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M.E. (CFS) vs. MS
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M.E. (CFS) vs. MS


Medical similarities between MS and M.E. The reason I'm envious is not so much because of the type of illness MS ismedically compared to M.E. M.E. and MS are actually very similar medicallyin many ways, as the following list demonstrates.

Table 1. Medical similarities between MS and M.E.*  

MS is primarily a neurological disease, i.e. a disease of the centralnervous system (CNS).

M.E. is primarily a neurological disease, i.e. a disease of thecentral nervous system (CNS).  

Demyelination (damage to the myelin sheath surrounding nerves) has beendocumented in MS.

Demyelination (damage to the myelin sheath surrounding nerves)has been documented in M.E.

Evidence of oligoclonal bands in the cerebrospinal fluid has been documentedin MS.

Evidence of oligoclonal bands in the cerebrospinal fluid hasbeen documented in M.E.  

No single definitive laboratory test is yet available for MS but a series of tests are available which can objectively confirm the diagnosis with some certainty. No single definitive laboratory test is yet available for M.E.but a series of tests are available which can objectively confirm the diagnosis with a high degree of certainty.

MS can be severely disabling and cause significant numbers of patients to be bedbound or wheelchair-reliant.

M.E. can be severely disabling and cause significant numbers ofpatients to be bedbound, wheelchair-reliant or housebound.  

MS can be fatal (either from the disease itself or from complications arising from the disease)

M.E. can be fatal (either from the disease itself or fromcomplications arising from the disease)   MS significantly reduces life expectancy.

M.E. significantly reduces life expectancy. (M.E. reduces lifeexpectancy by a greater period than MS: see Table 3.)  

Symptoms/problems which occur in MS include: impaired vision, nystagmus,afferent pupillary defect, loss of balance and muscle coordination, cog wheelmovement of the legs, slurred speech, difficulty speaking (scanning speech and slow hesitant speech), difficulty writing, difficulty swallowing,proprioceptive dysfunction, abnormal sensations (numbness, pins and needles), shortness of breath, headaches, itching, rashes, hair loss,seizures, tremors, muscular twitching or fasciculation, abnormal gait,stiffness, subnormal temperature, sensitivities to common chemicals,sleeping disorders, facial pallor, bladder and bowel problems, difficultywalking, pain, tachycardia, stroke-like episodes, food intolerances andalcohol intolerance, and partial or complete paralysis.

Symptoms/problems which occur in M.E. include: impaired vision,nystagmus, afferent pupillary defect, loss of balance and muscle coordination, cogwheel movement of the legs, slurred speech, difficulty speaking (scanning speech and slow hesitant speech), difficulty writing, difficulty swallowing, proprioceptive dysfunction, abnormal sensations(numbness, pins and needles), shortness of breath, headaches, itching, rashes, hair loss, seizures, tremors, muscular twitching or fasciculation,abnormal gait, stiffness, subnormal temperature, sensitivities to commonchemicals, sleeping disorders, facial pallor, bladder and bowel problems,difficulty walking, pain, tachycardia, stroke-like episodes, food intolerances and alcohol intolerance, and partial or complete paralysis.


MS can cause orthostatic intolerance (dizziness or faintness on standing). M.E. commonly causes severe orthostatic intolerance (which oftenworsens to become severe POTS and/or NMH).   Short-term memory loss, word finding difficulty, difficulty with concentration and reasoning and other forms of cognitive impairment occur in50% of MS patients. 10% of MS patients have cognitive impairments severeenough to significantly affect daily life. Short-term memory loss, word finding difficulty, difficulty with concentration and reasoning and other forms of cognitive impairment occur in100% of M.E. patients. Almost all M.E. patients have cognitive impairments severe enough to significantly affect daily life.   MS patients often become severely more ill in even mildly warm weather. Cold weather can also cause significant problems.

M.E. patients often become severely more ill in even mildly warmweather. Cold weather can also cause significant problems.   MS can affect autonomic nervous system function (including involuntaryfunctions such as digestion and heart rhythms). M.E. can affect autonomic nervous system function (including involuntary functions such as digestion and heart rhythms).

MS is thought to cause a breakdown of the blood brain barrier. M.E. is thought to cause a breakdown of the blood brain barrier.   A positive Babinski's reflex is consistent with several neurological conditions, including MS. (Babinski's reflex or extensor plantar reflex is atest for dysfunction of the corticospinal tract.)

