Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue and Multiple Chemical Sensitivity. What are these disorders?

Fibromyalgia (FMS) is a chronic disorder characterized by musculoskeletal pain, fatigue, and multiple tender points (18 known), particularly in the neck, spine, shoulders, and hips. According to the American College of Rheumatology (ACR), a person is considered to have fibromyalgia if they experience widespread pain with tenderness in at least 11 of 18 specific tender point sites.

People with FMS may also experience sleep disturbances, morning stiffness, depression, irritable bowel syndrome, anxiety, and other symptoms. It has been estimated that over 8 million people suffer with these disorders and the numbers are continually climbing; yet the cause is still unknown.

Some Scientists believe that the syndrome is caused by an injury or trauma. The injury may affect the central nervous system. Fibromyalgia has been known to be associated with changes in muscle metabolism causing decreased blood flow, which in turn causes fatigue leaving one in a weakened state. Some physicians believe the syndrome may be triggered by an infectious number of viruses.

It is difficult to treat Fibromyalgia because what works for one person may not work for another. A combination of medications, relaxation, and massage can help alleviate some pain. Swimming has been known to help some FMS patients.

Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is not like the normal good and bad days we experience in everyday life. The early sign of this illness is a very noticeable fatigue that comes on suddenly. You usually feel too tired to do the slightest activity and can become easily exhausted for no apparent reason. Most develop a fogged mind and concentration becomes poor; the agonizing weakness of CFS does not go away with a good nights sleep. Instead, it robs your energy and stamina over months and sometimes years.

Common symptoms of CFS are: headache, tender lymph nodes, fatigue, weakness in muscles and joint aches and an inability to concentrate.

Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS);

Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS is another disorder that overlaps and presents itself in full force. This is a syndrome in which multiple symptoms occur with low-level chemical exposure. Several theories have been explained for the cause of MCS, including: toxic effects, allergy, and neurobiological sensitization. MCS patients have escalated rates of depression, and anxiety disorders.

Common symptoms include fatigue, difficulty concentrating, depression, memory loss, weakness, dizziness, headaches, heat intolerance and neuralgic pain in one or more joints. It has been suggested that Gulf War syndrome may be a variant of MCS. It is rare that one develops FMS / CFS/ MCS by itself; these three disorders usually overlap one another.


  • Founder of the MILLION LETTER CAMPAIGN (MLC), Pattie Caprio has been a Visual Communicator for over 30 years, receiving recognition for her artwork at the early age of seven. She previously owned and operated an independent graphics contracting firm called Caprio Graphic Design, which created artwork for television, newspapers, magazines, and manufacturing companies, until her accident in May 2002. Pattie’s artwork has gained national attention for her many award-winning logos and earned her the honor of an invitation to President Clinton’s Inaugural Ball.

    Pattie was stricken with FMS / CFIDS / MCS after an automobile accident in May 2002. Unable to work within the tight deadlines of her chosen career, Pattie fought long and hard to receive Social Security Disability benefits. After living through this devastating lifestyle change, Pattie’s goal became finding a way to help others. The idea for the Million Letter Campaign was born out of an impassioned desire to end the financial and emotional poverty that many FMS/CFIDS/MCS patients are forced to endure and to educate the public about these painful, life-altering conditions. By collaborating with Fibromyalgia web-site owner and fellow FMS sufferer, Dominie Soo Bush, Pattie has enlisted the help of Dominie’s huge reader base. She has enlisted over 30 volunteers to help spread the word, and now shares her goal with sufferers throughout America and parts of Europe, Australia, China, South Africa and Canada. For more information about the Million Letter Campaign, log on to their site.