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.

“Why Doctors Can’t Diagnose and What Tests Should be Considered” was the title of the lecture by Dr. Byron Hyde, Founder and Director of the Nightingale Research Foundation, Ottawa, Canada, co-sponsored by the Massachusetts CFIDS/ME & FM Association and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health on Saturday, October 27, 2012.

Dr. Hyde's Background

Several incidents early in Dr. Hyde’s life shaped his capacity for empathy. In the eighth grade, he developed polio, which he felt gave him an advantage compared to other doctors. He was unable to go to school, and while at home he became a prolific reader. After a year he was able to return to school but he learned first-hand what it was to be disabled.

He also has suffered with migraines since he was a young teen. While studying at the University of Toronto, during one of his last exams in history, a subject in which he was getting excellent grades, he was unable to take the final because of a migraine. The physician did not believe him; and this doctor’s response led Dr. Hyde to affirm he would always believe his patients when he, himself, became a doctor.

Dr. Hyde explained that physicians do good work and make excellent diagnoses in about 90% of their patients. However, in the remaining 10%, which would include Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) and Fibromyalgia (FM) patients, physicians do not have enough understanding or time to make a complicated diagnosis, and instead make what Dr. Hyde called the “Educated Guess Diagnosis”. He suggested that doctors rarely look for multiple causes of illness. Dr. Hyde, in fact, has rarely found just one cause in a complicated illness.

Dr. Hyde divided his lecture into a section on ME/CFS and then Fibromyalgia, though some topics were addressed simultaneously.

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.