Rainbow at shoreline

The Massachusetts CFIDS/ME & FM Association, a 501(c)3 founded in 1985, exists to meet the needs of patients with CFIDS (Chronic Fatigue and Immune Dysfunction Syndrome, also known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome), ME (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis) or FM (Fibromyalgia), their families and loved ones. The Massachusetts CFIDS/ME & FM Association works to educate health-care providers and the general public regarding these severely-disabling physical illnesses. We also support patients and their families and advocate for more effective treatment and research.

The Massachusetts CFIDS/ME & FM Association does not assume any responsibility for the outcome of treatments or other self-care strategies described in any of the listed books, that might be undertaken by readers and we recommend individuals always consult with their healthcare providers before trying any new treatment, supplement, or healthcare product.

This article was updated in 2015.

Faces of CFS by Dr. David S. Bell (available as E-book)

The original release of this book was in 2000 as a hardcopy. It is a compilation of 10 case histories of patients with the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/tion Syndrome/ Myalgic Encephalopathy and Fibromyalgia (CFS/ME and FM). Dr. Bell has developed a keen insight about the reality of this illness which he shares as stories about these patients in a professional yet caring way. He is now offering Faces of CFS as a free E-book. To download a copy of this book, click here .

 

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia, From F.I.N.E. to Feeling Better, by Nancy Fowler and Lisa Ball, 2010, ISBN: 1882883683

A new book is out by Nancy Fowler and Lisa Ball titled, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia, From F.I.N.E. to Feeling Better. The authors are long-time patients with Fibromyalgia (FM). This book is an easy read loaded with good, sensible information. It is an excellent resource for newly diagnosed people as it explains the bumpy path along the ME/CFS or FM highway.

There is an overall theme that these illnesses rob patients of their everyday life and hence the authors have chosen to label them both "The Thief." They are clear that both illnesses are different but do have many overlapping symptoms. They also list many of the different names that have been bestowed to ME/CFS and FM over the years, whether correctly applied or not.

The F.I.N.E. stands for Frustrated, Irritated, Nauseated, Exhausted. That may put some folks off, but don't let it. As orchestrated as F.I.N.E. may sound, it is a very good read. Many long-time patients may pick up some good information in these pages. The book covers an overview of the illnesses, the issues surrounding the symptoms, various treatment options including alternative ones, the best way to get the most from your doctor's appointment, coping strategies, psychological issues relating to how to live with ME/CFS or FM, and the best advice which is "listen to your body and PLAN for down time." The authors have broken ME/CFS and FM down by body system and describe how they each affect you.

From Fatigued to Fantastic!  A Proven Program to Regain Vibrant Health, Based on a New Scientific Study Showing Effective Treatment for Chronic Fatigue and Fibromyalgia, by Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum, revised and updated edition of 2001, ISBN: 1583330976.

Please note a third edition was released in Oct. 2007, ISBN: 1583332898.

Individuals who have become fairly well-acquainted with their illness(es), by living with them and having tried some of the commonly used medications and treatment options, might be ready to learn about and explore additional interventions. We think most newly diagnosed patients might be overwhelmed by all the information and ideas in this book (as some have told us). The edition we reviewed was the second one, from 2001, which was found to be greatly expanded from the original edition of 1998. Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum is a board-certified internist who states that he himself has suffered with ME/CFS and FM and this eventually lead to further research of these illnesses and other treatment strategies.

Dr. Teitelbaum's knowledge about the complex nature of the illnesses and wide array of symptoms clearly exceeds that of the average doctor. He brings up such things as persistent infections and strains commonly found in these illnesses, sleep disorders, hormonal imbalances, problems with nutrition and energy production.

One bonus in this book (as well as in the first edition) are the appendixes which contain such things as a guide for physicians, treatment protocol outlines and questionnaires to help document certain problems. Treatment protocols consist of some prescription or over-the-counter medications, dietary changes, dietary supplements and various herbal/alternative formulations. In previous years, opinions were rather mixed in the medical community about some of these treatment protocols; however, it is becoming more common to use supplements and vitamins in the treatment of ME/CFS and FM.

This book provides a lot of insight into the illnesses and numerous suggestions in how to relieve or improve many problems—it is loaded with a lot of information, but it may not be for everyone. Since many people with these illnesses live on a limited income or disability benefits, it may be difficult to afford many of these treatments. It is quite likely this book can be located through the public library system or borrowed from someone at a group. Patient finances, ability to find local doctors who will work with them, and /or patient preference for integrative medical care (which this is) or not, will greatly influence one's opinion about this book. We always urge that patients consult with their healthcare providers before trying supplements or new healthcare products.

Notice about names

The Massachusetts CFIDS/ME & FM Association would like to clarify the use of the various acronyms for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), Chronic Fatigue & Immune Dysfunction Syndrome (CFIDS) and  Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) on this site. When we generate our own articles on the illness, we will refer to it as ME/CFS, the term now generally used in the United States. When we are reporting on someone else’s report, we will use the term they use. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) are currently using ME/CFS. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are calling the illness CFS.

Until there is consensus on a name for the illness, the Massachusetts CFIDS/ME & FM Association name will not change.