Real illness

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Discussing whether something is a real illness can mean many different things, including:

  • whether an illness actually exists, or if the name is used to refer to unrelated symptoms
  • whether the illness is better accounted for by a different diagnosis
  • whether the illness symptoms are clinically significant, or if the person is a hypochondriac or one of the "worried well" experiencing normal bodily sensations
  • whether an illness is physical (organic) rather a than psychosomatic illness or a mental illness
  • whether the illness is a legitimate, recognized illness, for example it is listed in a diagnostic manual
  • whether an illness is generally recognized by other physicians
  • whether it is recognizable as a unique illness, rather than simply being a group of symptoms common in many patients
  • whether it is recognized as a serious illness, for example recognized for social security disability or illness payments

Signs and symptoms[edit | edit source]

Effects[edit | edit source]

ME/CFS[edit | edit source]

ME/CFS is recognized as a real illness because there is scientific evidence that ME/CFS:

  • has a collection of symptoms which are linked by a disease process, and medical abnormalities have been found which are not present in healthy people.[1]
  • it has been in the World Health Organization's diagnostic manuals since 1969[1]:1-2
  • it is classified as a physical, neurological disease by the World Health Organization, and is regarded as a serious physical disease by the CDC and the UK's National Health Service[2][3]
  • underlying disease processes have been shown to exist by scientific research, and by results of autopsies from people who have died from ME/CFS[4][1]
  • symptoms cannot be fully explained by any other illness[5]

News and articles[edit | edit source]

content hidden
CFS was officially recognised as a genuine illness in the UK by the Royal Colleges of Physicians and General Practitioners in October 1996.
But some of the GPs tended to view patients with CFS as having certain undesirable traits such as being "introspective" or having a "low symptom threshold".
They saw CFS patients as having "a certain personality trait that is chronic fatigue syndrome waiting to happen".
Rosalind Raine and colleagues suggest the doctors' stereotyping of CFS patients meant they saw the condition less as a discrete disorder, and more as a defining feature of the patient.
Such stereotyping of IBS did not seem to occur.
In contrast, patients with IBS were viewed to "battle through it" and rarely "debilitated to such an extent that they were off work".
The study authors said GPs' perceptions about patients with certain conditions might prevent them from assessing and treating each patient as objectively
A sufferer has made a graphic documentary about myalgic encephalomyelitis
A 22-year-old who suffers from ME says some doctors do not believe the disease exists and patients struggle to get the care and support they need.

Notable articles[edit | edit source]

  • 2020, The negative impact of the psychiatric model of chronic fatigue syndrome on doctors' understanding and management of the illness[6](Full text)
  • 2020, A relational analysis of an invisible illness: A meta-ethnography of people with chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME) and their support needs[7](Full text)
  • 2019, Legitimizing myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome: indications of change over a decade[8] - (Abstract)
  • 2019, Dismissing chronic illness: A qualitative analysis of negative health care experiences[9](Full text)
  • 2019, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: It's Real, and We Can Do Better[10](Full text)
  • 2019, Ethical classification of ME/CFS in the United Kingdom[11](Abstract)
  • 2015, Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: A Real Illness[12](Full text)
  • 2015, The Physical Basis of CFS[13](Full text)
  • 2007, Not in the mind of neurasthenic lazybones but in the cell nucleus: patients with chronic fatigue syndrome have increased production of nuclear factor kappa beta[4]
  • 1992, ME: is it a genuine disease?[14](Abstract) 

See also[edit | edit source]