A positive Babinski's reflex (or extensor plantar reflex) isconsistent with M.E.  

The Romberg test will often be abnormal in MS. (This test measuresneurological or inner ear dysfunction.) The Romberg test will be abnormal in 95% or more of M.E.patients.

An abnormal neurological exam is usual in MS. Abnormalities are alsocommonly seen in neuropsychological testing in MS. An abnormal neurological exam is usual in M.E. Abnormalities arealso commonly seen in neuropsychological testing in M.E.


MS causes a certain type of brain lesion detectable in MRI brain scans. Abnormalities are also seen in EEG and QEEG brain maps and SPECT brain scansin MS. M.E. causes a certain type of brain lesion detectable in MRI brain scans. Abnormalities are also seen in EEG and QEEG brain maps and SPECT brain scans in M.E.  

Hypothyroidism is found in many MS patients. Hypothyroidism is found in almost all M.E. patients.  

The glucose tolerance test is often abnormal in MS. The glucose tolerance test is often abnormal in M.E.

Low blood pressure readings (usually low-normal) are common in MS. Low blood pressure readings are extremely common in M.E. Severely low blood pressure readings as low as, or lower than, 84/48 (or75/35 according to many anecdotal accounts) are common in severe M.E. orthose having severe relapses. This can occur at rest or as a result oforthostatic or physical overexertion. At times BP readings can be so low that they cannot be measured by the machine and error messages appear. Circulating blood volume measurements of only 50% to 75% of expected arealso commonly seen in M.E.

Patients with MS have an increased risk of dying from heart disease orvascular diseases. Deaths from cardiac problems are one of the most common causesof death in M.E.

Although MS is primarily neurological, it also has aspects of autoimmune disease. Although M.E. is primarily neurological, it also has aspects of autoimmune disease.

MS usually affects people between the ages of 20 and 40 years, and the average age of onset is approximately 34 years. Onset occurs between theages of 20 to 40 years in 70% of patients. The average ages affected by M.E. are similar to those seen in MS. However, the average age of onset may be significantly younger in M.E.

MS was once thought to be rare in children, but we know that around 5% of MSsufferers are under 18. Around 10% of M.E. sufferers are under 18.   MS affects more than a million adults and children worldwide.

M.E. affects more than a million adults and children worldwide.(M.E. is at least as common as MS, and may be up to twice or three-times as common.)

Permission to re-post by the author, Jodi Bassett

To read the entire article, including Jodi's story... visit: http://www.ahummingbirdsguide.com/mevsms.htm

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21 Comments Post a Comment
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Rather amazing and shocking isn't it?  This was a very good read.  Thank you for sharing it with everyone.
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I received this through Co-Cure this morning. Everyone has permission to re-post (from the author) if they would like to. I thought this was great considering there are so many people with CFS, who are very, very ill and find it hard to believe that their diagnosis is CFS and not MS, lupus or something that "sounds" more serious.

I also saved the link to this discussion in our health pages.
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I'm not sure MS can be compared to M.E as i thought M.E was caused by a underlining virus that makes the immune system weak almost like a automune disoder.

I know fibro are very simular as it has proved to effect the CNS.

Is M.E really fatal? i have heard one woman die of it and they said it was M.E how come that is?

Is M.E in uk the as CFS in the US?

can you die of fibro then? is that cause you get bedridden and die of a related illness.

all interesting but frighting at same time.

sam
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Hi Sam;
   One of the engineers that works for my husband lost his daughter several years ago from complications stemming from Fibro. I knew her before she had passed, but I didn't know that she had Fibro. Yes it is scary, there are a lot of things about this disease that really worries me. That's why I try to stay as healthy as possible under the circumstances.

gentle hugs
Angel
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230948_tn?1235847929
wow now that is scary i have never heard anyone dying from fibro, was she bedridden a long time? was it meds? was she overweight because she could not exercise?

seriously freaked out now!!!

sam
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The two illnesses are actually very similiar. In fact, so is fibromyalgia to MS and Dr. Garth Nicolson commented on that when he was here last October. There is another test that both MS and CFS patients fail.... we both tend to have low uric acid levels.

