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Living with Complex Chronic Disease (CCD)

Information about living with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, and symptoms attributed to Chronic Lyme Disease.
What is a CCD?

Complex chronic diseases, such as Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS), Fibromyalgia (FM), and symptoms attributed to Chronic Lyme Disease, are long in duration and there is no specific treatment.  In many cases, the causes of these diseases are unknown.

CCDs are called complex because:

  • The factors involved in causing these conditions are not well understood.
  • The symptoms and effects of any CCD can vary greatly among people with the same condition.
  • The longer duration of a CCD can lead to other health complications. These can include physical problems such as weakness, fatigue, and difficulty with daily activities (functionality). 
  • Any long-term illness can impair relationships, education and career goals, and affect a person’s mental health.

With all of these conditions, there are no blood or other laboratory tests to confirm a diagnosis. They are diagnosed based on symptoms described by the patient and medical assessment.

Each person with a CCD will experience their disease in a unique way, with symptoms that may or may not exactly match the most common descriptions. The most helpful approach to treatment will identify patients’ needs according to their symptoms and day to day functionality.

Even if you have had a CCD for a long time, there are steps you can take to feel better and gradually improve your condition. Having your CCD diagnosed as early as possible will help with a better and more rapid recovery.

Patient Resources

Interested in joining a support group?

Living with chronic illness can feel like a never-ending journey. Many feel as if they have come from a past which represents all things lost, and are heading towards a future that is riddled with unknowns. Sharing one's story and knowing that you are not alone can provide compassion and an empathetic understanding to those living with chronic illness. Visit People in Pain Network for info on support options in your community.

Pain intervention: Trigger Point Injections, "What to expect"

Trigger Point Injections is a pain treatment for people who have tried most medication options but continue to struggle with pain control. We encourage patients to discuss trigger point injections with their primary care provider and if appropriate, request a referral to a community provider. Check out our handout, Trigger Point Injections: What to Expect, which provides information about trigger point injections before and after treatment.

A Toolkit to help you plan your social events

We have designed a toolkit to help you "PEN" (Pace yourself,  manage Expectations and Nutrition tips) when planning your social events.  Use our toolkit, PEN down your event plans,to manage event planning all year round.

Community Services
Legal Assistance
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SOURCE: Living with Complex Chronic Disease (CCD) ( )
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