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Endometriosis Common in ME/CFIDS/FMS

By Cheryl Tai

    Endometriosis, a painful condition that is the leading cause of infertility has
been found to be more common in ME/CFIDS as well as other diseases including
lupus, fibromyalgia, and rheumatoid arthritis.  The October issue (17/10, "High
rates of autoimmiune and endocrine disorders, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue
syndrome and atopic diseases among women with endometriosis: a survey
analysis") of the medical journal, Human Reproduction, reported on a study the
U.S. National Institute of Child Health and Human Development at George
Washington University along with the Endometriosis Association. A high 20% of
the women afflicted had another disease and a third of this percentage had either
fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome (CFIDS/ME)!  It is the first study to finally
document what women with these diseases have noticed for many painful years.

    Endometriosis is when the endometrial tissue grows outside of its normal
location lining the uterus.  Symptoms include painful menstruation, painful coitus,
and, at times, painful urination and defecation along with premenstrual staining.
The British researchers found that their study is suggestive of an immune system
abnormality that could underlie this condition.  This study as well as other studies
suggest the cytokines, chemicals that be malfunctioning, may be responsible.  An
Associated Press article written by Emma Ross said "Chronic fatigue syndrome
was more than 100 times more common than among the general population" while
"Fibromyalgia...was twice as common among women with endometriosis."  Other
diseases that it occurred more frequently in were multiple sclerosis and systemic
lupus and allergy sufferers were also found to be higher from a low of 18 percent
in U.S. women and a high 61% of women with endometriosis.

   Excessive pain during or preceding menstruation is common along with pain
during or after sex.  The same hormones that cause the uterus to shed the
endometrial lining also trigger the endometrial tissue that grows outside of the
uterus to break apart and bleed.  Instead of the blood having a way to leave the
body as in menstruation, this blood has no means of elimination and it is assumed
that the surrounding areas become inflamed.

    When I first heard this report, I remembered what first alerted David Berg,
the Hemex researcher who found blood coagulation in ME/CFIDS and was funded
by The National CFIDS Foundation, to do a retrospective study.....infertility!
Indeed, he found the women in the study fit the criteria for ME/CFIDS!  Another
dot has been connected!

The National CFIDS Foundation * 103 Aletha Rd, Needham Ma 02492 * (781) 449-3535 Fax (781) 449-8606