Anyhow, to answer your question: yes... people die from complications due to CFS (normally renal, heart and infections) and the only study about our life span found out that we will live 20 years less than the average healthy person. But I'm an optimist... and I am fighting and will continue my fight. I am getting better and I have a strong spirit.

The link below is how bad CFS (AKA: M.E.) can and does often get.

What is ME ? What is CFS ?  Information for Clinicians and Lawyers (December 2001)

LINK: http://www.meactionuk.org.uk/What_Is_ME_What_Is_CFS.htm
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230948_tn?1235847929
I have to say the age thing shocked me!! live 20 years less i could be dead by the time i'm 50 just like my parents thats so scary and something i do not intend on focusing on but we all have to die sometimes, i will look at the link but i cant understand why drs dismiss these 2 disorders when there are studys to say people can die of these disorders why are they not saying its as bad as MS or lupus why are there not drs that keep a regular check like they do with MS and lupus like if you say you have that people are poor them but if you have of M.E or fibro its just get up change your diet exercise your be fine!! not this could cause complications and i uderstand how painful and debilitating this disorder is!!

dont get drs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

sam
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230948_tn?1235847929
Hi read link, some of it very deep. Is it not possible that people with M.E and fibro our just undx people with MS that we are the 5 % of people that present no lab findings no mri findins and that fibro and M.E is actuall a form of MS or do you believe like it states its a neuro based disorder on its own?

i thought what separated fibro was that fibro had pain and M.E didnt that M.E was food and chemical sensitive and fibro was not but it seems some M.E patients have pain, and muscle pain too.

i still cant get my head around the fact people are dying of related illnessess to these conditions and the drs are still debating if it exsists!!

Is fibro and M.E one and the same?

sam
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Hi Sam,

Don't freak out too much. That was one study. You know... I think long and hard before posting such things, but those are the facts. I see some patients not taking their symptoms seriously enough and that is concerning. The thing that ALL of these illnesses have in common are infections. Mycoplasma, an L-form bacteria, which has been found in most CFS and fibro patients can be treated. This is new research and that is why I present it. There are already autoimmune, CFS, fibro and even people who haven't been diagnosed who have been treated for infections and say they are cured or have an almost normal life now.

I have more to write... but am getting ready to leave right now. But you may want to check out Dr. Nicolson's website and read his research on autoimmune illnesses and fatigue illness (CFS, FM) research. His website address is http://www.immed.org

There is hope and I've seen some amazing success stories. That is my main message here and even to those people who don't even have a diagnosis yet.

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Hi Sam -

The predominant complaint with FMS is pain...with CFS/ME it's fatigue.  However, these two illnesses have more symptoms in common than many realize.  

FMS has pain; so does CFS/ME.
FMS has fatigue; so does CFS/ME.
CFS/ME results in cognitive disorders; so does FMS...and the list goes on, so they are very much intertwined.

I'm was a bit shocked when I first learned that those with Lupus, GWI, Cancer, RA, MS, Lyme and such can also have a dx of FMS/CFS along side of them.  There is much information on the internet that can be found about the possible connections of these illnesses and what may contribute to their increase in populations world-wide.  

"In the shadows is also the massive insurance industry, which cannot ever face liability for chemical injury or environmental illness without considerable strain and even collapse."

"Accountability becomes more remote if all research which demonstrates the link between chemicals and the present upsurge in chemically-induced ME / ICD-CFS is blocked, dismissed, trivialised, ignored or discredited."

**We can just toss Lyme, MS, FMS and all the others in here as well**  Once again...I know that all of this comes down to who will be held accountable.  

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230948_tn?1235847929
Hi

i have been so interested by all this info i sent you a pm i hope you get to read it and reply.

It was about ph diet as in akaline /acid and combining foods. also how this magic minerals solution cancure aids/fibro/m.e and even get cancer a run for its money!!

i see now why the drs want to dismiss this as do the goverments and specially the pharmacical companys who make billons of pounds and dollars a year on just throwing more chemicals at us to hide the sx that were caused by chemicals in the first place!! what a massive fight though!! to take them on near impossible i would think. But there are people on our side and there are sloutions out there that can help, i am thinking holistic meds are the way and a good diet but thats expensive here there are no holistic drs on the NHS and when you ask the drs about the minerals and vits they shake there heads!! the only info i can get is off the internet and i am concered that you can do damage by taking too much minerals if not instructured by a dr.

