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What's in a name?

"So what does myalgic encephalitis mean?" Choua asked.

"Well..well, literally it means... or should mean something about muscles that has something to do with inflammation of the brain," I answered tentatively.

"Good! Now tell me what is encephalomyelitis?" Choua continued.

"Is this thing going to take us anywhere, Choua?" I asked with annoyance.

"Nowhere! That's the point." Choua smiled. "Put it this way in your fatigue book, so people know how absurd this diagnosis is for those who suffer chronic fatigue."

The Canary and Chronic Fatigue by Majid Ali, M.D. - page 125

Pick your disease....

There are plenty of names for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. The following have many symptoms in common and all have the same "unknown cause". Some of the names seem absurd. But it is important to have a good quality name for a disease. Without it, sufferers are often treated with derision.

  • Abortive poliomyelitis
  • Acquired immune deficiency syndrome - non-HIV
  • Acute infective encephalomyelitis
  • Akureyri disease
  • Allergic-fatigue syndrome
  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Antibody negative lupus
  • Antibody negative Lyme disease
  • Atypical migraine
  • Atypical multiple sclerosis
  • Atypical poliomyelitis
  • Beard's Disease
  • Benign encephalomyelitis
  • Benign myalgic encephalomyelitis
  • Benign subactue encephalomyelitis
  • Candida-related Complex
  • Canine brucellosis
  • Chemtrail syndrome? - the symptoms look identical...
  • free ebook: Natural Healing for the Chemtrail Syndrome
  • Chronic activate immune dysfunction syndrome (CAIDS)
  • Chronic active Epstein-Barr virus infection (CAEBV)
  • Chronic brucellosis
  • Chronic Epstein-Barr virus syndrome (CEBV)
  • Chronic active epstein-barr virus infection (CAEBV)
  • Chronic fatigue state
  • Chronic fatigue-immune dysfunction syndrome (CFIDS)
  • Chronic fatigue immunodeficiency syndrome (CFID)
  • Chronic idiopathic syndrome
  • Chronic immune activation syndrome (CIAS)
  • Chronic immune dysfunction syndrome (CIDS)
  • Chronic infectious mononeucleosis
  • Chronic Lyme disease
  • Chronic mononucleosis
  • Chronic mononucleosis-like syndrome
  • Chronic viral fatigue syndrome
  • Coventry disease
  • Da Costa's Syndrome - hyperventilation syndrome?
  • Damadian's ache
  • Depression-fatigue syndrome
  • Ecological disease
  • Effort syndrome
  • Encephalitis stimulating poliomyelitis
    Encephalitis resembling poliomyelitis
  • Encephalitis/meningitis bacteremia
  • English disease
  • English sweats
  • Epidemic diencephalomyelitis
  • Epidemic encephalomyelopathy
  • Epidemic malaise
  • Epidemic myalgic encephalomyelitis
  • Epidemic myositis
  • Epidemic neuromyasthenia
  • Epidemic pseudo myasthenia
  • Epidemic vasculitis syndrome
  • Epidemic vegetative neuritis
  • Fabricula
  • Familial chronic mononucleosis
  • Fibromyositis
  • Fibromyalgia (FM)
  • Fibromyalgia syndrome
  • Fibrositis
  • Food Allergy Syndrome - (forget skin tests!)
  • Gulf War Syndrome - the symptoms look identical
  • Habitual chronic hyperventilation syndrome
  • Hypothyroid-fatigue syndrome
  • Iceland disease
  • La spasmophilie
  • Lake Tahoe mystery disease
  • Low level mercury poisoning
  • Low natural killer cell syndrome
  • Lyme disease, misdiagnosed
  • lymphocytic meningo encephalitis with myalgia and rash
  • Lymphokine Overdose Disease
  • Lymphoreticular encephalomyelopath
  • Lyndonville chronic mononucleosis
  • Morgellons
  • Monocyte dysfunction
  • Multiple chemical sensitivity syndrome
  • Multiple sclerosis/lupus with pseudo-tumor cerebri
  • Muscular rheumatism
  • Myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME)
  • Myofascial syndrome
  • Natural Killer Cell Deficiency Syndrome
  • Naxalone-reversible monocyte dysfunction syndrome (NRMDS)
  • Neurocirculatory asthenia
  • Neuromyasthenia
  • Otago mystery disease
  • Overcharged (or Dysfunctional) Immune system Syndrome
  • Persistent myalgia following sore throat
  • Persistent viral fatigue syndrome
  • Postpolio syndrome
  • Post West Nile Virus
    Posterior poliomyelitis
  • Postinfectious fatigue syndrome
  • Post-viral fatigue syndrome (PVFS)
  • Royal free disease
  • Sensory poliomyelitis
  • Soldier's heart
  • Sporadic postinfectious neuromyasthenia
  • Syndrome polyalgique idiopathique diffus (SPID)
  • Tapanui flu
  • Tetanie chronique idiopathique
  • Vasomotor instability
    Vasomotor neurosis
  • Vasoregulatory asthenia
  • but, please, not Yuppie Flu 
  • or Yuppie plague
  • or Raggedy Ann Syndrome
  • or the Downhill Syndrome 
  • or Shirker's Syndrome
  • or All-in-the-Head Syndrome

Partial source: The Disease of a Thousand Names by David S. Bell MD, FAAP

Widespread and prolonged

"There are differences between some of these other outbreaks and CFS, however. Most of the earlier miniepidemics shared these traits: They were usually confined to small geographic areas, and the symptoms eventually disappeared on their own, often within months. By contrast, the CFS of our time knows no geographic boundary and is usually much more prolonged in duration."

Chronic Fatigue Your Complete Exercise Guide, The Cooper Clinic and Research Institute Fitness Series by Neil F. Gordon MD, PhD, MPH