The system that recognizes and opposes disease: the interacting combination of all the body’s ways of recognizing cells, tissues, objects, and organisms that are not part of itself, and initiating the immune response to fight them.
When the immune system is not functioning at a normal level.
Bacteria, viruses, parasites, fungi, etc. that cause disease and/or illness.
A disease caused by biological agents, which can be transmitted to others, rather than by genetic, physical or chemical agents.
See “Epstein Barr Virus”. Infectious mononucleosis, or “mono”, is an infection caused by the Epstein-Barr virus. The virus spreads through saliva, which is why it’s sometimes called “kissing disease.” Mono occurs most often in 15 to 17-year-olds. However, you can get it at any age. Symptoms of mono include fever, sore throat, swollen lymph glands. Sometimes you may also have a swollen spleen. Serious problems are rare.
Swelling, redness, heat, and pain produced in an area of the body as a reaction to injury or infection.
Difficulty in sleeping: inability to fall asleep or to remain asleep long enough to feel rested, especially when this is a problem that continues over time. See “disrupted sleep”.
Abnormal heart rhythm, heart palpitations, racing heart.
irritable bowel syndrome
A painful bowel condition: a condition of the bowel in which there is recurrent pain with constipation or diarrhea or alternating attacks of these.
Separation from others: the process of separating somebody or something from others, or the fact of being alone and separated from others.
CFS & FM patients often go through isolation from friends and family, as it is difficult for others to understand the severity of the illness.
Lake Tahoe/Incline Village
Where CFS made headlines in the late 1980s after a major outbreak. This is where it first became known as the yuppie flu. See “yuppie flu”.
low body temperature
When the body’s temperature drops below 98.6 degrees. In CFS patients, it is common for them to have low body temperatures. Mine has been as low as 95 degrees.
low-dose tricyclic antidepressants
Tricyclic agents may be prescribed for CFS patients to improve sleep and to relieve mild, generalized pain. Examples include doxepin (Adapin, Sinequan), amitriptyline (Elavil, Etrafon, Limbitrol, Triavil), desipramine (Norpramin), and nortriptyline (Pamelor). Effective dosages are often much lower than those used to treat depression. Some adverse reactions include dry mouth, drowsiness, weight gain, and elevated heart rate.
A continuous or fluctuating low fever, typically defined as never 101 degrees Fahrenheit. It is a non-specific finding, but occurs in many diseases.
The power-producing part of the cell.
Stiffness in the joints that occurs upon wakening in the morning and usually lasts for the first hour the person is up. CFS & FM patients often complain of morning stiffness as a symptom.
multiple chemical sensitivities
refers to a broad range of adverse symptoms brought on by an even more broad array of everyday chemicals. These symptoms are often provoked at exposure levels far below those that seem to affect the rest of the population — levels virtually always present in our homes, workplaces, and social venues. They commonly include severe headaches, food intolerances, difficulty breathing, nausea, irritation of the eyes, ears, nose, throat, and skin, and disorientation or confusion. Many CFS & FM patients have MCS.
Muscle pain is most frequently related to tension, overuse, or muscle injury from exercise or physically-demanding work. In these situations, the pain tends to involve specific muscles and starts during or just after the activity. It is usually obvious which activity is causing the pain.
Muscle pain also can be a sign of conditions affecting your whole body, like some infections (including the flu) and disorders that affect connective tissues throughout the body (such as lupus). One common cause of muscle aches and pain is fibromyalgia,
This is what Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is known as in the United Kingdom. See “Chronic Fatigue Syndrome”.
In studies using polymerase chain reaction methods, mycoplasma blood infection has been detected in about 50% of patients with CFS and/or FMS, including patients with Gulf War illnesses and symptoms that overlap with one or both syndromes.
The mycoplasma are a very large group of bacteria. There are more than 70 types. Mycoplasma hominis and Mycoplasma pneumoniae are among the dozen types of mycoplasma that occur in humans. Mycoplasma pneumoniae can infect the upper respiratory tract and the lungs. It is a major cause of respiratory infection in children of school age and young adults. It is also a common cause of pneumonia in persons with HIV.
National Fibromyalgia Association
A nonprofit organization whose mission is to develop and execute programs dedicated to improving the quality of life for people with fibromyalgia.
National Fibromyalgia Awareness Day
A nationwide campaign launched each year on May 12th to raise awareness and funding for Fibromyalgia research.
National Institutes of Health – The National Institutes of Health (NIH), a part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is the primary Federal agency for conducting and supporting medical research.
natural killer cells
One of the main types of white blood cells which work as part of the human immune system.
Natural killer cells are being found to play a primary role in preventing and removing cancer cells in the body, removing many types of viruses (including herpes and measles).
The unsettling feeling in the stomach that accompanies the urge to vomit
neurally mediated hypotension
Condition where not enough blood is reaching the brain. Can cause dizziness and passing out.
Severe hot flashes which occur at night and result in a drenching sweat. Night sweats can have many different causes including medications, infections, and cancers. CFS patients report night sweats as a symptom of their illness.
Difficulty in initiating or maintaining sleep. When the body does not complete all of the stages of sleep properly.
nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAIDS)
Drugs used primarily to treat inflammation, mild to moderate pain, and fever. NSAIDs vary in their potency, duration of action, and the way in which they are eliminated from the body. Another important difference is their ability to cause ulcers and promote bleeding.
A lack or shortage of nutrition that is essential for good health.
In CFS and FM, this refers to overdoing it, doing more than what the body is physically able to handle; excessive activity.
The study and diagnosis of disease through examination of organs, tissues, cells and bodily fluids. The term encompasses both the medical specialty which uses tissues and body fluids to obtain clinically useful information, as well as the related scientific study of disease processes.
Somebody who receives medical treatment.
Inflammation of the membrane pleura surrounding the lungs usually involving painful breathing, coughing, and the buildup of fluid in the pleural cavity.
The majority of people with CFS are affected by postexertional malaise, which is an exacerbation of symptoms following physical or mental exertion, with symptoms typically worsening 12-48 hours after activity and lasting for days or even weeks.
Primary Fibromyaglia is FM alone and is not caused by, or related to, another condition.
Characterized by overexertion during periods of better health, followed by a relapse of symptoms perhaps initiated by the excessive activity.
Abbreviation for People With CFS.