The Different Names For ME/CFS. What Does It Mean?
Take a deep breath! The list of names you will find below for the following identical or overlapping conditions is rather extensive at the current time!
In 2014 a new name for the illness ME / CFS was put forward by the Institute of Medicine in America:
(Visit another website for information on the diagnostic criteria for ME / CFS.)
Whichever diagnosis you have been given for the condition with which you live, if you are looking for help online, you might be interested to know that you are also a 'spoonie'.
A spoonie is someone living with low reserves of energy to the extent that you have to allocate your energyy carefully - only use a certain number of spoons of energy - across the day.
The term 'spoonie' includes people with many other chronic illnesses who experience a disabling level of fatigue, for example people with Lupus and EDS.
I will use different names at different times on this site, including the much used term Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Please note though that I personally prefer the term Myagic Encephalomyelitis or M.E.
It is very easy for people to hear the words chronic fatigue and forget the syndrome part. I once heard someone put it well when they said:
“Calling the illness chronic fatigue is like calling Alzheimer’s Disease chronic forgetfulness.” hmmm.
Although CFS is also known as M.E., there are actually some distinctions in the diagnostic criteria. Personally, I was diagnosed at different times with both M.E and CFS, and I was also told I had Fibromyalgia when I was "mapped".
Because CFS is also known as other things, and because there is no clear diagnostic criteria, when we get given any of these diagnoses we can be left worried that there is some other condition going on that is not being treated.
I found it comforting and sensible to engage in holistic mind body medicine that benefits any health condition.
This website focuses on health rather than on the details of illness, so most of the advice on these pages will be helpful to someone seeking recovery from any illness.
When speaking to french friends or friends from other countries about the illness, they often ask what it is called in their language.
I have started collecting some of the names for CFS.
Syndrome de Fatigue Chronique or EM
What is CFS called in Spain, in Spanish?
la Encefalomielitis Miálgica/Síndrome de Fatiga Crónica (EM/SFC)
los Síndromes de Sensibilidad Central = Central Sensitivity Syndromes
What is CFS called in Holland, in Dutch?
Chronisch Vermoeidheidssyndroom (CVS is the abbreviation)
What is CFS called in Germany, in German?
Burnout is a recognised condition in Germany.
Erschöpfungssyndromen = fatigue syndromes
chronische Müdigkeit = chronic fatigue
What is CFS also known as in Italy?
Fatica Cronica = chronic fatigue, but the above italian website seems to favour the abbreviation CFS and refer to it in english as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
Encefalomielite Mialgica = Myalgic Encephalomyelitis
What is CFS also known as in Denmark?
ME = Myalgisk Encephalomyelitis
They appear to refer to CFS and translate it as the english Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
There is a European ME Alliance, and the website links to many of the countries listed above.
If you live in another country and have found this english-language website about Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, please feel free to contact me and inform me if you would like the name in your own country added here.
Sending love to you wherever you live with CFS / Myalgic Encephalomyelitis.
Katherine T Owen, webmaster,
Author of Be Loved, Beloved (Kindle)
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