Learn more[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.01.11.2 Carruthers, BM; van de Sande, MI; De Meirleir, KL; Klimas, NG; Broderick, G; Mitchell, T; Staines, D; Powles, ACP; Speight, N; Vallings, R; Bateman, L; Bell, DS; Carlo-Stella, N; Chia, J; Darragh, A; Gerken, A; Jo, D; Lewis, DP; Light, AR; Light, KC; Marshall-Gradisnik, S; McLaren-Howard, J; Mena, I; Miwa, K; Murovska, M; Stevens, SR (2012), Myalgic encephalomyelitis: Adult & Paediatric: International Consensus Primer for Medical Practitioners (PDF), ISBN 978-0-9739335-3-6
  2. "Symptoms | Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome". Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. January 27, 2021. Retrieved February 25, 2021.
  3. NICE Guideline Development Group (October 29, 2021). "Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (or Encephalopathy)/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome:diagnosis and management. NICE guideline". National Institute for Health and Care Excellence.
  4. 4.04.1 Maes, Michael; Mihaylova, Ivana; Bosmans, Eugene (August 2007). "Not in the mind of neurasthenic lazybones but in the cell nucleus: patients with chronic fatigue syndrome have increased production of nuclear factor kappa beta" (PDF). Neuro Endocrinology Letters. 28 (4): 456–462. ISSN 0172-780X. PMID 17693979. For decades, CFS patients were (and still are) dismissed as lazybones or hypochondriacs. Since 1994, the baffling illness has received recognition by the introduction of diagnostic criteria [1]. Nevertheless, many medical doctors and insurance companies still assert that CFS merely is a mental condition.
    Doctors who treat CFS patients as suffering from a biological disorder and scientists who deal with the psycho-neuro-immune pathophysiology of CFS are often considered quacks by some of their colleagues, insurance companies and anti-quack societies, which are sometimes officially supported by governments, e.g. the Dutch government, in order to eliminate the scientific view that CFS is an organic disorder. The latter obviously would mean that the national health care system is obliged to financially support those patients who now are considered hypochondriacs and thus are suspended from the national health care systems. In accordance, the mainstream, “evidence based” treatment for CFS is cognitive behavioural therapy, which means that patients with CFS are being treated as having a mental illness with “treatments” that do not treat any underlying pathophysiology.
    There is, however, evidence that CFS is accompanied by severe immune disorders, such as activation of the inflammatory response system (IRS) and increased oxidative and nitrosative stress with a significant damage to membrane lipids and functional proteins [2–4].
  5. Carruthers, Bruce M.; Jain, Anil Kumar; De Meirleir, Kenny L.; Peterson, Daniel L.; Klimas, Nancy G.; Lerner, A. Martin; Bested, Alison C.; Flor-Henry, Pierre; Joshi, Pradip; Powles, A C Peter; Sherkey, Jeffrey A.; van de Sande, Marjorie I. (2003), "Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Clinical Working Case Definition, Diagnostic and Treatment Protocols" (PDF), Journal of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, 11 (2): 7-115, doi:10.1300/J092v11n01_02
  6. Geraghty, Keith (July 2, 2020). "The negative impact of the psychiatric model of chronic fatigue syndrome on doctors' understanding and management of the illness". Fatigue: Biomedicine, Health & Behavior. 8 (3): 167–180. doi:10.1080/21641846.2020.1834295. ISSN 2164-1846.
  7. Pilkington, Karen; Ridge, Damien T.; Igwesi-Chidobe, Chinonso N.; Chew-Graham, Carolyn A.; Little, Paul; Babatunde, Opeyemi; Corp, Nadia; McDermott, Clare; Cheshire, Anna (November 1, 2020). "A relational analysis of an invisible illness: A meta-ethnography of people with chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME) and their support needs". Social Science & Medicine. 265: 113369. doi:10.1016/j.socscimed.2020.113369. ISSN 0277-9536.
  8. Friedberg, Fred (January 2, 2020). "Legitimizing myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome: indications of change over a decade". Fatigue: Biomedicine, Health & Behavior. 8 (1): 24–31. doi:10.1080/21641846.2020.1718292. ISSN 2164-1846.
  9. McManimen, Stephanie; McClellan, Damani; Stoothoff, Jamie; Gleason, Kristen; Jason, Leonard A. (March 2019). "Dismissing chronic illness: A qualitative analysis of negative health care experiences". Health Care for Women International. 40 (3): 241–258. doi:10.1080/07399332.2018.1521811. ISSN 1096-4665. PMC 6567989. PMID 30829147.
  10. Unger, Elizabeth; Medscape (February 25, 2019). "Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: It's Real, and We Can Do Better". Medscape. Retrieved February 25, 2019.
  11. O'Leary, Diane (February 2019). "Ethical classification of ME/CFS in the United Kingdom". Bioethics. doi:10.1111/bioe.12559. ISSN 1467-8519.
  12. Komaroff, Anthony L. (June 16, 2015). "Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: A Real Illness". Annals of Internal Medicine. 162 (12): 871. doi:10.7326/m15-0647. ISSN 0003-4819.
  13. Komaroff, Anthony (2015). "The Physical Basis of CFS". Massachusetts ME/CFS & FM Association. Retrieved December 18, 2021.
  14. Shepherd, C.; Lees, H. (May 1, 1992). "ME: is it a genuine disease?". Health visitor. 65 (5): 165–167. ISSN 0017-9140. PMID 1624312.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) - The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is a U.S. government agency dedicated to epidemiology and public health. It operates under the auspices of the Department of Health and Human Services.

myalgic encephalomyelitis (M.E.) - A disease often marked by neurological symptoms, but fatigue is sometimes a symptom as well. Some diagnostic criteria distinguish it from chronic fatigue syndrome, while other diagnostic criteria consider it to be a synonym for chronic fatigue syndrome. A defining characteristic of ME is post-exertional malaise (PEM), or post-exertional neuroimmune exhaustion (PENE), which is a notable exacerbation of symptoms brought on by small exertions. PEM can last for days or weeks. Symptoms can include cognitive impairments, muscle pain (myalgia), trouble remaining upright (orthostatic intolerance), sleep abnormalities, and gastro-intestinal impairments, among others. An estimated 25% of those suffering from ME are housebound or bedbound. The World Health Organization (WHO) classifies ME as a neurological disease.

β β / Β. Greek letter beta (a symbol used in science), equivalent to "b".

NICE guidelines Clinical guidelines used in the UK.

membrane The word "membrane" can have different meanings in different fields of biology. In cell biology, a membrane is a layer of molecules that surround its contents. Examples of cell-biology membranes include the "cell membrane" that surrounds a cell, the "mitochondrial membranes" that form the outer layers of mitochondria, and the "viral envelope" that surrounds enveloped viruses. In anatomy or tissue biology, a membrane is a barrier formed by a layer of cells. Examples of anatomical membranes include the pleural membranes that surrounds the lungs, the pericardium which surrounds the heart, and some of the layers within the blood-brain barrier.

The information provided at this site is not intended to diagnose or treat any illness.
From MEpedia, a crowd-sourced encyclopedia of ME and CFS science and history.