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Posts Tagged ‘Fatigue causes’

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia- Is there a Difference?

Thursday, December 15th, 2011



What’s the difference between fibromyalgia (FM) and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS)? Health experts often differ in diagnosing fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue symptoms, as they tend to overlap.  Judge for yourself- here are some facts on symptoms of fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome.


What is fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia (FM) is a condition that causes pain, tiredness, and stomach upset in its sufferers.  FM is somewhat of a medical phenomenon, as scientists are still unsure exactly what causes fibromyalgia.  Theories abound, and researchers continue to conduct studies on possible causes of fibromyalgia.

Fibromyalgia symptoms:

The most prevalent symptom of fibromyalgia is chronic pain: About 70% – 80% of fibromyalgia patients suffer severe muscular soreness.  Pain occurs mostly along the spine, the shoulders, hips, and neck, but can also happen in other parts of the body.  FM sufferers may also experience joint stiffness similar to arthritis pain.

  • Other common symptoms of fibromyalgia are gastrointestinal disorders (diarrhea), severe fatigue, sleep difficulties, and “brain fog” (concentration problems).
  • According to the U.S. Centers for Disease and Prevention, approximately five million US citizens suffer from fibromyalgia.
  • In order to diagnose fibromyalgia, a doctor must confirm eleven out of eighteen fibromyalgia “tender points” in his patient.
  • More women than men suffer from fibromyalgia.


Fibromyalgia FAQs- 6 Need-to-Know Fibro Facts

Why am I always tired?

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) goes by a few other names: immune dysfunction syndrome (CFIDS) and myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME).  CFS is another “invisible disease” that affects the body and the mind.  Like fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome is also an illness for which scientists are still attempting to determine the cause.  The leading theory is that CFS is an autoimmune disorder of the central nervous system.

Boost Energy Now! 20 Practical Tips for Fighting Fatigue

What are the symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome?

While fibromyalgia symptoms center on pain, CFS symptoms are primarily related to extreme unending tiredness.  Symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome include:

  • CHRONIC FATIGUE SYNDROME AND FIBROMYALGIA- IS THERE A DIFFERENCE? WWW.B12PATCH.COMbeing tired all the time, despite getting plenty of sleep, eating well, and generally taking good care of yourself,
  • complete exhaustion after low-impact exercise, examinations, or long periods requiring mental focus, followed by a recuperation period,
  • poor short-term memory,
  • brain fog,
  • waking up fatigued, and never feeling fully rested,
  • flu-like aches and pain,
  • headache,
  • sore throat,
  • poor reading comprehension,
  • difficulty grasping appropriate words while communicating,
  • anxiety

What’s the difference between CFS and FM?

The fact that symptoms of chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia so often overlap makes it difficult for doctors to diagnose, and confusing for patients to understand.  Here are some basic similarities and distinguishing facts of fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome:

  • Not all people who have chronic fatigue syndrome also suffer from chronic pain symptoms such as those with fibromyalgia.  However, most fibromyalgia patients live with extreme, persistent fatigue every day- approximately 50% – 70%, according to the Arthritis Foundation.
  • About one million people have chronic fatigue syndrome, compared with five million fibromyalgia sufferers.
  • While some physicians believe that fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome are two separate conditions that often overlap in one patient, others believe that chronic fatigue is one of many symptoms of fibromyalgia syndrome, and not a disorder in its own right.
  • Stress and physical exertion are both common triggers of fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome symptoms.

Chronic Depression, Chronic Pain- It’s All the Same, say Experts

Vitamin B12 deficiency in fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue

Other illnesses share similar symptoms with FM and CFS, causing yet more confusion in diagnosis and treatment.  Additionally, other conditions like pernicious anemia may occur at the same time as CFS, and may go undetected as a result.

  • A high correlation exists between vitamin B12 deficiency and fibromyalgia.  Any condition that causes gastrointestinal problems will likely also result in poor digestion of vitamin B12.  Untreated, B12 deficiency can escalate into severe nerve damage.
  • Symptoms of B12 deficiency may include nerve pain (tingling, pins and needles) in the hands and feet, numbness in the hands and feet, decreased energy, loss of mental focus, fatigue, depression, anxiety, sore tongue, altered sense of taste, short-term memory loss, clumsiness, and difficulty walking, running or jumping without stumbling.
  • Other disorders and illnesses linked with vitamin B12 deficiency are inflammatory bowel disease (IBD- Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis), lupus, heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, autism, celiac disease, osteoporosis, and diabetes.
  • Because vitamin B12 deficiency shares so many symptoms with chronic fatigue syndrome, it might go untreated.  For that reason, it is advisable for people suffering from CFS or FM to get their vitamin B12 blood levels checked routinely.

