FM/CFS/ME RESOURCES - For The Newly Diagnosed

 

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FOR THE NEWLY DIAGNOSED Newly Diagnosed

If you were just diagnosed with Fibromyalgia (FM) and/or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME), most likely you have been battling pain and fatigue for awhile. Of the people we've surveyed, it took them an average of seven years to be diagnosed.

While it can be relieving to finally have a name for your symptoms, learning that you have a chronic condition that you will most likely have to deal with for life can be distressing. We have created this section if for you, to help you in learning to live with your FM and/or CFS/ME.

Choose from the menu below for more information. You can always Contact Us if you have any questions.

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Tips for the Newly Diagnosed

Don't let pain from Fibromyalgia (FM) and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome / Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME), keep you down. Small changes to your daily routine can keep you active and enjoying life. Here are some tips to help you improve your quality of life with FM and/or CFS/ME.


Always Believe in Yourself

And what you are feeling both emotionally and physically. No one can tell you that what you are experiencing is not real! FM and CFS/ME are chronic medical disorders just like diabetes, hypertension, and asthma. While there are still gaps understanding these disorders, and disagreements among researchers as to specific causes, the symptoms are very real, and your suffering is legitimate.


Never Feel Guilty

FM and CFS/ME aren't something you wished for, and they aren't something you can wish away. Healthcare providers have had trouble accepting FM and CFS/ME as bona fide medical conditions because of the lack of readily available blood tests or X-rays that show there is something wrong with the FM and CFS/ME patient's body. However, research studies have revealed problems in such areas as the chemical content of the spinal fluid, the manner in which certain endocrine glands and the autonomic system respond to stress, in brain function, and in patient performance during tests of cognitive and physical function. FM and CFS/ME are not psychiatric conditions or character flaws.


FM and CFS/ME Can Wax and Wane

So on the days that are extra challenging, remember that it will get better. FM and CFS/ME involve much more than just pain. In fact, surveys of patients have consistently suggested that fatigue may be just as problematic, if not more so. Other leading symptoms that are associated with these disorders include sleep disturbances, stiffness, and problems with concentration and certain forms of memory. While many clinicians associate FM and CFS/ME with depression, it appears that anxiety-related issues may be more prominent. Appropriate therapies can help keep flares under control, and good self-management techniques can help stave them off.


You're Never Alone

FM and CFS/ME can sometimes make you feel very alone. Keep in mind that over 10 million Americans have FM and/or CFS/ME and feel just like you do! Our Support Group Database consists of 681 Support Groups in 16 countries worldwide that offer support to people with FM and/or CFS/ME. Help is just around the corner.


Get Enough Sleep!

Many of us are plagued by sleep disturbances, so it is extra important that you do everything you can to make sure that you sleep as well as possible. Go to bed at the same time each night. Develop a bedtime routine. That will help your body to know that it is time to relax. If your bed is uncomfortable, consider getting a new mattress. If a new mattress is not financially feasible, a mattress pad and new pillows might help. Make sure that your bedroom isn't too hot or too cold.

During the day when you get tired, it is important to rest. Rest can be lying down in bed with a book for half an hour or watching TV with your feet propped up. It can be doing a sitting task at work. Whenever I am tired, I do something to make myself more comfortable. That invariably leads to me having more energy for the next thing I need or want to do.


Find A Good Healthcare Provider

Some doctors are more familiar with FM and CFS/ME than others. Ideally, the relationship between a healthcare provider and a patient should be comfortable and based on mutual respect. When considering potential providers, patients should do some "homework." Do they have good reputations among professional colleagues, and do their patients speak well of them? Do they have a positive attitude toward FM and CFS/ME, do they keep up with current insights on treatment options? These are all questions you need answers to when searching for a healthcare provider. Our