About Chronic Fatigue & Fibromyalgia

I thought it may be useful to have a page I can just direct people to reading on my two conditions.

Chronic Fatigue:

A good succinct “official” overview can be found at http://www.patient.co.uk/health/Chronic-Fatigue-Syndrome-/-ME.htm

Essentially, the way I view the condition is as an energy management issue.  The body’s own ability to manage its energy efficiency has been impaired for some reason (research continues).  As just keeping the body functioning (breathing, heart beating, etc) uses up much of its energy, there is very little left to do other things and what there is must be rationed and used sensibly.

Unsurprisingly, when the body begins to run out of energy, cognitive processes are affected – memory recall, concentration, etc.  It cannot handle sensory input – light, noise, touch.  Activity becomes painful in a self-defence mechanism to stop the body from using energy.  Fatigue is overwhelming as the body starts to conserve what little energy it has for its own purposes (ie breathing, heart beating, etc).

The condition is very individual in nature as is the treatment.  What works for one person won’t work for another.  I kind of think this is obvious given the nature of the condition – our body chemistry is very different person to person depending on diet, genetics, etc.  Energy and body chemistry go together in biological terms so one must affect the other. 

Fibromyalgia:

Again, a good succinct “official” overview of the condition can be found here http://www.patient.co.uk/health/Fibromyalgia.htm

Essentially, the way I view the condition is as a pain management issue where pain manifests in the joints although its actually the muscles which are inflammed.  I have to admit that I describe it incorrectly as arthritis when talking to others – simply because people understand arthritis in short-hand whereas you say fibromyalgia and people look at you blankly.

While there is a constant state of pain, flare-ups of this condition are triggered by stress for me.  Physical stress is the most usual trigger – driving, strenuous exercise, travelling in general.  Emotional stress is the next usual trigger – luckily these are usually rare as they tend to be “big” moments.  Mental stress is the next trigger and that’s usually when there is an overload of stress in terms of the work environment (deadlines, responsibility, etc). 

In both conditions, management of diet, exercise and stress is a key component of treatment.

For more information, there are links from the Patient UK information to charitable organisations providing support, information and advice.

Advertisements

3 Responses to About Chronic Fatigue & Fibromyalgia

  1. Sara Hayward says:

    I illustrated a cover for Fibromyalgia for the Arthritis Research Campaign (one of 50 Idid for them). You might even have one in a drawer somewhere – check out the back cover to see my name Sara Hayward.

  2. Your blog is so informative … ..I just bookmarked you….keep up the good work!!!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s