Read more about fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome:

Back Pain Exercises and Fibromyalgia- the Do’s and Don’ts

40 Things NOT to say to a Fibromyalgia-Chronic Fatigue Sufferer

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


The Fibro Fact Page: Basic Brief Information about Fibromyalgia

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

What is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?

The CFIDS Association of America

Image credits:

Stuart Miles

Tired of being Tired all the Time…It’s Tiring!

Thursday, December 1st, 2011



If you feel tired all the time, then join the club- the vitamin B12 deficiency club, which is becoming the top cause of chronic fatigue allover.  Vitamin B12 is crucial for brain health, and if you don’t get enough, you run the risk of suffering the red blood cell disease pernicious anemia- one of many vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms.


Why am I so tired all the time?

Fatigue causes you to feel sluggish, slow, confused, and constantly in a “brain fog.” You’re exhausted before you even step out of bed, and all day at work.  On the drive home, you catch yourself several times nodding off at the wheel.  By the time you’re ready to pack it up and call it a day, you’re almost too tired to change into your pajamas, sorely tempted to climb into bed, clothes, shoes, and all.


Why are you so tired all the time? Many conditions can cause chronic fatigue, and most of them begin with vitamin B12 deficiency.

What is vitamin B12?

Vitamin B12 is of the vitamin B complex vitamins, and occurs in foods like beef, poultry, fish, eggs, and milk.  Some of the best sources of vitamin B12 are organ meat, lean turkey, crabmeat, halibut, and yogurt.  Normally, sufficient amounts of B12 are stored in your liver, unless you are prone to vitamin B12 deficiency.

What is vitamin B12, and why is it so important?

What are the symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency?

Tiredness is at the core of the most common symptoms of B12 deficiency:  depression, chronic fatigue, anxiety, short-term memory loss, disorientation, trouble concentrating or remembering words, painful numbness or tingling in hands and feet, loss of balance while walking, muscular feebleness, and insomnia.

Here are some illnesses and chronic conditions linked to vitamin B12 deficiency:

  • Pernicious anemia

Sometimes, pernicious anemia is the cause of vitamin B12 deficiency.

Vitamin B12 helps your body produce healthy red blood cells needed to carry oxygen. With pernicious anemia, you have a shortage of vitamin B12, which leads to a shortage of red blood cells, which in turn causes a severe reduction in oxygen throughout your body, including the brain.

The resulting effect is overwhelming tiredness, lightheadedness, and an inability to concentrate.

What are the Symptoms of Pernicious Anemia- B12 deficiency?

  • Fibromyalgia

Scientists found that a high correlation exists between vitamin B12 deficiency and sufferers of fibromyalgia, an autoimmune disease that causes symptoms such as severe pain, skin sensitivity, sleep problems, and chronic fatigue.


Boost Energy and Beat Fatigue All Day Long- 8 Sure-Fire Tips

  • Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)

People with gastrointestinal disorders such as IBD- Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis- have extreme difficulty absorbing vitamin B12.  Symptoms such as sluggishness, diarrhea, and unexplainable exhaustion might be confused with IBD symptoms; in fact, vitamin B12 deficiency is a likely culprit that often is overlooked.

Celiac and B12- Celiac Disease and Vitamin B12 Deficiency

  • Depression

Vitamin B12 supports cognitive functioning- low B12 levels are common among people suffering from severe psychological disorders, including schizophrenia, clinical depression, and obsessive-compulsive disorders (OCD).  Tiredness is one of many complaints of people suffering from depression and anxiety.

Can Elevated Homocysteine (Low B12) cause Mental Illness?

  • Heart disease

Vitamin B12 helps your body regulate the amount of homocysteine in your blood.  High levels of plasma homocysteine are strongly associated with heart disease and stroke. By breaking down homocysteine, and thus reducing the risk for heart disease or stroke, vitamin B12 promotes cardiovascular health.

Treatment for B12 deficiency

A blood test is necessary in order to diagnose vitamin B12 deficiency.  Not all doctors screen for low B12, so you will need to request a plasma vitamin B12 test.  If necessary, your doctor will prescribe B12 injections or sublingual B12.

Read more about vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms:

Is Vitamin B12 the Secret to the Fountain of Youth?

Why do my Arms and Legs often Fall Asleep? B12 and Paresthesia

Vitamin B12 Deficiency. Are you at Risk?


Sluggish? Confused? Vitamin B12 May Be Low

How to Stop Feeling Tired All The Time

Image credits, from top:

Disney Wiki, striatic, Tambako the Jaguar

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