Fibro Daily

Fibromyalgia vs. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome 

Fibro Daily August 16, 2012

Fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome do share similarities, but it is hard to say if they are the same or not. Not even researchers can agree on that. What is clear is that they are both characterized by a hypersensitive nervous system, and they share overlapping symptoms as well as treatments.

Similarities:

*Aches and Pains
*Cerebral cortex and midbrain suffers from reduced blood flow
*Exhaustion/Sleep Disorders
*Hypothalamic pituitary axis
*Lack of growth hormone
*Low serotonin levels

Differences:

*Chronic fatigue syndrome lists fatigue as major symptom; fibromyalgia lists pain.
*Origin of chronic fatigue syndrome is often the flu or other illness; fibromyalgia results from physical trauma.
*Enzyme elevation differences occur between the two.

The diagnosis of chronic fatigue syndrome or fibromyalgia is often stressful and unclear. Many doctors think of both conditions as only being in the mind of a stressed-out person. The lack of lab tests for both chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia leave medical professionals and patients at a loss, and it is very frustrating for all involved. This frustration only seems to increase the symptoms in the patient. When a doctor does believe in the existence of both conditions, which disease he or she diagnoses often depends on the speciality practiced, because of the similarities. Doctors who deal with pain and joint issues usually go with fibromyalgia; doctors who deal with infectious diseases usually go with chronic fatigue. Otherwise, it’s a toss up between which disease the doctor knows better.

However, since both conditions share such a likeness, some of the treatments—especially the natural ones—are going to benefit both kinds of patients. For both, it is important to get enough rest, workout, eat well, keep up with medications, and develop a strong support group for dealing with the day in and day out of living with chronic conditions. Another helpful reminder is that support groups exist across the nation and world. A simple online search will connect you with thousands upon thousands of people who are suffering in the same way. This kind of network makes a tremendous difference in the well-being of both chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia sufferers.

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