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Posts Tagged ‘fms’

Is it Chronic Fatigue or Fibromyalgia? Four Ways to Tell

Monday, July 25th, 2011



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?


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.


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


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?

Staying Fit with Fibromyalgia: 13 Pain-Free Workouts

Tuesday, July 5th, 2011



Fibromyalgia patients report feeling fewer and milder fibromyalgia chronic pain symptoms with routine gentle workouts.


Fibromyalgia, or Fibromyositis (FMS), is a debilitating condition in which sufferers often feel excruciating pain for little or no apparent reason.

Other symptoms might include depression, insomnia, and  chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), also referred to as myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME/CFS) or chronic fatigue and immune dysfunction syndrome (CFIDS).

If you suffer from long-term chronic pain in your muscles, joints, or other areas of your body, yet are unable to isolate any injury whatsoever, then you should visit your doctor and ask for a fibromyalgia screening.  Although scientists are still at a loss to explain the causes of fibromyalgia, they have found some effective fibromyalgia treatments to help you cope with the symptoms, including some fibromyalgia approved fitness exercises.

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

Which workout is right for you?

Finding the right workout routine with fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue can be intimidating.

On the one hand, even the slightest amount of physical activity leaves you feeling worn out, exhausted, achy, and ill.  This phenomenon, “Post-exertional malaise,” often deters fibro sufferers from staying active.  However, you can eventually build up your tolerance to post-workout fatigue and slowly raise your endurance level to many kinds of aerobic exercises and strength training.

Many fibromyalgia patients who successfully get past that first “hurdle” report feeling fewer and milder fibromyalgia pain symptoms.

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

Below are some light exercises that you can practice 3-5 days per week.  As with any new fitness program, consult your doctor first.

1- Bike Riding: Bicycle riding is a fun exercise that can be adapted to suit many levels.  Start out small- avoid hilly areas, choose a short-term goal, such as circling the block once, and pace yourself.

2- Stationary Bike: If you belong to a gym, sign up for a beginners spinning class.  There are also many virtual spinning classes, both on YouTube and DVD, which can provide a great home workout.

3- Walking: Walking is a great low-impact sport for pain sufferers.  Invest in a good pair of walking shoes, pick a comfortable route, and grab a friend!  People who walk in pairs are more likely to stick to their routine, and find it easier to complete their workout.  If weather permits, take a nice nature walk or stroll in the sunshine, but if it doesn’t, you can still hit the indoor mall before the morning rush for a bit of brisk “window shopping.”

4- Jogging: Light jogging is like running, only more controlled and less strenuous.  If you want to increase your energy without compromising your leg muscles, then try alternating five minutes of jogging with five minutes of brisk walking, and work up to fifteen-minute sessions of each.  Choose soft, grassy, or sandy paths, if possible, and try to avoid jogging on hard surfaces, which can cause knee injuries.

Can a Gluten-Free Diet Ease Symptoms of Fibromyalgia?

5- Treadmill: Walking on the treadmill is a great indoor alternative to stationary biking, and an excellent way to get the heart pumping.  As with jogging, be on the alert for any sign of swelling, which could indicate knee injury.

6- Swimming: Swimming is one the best, non-injurious cardiovascular workouts for people who suffer from chronic pain, particularly arthritis.  Individuals who have difficulty with most types of physical activity often have an easier time incorporating water aerobics or lap swimming into their daily workout.

7- Golfing: Golfing is an enjoyable sport, but it can be strenuous on the lower back muscles.  Get your doctor’s okay before heading out for the golf course.  Avoid the urge to join the caddy, and walk your way around the greens for a low-impact aerobic workout.

8- Physical Therapy: A certified physical therapist can teach you how to relieve some of your pain symptoms, enabling you to stick to your daily workout.

9- Yoga: Yoga combines therapeutic deep breathing with gentle stretching of your various muscles, for a relaxing, healing bodily workout.  Many fibromyalgia patients have reaped the benefits of yoga in alleviating their chronic pain symptoms.

10- Pilates: Pilates focuses on developing core muscular strength and flexibility, as opposed to merely stretching the muscles.  Developed by Joseph Pilates, Pilates is a beneficial exercise for fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome patients.

Do not attempt to practice Pilates on your own; a trained Pilates instructor is crucial, in order to avoid injury.

Staying Fit with Fibromyalgia: 13 Pain-Free Workouts

11- Stretching: Stretching exercises are a mandatory pre-workout activity, even if you don’t suffer from chronic pain.  Stretching warms up your muscles and increases flexibility, preventing torn muscles, sprains, and other sports injuries.

12- Tai Chi: Similar to yoga, Tai Chi also incorporates controlled movements, deep breathing, and meditation.  A growing number of fibromyalgia patients have found relief through these gentle martial arts.

Why More Fibromyalgia Patients are Taking Tai Chi

13- Movement Therapy: Also known as dance therapy, movement therapy uses music and gently choreographed dance movements to relieve anxiety, chronic pain, depression and stress.

Related reading:

15 Handy Household Tools for Chronic Pain Sufferers

100 Best Sites for Fibromyalgia or Chronic Fatigue Information

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



Fibromyalgia Syndrome and Alternative Therapies: Dance Therapy

Strenuous Exercise & Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia Treatment – Exercise as a Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia Treatment

Post-Exertional Malaise

Aerobic exercise in fibromyalgia: a practical review

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