This Video Will Hurt
A detailed explanation of a fascinating field of science and medicine by the always interesting C.G.P. Grey.[more inside]
People who suffer from chronic fatigue syndrome may have an answer as to why Nobody knows what causes CFS and fibromyalgia, for many years doctors poo-poohed the patient and sent them home with anti-anxiety drugs, but studies now show that there is a link to this retrovirus and these disorders. It's not in your head. Some studies earlier showed a link between prostate cancer and this virus, but the jury is still out on this. It's thought to be sexually transmitted via the blood, and actually binds with human DNA.
Is fibromyalgia a useful way of categorizing the illnesses experienced by several million Americans? The doctor who pioneered the study and characterization of the illness no longer thinks it exists as a distinct entity, and other experts agree. People who've been diagnosed with the disorder experience real pain, and are comforted by being able to put a name to their illness, but their doctors often think they'd have been better off without the diagnosis. [more inside]
May 12th is International ME/CFS/Fibromyalgia Awareness Day. If you aren't aware of these afflictions, then it's time to become so. "Fibromyalgia (FM) is an increasingly recognized chronic pain illness which is characterized by widespread musculoskeletal aches, pain and stiffness, soft tissue tenderness, general fatigue and sleep disturbances." The WebMD description. For those who live with chronic fatigue, systemic immunity problems, and long term pain, I think the rest of us, at least, owe our awareness of what these people cope with every day. Again, via the always excellent Watermark, who writes movingly of her relationship with Fibromyalgia.