Fibromyalgia, also called fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS), a long-term condition that causes pain all over the body...
has many symptoms in common with CHRONIC FATIGUE SYNDROME/ME All these conditions are characterized by extreme amounts of fatigue. In fact, the conditions seem to be so intertwined that the medical community continues to debate whether FMS is simply a different expression of the same disorder that causes CFS/ME. The main difference is that, in fibromyalgia, debilitating muscle pain is the predominant symptom, whilst in those suffering CFS/ME, pain is secondary to overwhelming fatigue.
Both disorders appear to affect women more often than men. About 80 to 90 percent of people with FMS are female. CFS/ME is four times more likely to occur in women than in men. Research has found that the line between FMS and CFS/ME is a very thin one.
Links Between CFS/ME and FMS
Research into each disease grew out of different medical fields. Fibromyalgia researchers are primarily rheumatologists and arthritis experts. CFS/ME researchers most often are immunologists and virus experts. Because of this, fibromyalgia has been thought of as a muscle disorder while CFS/ME has been linked to viral infections — despite their similarities.
Other differences between the two include:
- What prompted the condition - Many people diagnosed with FMS report that their symptoms followed some sort of trauma — a physical injury or an emotional shock. Whereas CFS/ME appears to spring from a viral infection like mononucleosis or influenza.
- Distinct pain sites - People are diagnosed with FMS if they feel tenderness or pain in at least 11 of 18 distinct locations on their bodies. People with CFS/ME do not normally have these pain sites.
- Inflammation - People with CFS/ME often complain of fever, swollen glands, and other signs of inflammation. Doctors find no evidence of inflammatory response in patients with FMS
Treating FMS and CFS/ME
Given that these conditions have many similar aspects in common, the approach to treatment and healing is normally very similar.
Here is a link to a very helpful podcast about fibromyalgia https://youtu.be/gyMq3xJeSbI