A Short Guide to Fibromyalgia

By Daniel J. Wallace; Janice Brock Wallace | Go to book overview

6
What Conditions Are Associated
with Fibromyalgia?

Throughout this century, patients with fibromyalgia-like complaints have been diagnosed by physicians as having all types of conditions, syndromes, and diseases. Many of these overlap with fibromyalgia, and this chapter focuses on the most important ones.


CHRONIC FATIGUE SYNDROME

The codification and [legitimization] of fibromyalgia with statistically validated criteria has paralleled similar initiatives concerning chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). Chapter 1 recounted some of the earlier in⁃ sights and efforts. An acute infection is often characterized by fever, swollen glands, and either a cold/bronchitis, a stomach/intestinal con⁃ dition, or an aching/debilitating presentation. As the body fights infec⁃ tion and makes antibodies against microbes, acute symptoms and signs start to disappear and most of the time patients feel much better. How⁃ ever, a variety of organisms can stimulate the production of cytokines (discussed in Chapter 3) and other chemicals, which prolong fatigue and aching and may be associated with cognitive impairment, malaise, pain amplification, and sleeping difficulties.


How the Centers for Disease Control
Drew Up Criteria for CFS

Between 1930 and 1980, it was known that some patients recovering from infectious diseases such as polio, mononucleosis, and brucello⁃ sis had a prolonged convalescence and persistent systemic symptoms. By the early 1980s, a herpesvirus known as Epstein-Barr virus joined the group (mononucleosis is also a herpesvirus). For unknown rea⁃ sons, it tended to afflict upwardly mobile young people, and the press

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