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.

by Lucy Dechéne, Ph.D.
The Massachusetts CFIDS/ME & FM Association Winter 2003 UPDATE

As a fitting close to my tenure as medical editor of The UPDATE, I thought it would be appropriate to give a summary of what is known about some of the more popular supplements used by Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) and fibromyalgia (FM) patients.

The information is from the Physician's Desk Reference for Nutritional Supplements 1 and all quoted material is from that book.

Of course, one always needs to avoid supplements with ingredients to which one is allergic or sensitive, and ME/CFS and FM patients do have a high degree of sensitivity and allergy. In addition, pregnant and lactating women are warned that not enough is known about these supplements' effects on fetuses and babies, so they should avoid all of them. I'm not going to repeat those warnings for each supplement.

Always keep in mind our golden rule for any medications and supplements, start with a low dose and gradually increase it.

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.