What Does It Mean? -
CFS also known as M.E. and CFIDS

CFS also known as ME and CFIDS continues from Recovery From ME/CFS, and is also relevant to the pages on Living With ME/CFS.

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!

M.E. stands for Myalgic Encephalomyelitis. Myalgic signifies muscle pain.  Encephalomyelitis signifies inflammation of the brain and spinal cord. The disorder has been classified by the WHO as a neurological disorder since 1969.

M.E. Confusingly, the abbreviation ME also stands for Myalgic Encephalopathy. 'myelitis' suggests swelling and some doctors dispute such swelling in people with ME.

CFS stands for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

ME/CFS is also known as Post Viral Fatigue Syndrome (PVFS)

CFS is also known as Chronic Fatigue Immune Dysfunction Syndrome (CFIDS). This term is more often used in America. I haven't heard it used here in the UK.

CFS overlaps with Fibromyalgia. Some doctors see these chronic illnesses as the same condition. However Fibromyalgia is often seen  as involving more severe pain and less severe fatigue.

In 2014 a new name for the illness ME / CFS was put forward by the Institute of Medicine in America:

SEID stands for Systemic Exertion Intolerance Disease. In the UK, this new name doesn't seem to have caught on.

(Visit another website for information on the diagnostic criteria for ME / CFS.)

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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 prefer the name Myagic Encephalomyelitis

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".

The Advice On This Site Applies Whatever The Diagnosis

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.

CFS also known as ... Names for CFS in different countries

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.

What is CFS called in France, in French?

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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