptoms of widespread muscle pain, fatigue (feeling tired and having low energy), and multiple tender points. Tender points are located in the neck, spine, shoulders, hips, and knees. These areas are painful when pressure is applied to them. FM occurs mostly in women of childbearing age. But children, the elderly, and men are sometimes diagnosed with FM. We don’t know what causes FM.

Source: National Women’s Health Information Center, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services,

Comments (4)
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Being a life-long neuropathic pain patient that experiences sore-throat, without a bacterial or viral infection to blame, a few time each year that typically spreads to my ears, nose, and pleurial lining (causes extreme weakness and fatigue)... sound familiar anyone? ... well, in my case this is very likely Gulliam-Barre in the "rare 3%" that began "spontaniously" at such an early age that my attacks are much milder that those who initially experience this later in life... that "rare 3%" is likely MUCH higher and OFTEN MISDIAGNOSED!!!

Although FM has not been classified as autoimmunity, it has been classified as neurological... Linda Watkins at the University of Colorado in Boulder has been doing some wonderful work to describe the neuropathic pain pathway, and has been working with a neuropathic pain rat model... she and her colleagues have shown that the mechinism is two-fold... an autoimmune attack on the peripheral nerves causes the severe inflammation of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (aka RSD)... while the immune-like response that is initiated by the surrounding glial cells within the spinal cord create a hyperpotentiation (aka long term potentiation) which is the same type of action potential that is present in the hippocampus and thought to be the mechanism to memory formation.... BUT in the spinal cord the immune-like response causes a positive feedback that can go on for days, weeks, months, or years depending upon the chemical basis for the positive feedback (without a negative feedback to turn it off or simply running out of the chemical that feeds the system, the process continues).... FM and neuropathic pain have more similarities than is currently understood... research still needs to be done... Dr. Watkin's work shows relation to allodynia, hyeralgesia, dysthesia, CRPS, Gullian Barre, diabetes, etc...

How was CFS and FM ruled out from being a Autoimmune diseases ? PBC Primary Biliary cirrhosis is, and all seem to have the same expressions of symptoms.?The cirrhosis is not from alcohol use or abuse, PBC is a woman's sickness for the most part. 1 in a million get it. I got it,I hate it and it hates me.
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