Chronic Fatigue and Immune Dysfunction Syndrome (CFIDS)
Excerpted from NFA's FM Online Newsletter Vol. 6, No.3
Chronic fatigue and immune dysfunction syndrome (CFIDS), sometimes called chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) or myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), is a complex and debilitating chronic illness that affects multiple body systems, including the autonomic nervous system, immune system, brain, hormones, and sleep function.
Although the name can misleadingly suggest mere tiredness, CFIDS brings with it a constellation of debilitating symptoms characterized by incapacitating fatigue and problems with concentration and short-term memory. CFIDS is often accompanied by flu-like symptoms such as pain in the joints and muscles, unrefreshing sleep, tender lymph nodes, sore throat, and headache. Another distinctive characteristic is a worsening of symptoms following physical or mental exertion and requiring an extended recovery period.
Treating CFIDS presents a significant challenge for patients and their physicians. As yet, there is no known cause, cure, or universal treatment for CFIDS. Until a treatment is developed which will improve all the symptoms or correct the underlying cause, therapy is based upon the individual's presenting symptoms. Often, people with CFIDS employ a combination of medical remedies, alternative treatments (like acupuncture or massage) and lifestyle alterations. Still, many with CFIDS are able to maintain only a slender fraction of the life and activities they knew before acquiring this illness.
The CFIDS Association
The CFIDS Association of America is the largest and most active 501(c)(3) charitable organization dedicated to conquering chronic fatigue and immune dysfunction syndrome.
Since its founding in 1987, the CFIDS Association has invested over $16.4 million in support efforts to bring an end to the pain, disability and suffering caused by CFIDS. The association works toward its mission by:
- Building recognition of CFIDS as a serious, widespread medical disorder;
- Securing a meaningful response to CFIDS from the federal government;
- Stimulating high quality CFIDS research;
- Improving health-care professionals' abilities to detect, diagnose and manage CFIDS; and
- Providing information to people with CFIDS and enabling the CFIDS community to speak with a collective voice.
The CFIDS Association is proud to lead national efforts in CFIDS education, awareness, public policy and research and is grateful to those who support this vital work.
PO Box 220398
Charlotte, NC 28222-0398