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Is it Chronic Fatigue or Fibromyalgia? Four Ways to Tell

 

 

Most people who have fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) also suffer from chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), as the two conditions share comorbidity with each other. So, how do you to tell if you have fibro fog, chronic fatigue…or both?

IS IT CHRONIC FATIGUE OR FIBROMYALGIA? FOUR WAYS TO TELL, WWW.B12PATCH.COM

About  80 to 90 percent of all chronic fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue sufferers female. Also, fibromyalgia sufferers share many of the same symptoms, such as severe chronic pain and mental exhaustion.

If that’s the case, then how does one tell the two conditions apart?

7 Reasons You Have Brain Fog…And What to do About It

Symptoms of fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue

In order for you physician to diagnose CFS or FMS, you must exhibit some of the following symptoms:

  • Extreme mental fatigue
  • Muscle or joint pain
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Unusual headaches
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Forgetfulness
  • Lightheadedness

Suffering from Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue? B12 to the Rescue!

So we know what features CFS and FMS have in common, but what criteria do physicians use to tell them apart?

The basic difference is that fibromyalgia is that fibromyalgia involves specific pain points, while chronic fatigue has no rhyme or reason.

However, that’s only a rough description.

IS IT CHRONIC FATIGUE OR FIBROMYALGIA?  FOUR WAYS TO TELL, WWW.B12PATCH.COM

Factors that differentiate fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue

1) Statistics

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 5 million Americans suffer from fibromyalgia syndrome, compared with 1 million who suffer from chronic fatigue.  If you suspect you have one or the other, seek a fibromyalgia diagnosis first.

A rheumatologist often determines fibromyalgia, while an infectious disease specialist is more likely to diagnose CFS.

2) The substance P factor

Fibromyalgia patients have 300% more substance P, a chemical that your brain uses to spread pain signals throughout your body.  The more substance P your body emits following an injury, the stronger your body’s reaction to pain.

If you have fibromyalgia, then you suffer three times the amount of muscular pain or joint aches than people who don’t have chronic illness.

3) It’s in the zone

There are approximately 18 distinct pain points throughout body that signal fibromyalgia syndrome.  To receive a diagnosis, fibromyalgia sufferers must exhibit soreness in at least 11 of these specified zones.  Conversely, chronic fatigue patients have no connection with the 18 pain points.

How to Tell if Chronic Pain is Fibromyalgia: 18 Pressure Points

4) Chronic fatigue is viral

Chronic fatigue syndrome patients have higher levels of an antiviral enzyme, RNase L, leading experts to believe that CFS is the result of an autoimmune disorder following exposure to a virus.

While fibromyalgia often begins following an emotional trauma or physical injury, CFS generally appears because of a viral infection, like mono or the flu.  Chronic fatigue sufferers often complain of residual flu-like symptoms and sore throat, in addition to exhaustion following physical exercise.  CFS patients feel tired all day, even after sleeping a full eight hours.

Related reading:

100 Best Sites for Fibromyalgia or Chronic Fatigue Information

Staying Fit with Fibromyalgia: 13 Pain-Free Workouts

Why More Fibromyalgia Patients are Taking Tai Chi

15 Handy Household Tools for Chronic Pain Sufferers

Best Clothes for Fibromyalgia Pain- 6 Helpful Dressing Tips

Sources:

The Common Threads of Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome – Fibromyalgia Center – Everyday Health

Difference Between Fibromyalgia and Chronic fatigue syndrome | Difference Between |  Fibromyalgia vs Chronic fatigue syndrome

What is the difference between fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue?

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One Response to “Is it Chronic Fatigue or Fibromyalgia? Four Ways to Tell”

  1. Michel Obama Says:

    So far, no test can accurately diagnose chronic fatigue syndrome. Doctors do need to rule out numerous conditions with similar symptoms before diagnosing chronic fatigue syndrome.

    Diagnostic criteria include unexplained, persistent fatigue that’s lasted for at least 6 months, and at least four of several other symptoms, including impaired memory or concentration, post-exertional malaise, unrefreshing sleep, muscle pain and others.

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