any advise.
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Yes very interesting read. and yes by reading those findings it just goes to show how alike these deseases are, and how we suffer in a lot of the same ways. am a bit pi**ed off of the fact iv just been robed of a good 20 years in the click of a mouse!!!! wtf? well i suppose this did cross my mind the last time i was in hospital at deaths door. I was dying and i knew it..but thankfully my body started to fight and so did i. it weekned me that i had to learn to walk again as i had hadly any muscle leff on my legs, i i lived on soup for months till i could eventualy eat again, so it was long but i recoverd. I knew then that my lifespan wasnt going to be a normal adverage age. how could it be when my body has took such a battering over the years. I think its bound to have a effect on your lifespan  so i can see why people could die with fibro/cfs more the infections and the flare ups and complacations rather than the actual desease. i wont ponder on the thought of the 20 years less but it might make me plan differently for the future.

take care zz
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just like to say whats cfs and can any of these be treated as ive been affected by chemicals and i dont know what the hell it has caused my head feels like it dosent belong to me any more
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i found this very interesting thank you
i have been reffered to an M.E  specialist to either diagnose me or to say i dont have it M.S has been mentioned due to my long list of symtoms (symptoms) but as i have just read the 2 are very similar
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M.E  affects 1 in 300 people in the uk
1 in 4 cases is reported to be very severe
as with M.S  you could end up in a wheel chair in time  or some patients have been known to recover over a two year period these people did only have mild cases
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I recently have been diagnosed with CFS and Fibro.  I had a brain MRI - normal except for white matter which they say is nothing.  Waiting for results of C-spine.  This is scarier than I thought.  I really need to learn more.
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i would like to know can you have both M.S and M.E (CFS)
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I was diagnosed with Fibro at the age of 15 after 2 years of Dr's & even my own mum thinking i was faking it, I'm now 27 & was diagnosed with MS a year ago, when i asked if it might've been MS all along the Dr's were mortified by such a suggestion (they don't like being wrong do they?) my sister is 12 years older than me and has just been dx with Fibro but is suffering with numb bits too, history repeating itself? I really hope not & so much for neither illness running in families?? to all who suffer with either or both, stay strong, ask lots of questions and DO question the Medical professionals, don't take any ****, just because we can't see our illness' doesn't make it any less real!
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Paresthesia can often go along with fibro or CFIDS / M.E.  These conditions are so similiar to MS. We even often have the brain lesions that MS patients have..  CFS / M.E. patients (in 80% of cases) will have small T2 weighted high intensity lesions on their cranial MRI scan. And this doesn't even include the patients with lyme disease, who also have abnormal MRI scans.

I think that people who are questioning their diagnosis, really need to do their research or have a friend or relative do it for them. What is hurting patients is the fact that medical professionals are not taught about fibro or CFS / M.E. yet in medical school !  Dr. Ken Friedman recently talked about this... under the threat of losing his job. As I recall, Dr. Friedman's daughter has CFS / M.E.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4p6kcBdSsAc&feature=player_embedded


There are MS patients who really have CFS / M.E. (I believe the percent was 5%) or lyme disease. And of course... vice versa.

I believe that people can get out of limboland, if they do their research on these other illnesses. Of course the problem is.. nobody wants a "Chronic Fatigue Syndrome" diagnosis.

The CDC, IMO, has blood on their hands.



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Just wondering, the small T2 weighted high intensity lesions on brain MRI scans, can they be there on one MRi and gone on the next?  Even when the second scan is stronger than the first?  

When I asked the neuro about the lesions going away all she said was that if it was MS they wouldn't go away.  After that, I didn't have any confidence in that neuro and decided not even to ask anymore questions!

Thanks in advance,
K
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Good question, but I'm sorry to say that I don't have any answers for you. RedLabsUSA (now VIP labs) in Reno, NV does have a research test (spinal fluid) that apparently can diagnose both fibromyalgia and CFIDS / M.E.  You might also want to consider contacting the Whittemore Peterson Institute in Nevada... they've been researching not only CFS / M.E., but something called 'atypical MS'.

Of course, IMO, all of these autoimmune and "syndromes" seem to have a common deminator : INFECTIONS. We all seem to have high viral and bacterial frequencies. So regardless of whether your physician can't diagnose you.... they can test and treat you for these infections.

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