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Adrienne Dellwo

Debunking Myths: Fibromyalgia & Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Are the Same Thing

By January 6, 2010

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A lot of people -- even doctors -- want to lump fibromyalgia (FMS) and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS or ME/CFS) together, believing they're different manifestations of the same underlying problem.

While it's true that the symptoms are remarkably similar, these conditions aren't the same. The top researchers of both syndromes point to numerous differences that should not be ignored.

Yes, these 2 conditions have a lot in common, including:

  • Major symptoms are pain, fatigue, unrefreshing sleep & brain fog
  • Many of the same medications are used to treat them
  • Central sensitization
  • Abnormal response to exercise

However, those are largely surface similarities. When we talk about pain, most of us (including health-care workers) don't have a good vocabulary for different types of pain. When you look deeper, you discover that FMS is linked to pain states such as hyperalgesia (pain amplification) and allodynia (pain from a typically non-painful source). ME/CFS, meanwhile, is associated with muscle aches like what you get with the flu. Also, not everyone with ME/CFS has pain.

We also have woefully poor language for describing fatigue, but here again, research shows that people with ME/CFS have unique fatigue states. The same has not been found about FMS, and not everyone with FMS has fatigue.

The types of unrefreshing sleep are vastly different, as well. People with ME/CFS may sleep most of the time, yet never feel rested. So far, researchers have been unable to identify any actual sleep disorders in ME/CFS, but they have found abnormal sleep patters. FMS, on the other hand, is generally characterized by one or more recognized sleep disorders as well as abnormal sleep rhythms. In many, the sleep disorders pre-date FMS. Generally, those with FMS get very little sleep.

When it comes to exercise, which causes symptom flares or "crashes" in both conditions, studies link the reaction to different physiological processes, including low growth hormone in FMS and abnormal heart rhythms and lactic acid processing in ME/CFS.

The presence of central sensitization puts these conditions in the same overall category, but it's not unique to these illnesses.

Both conditions have scientifically discovered abnormalities that aren't found in the other, including:

  • Greater immune dysfunction in ME/CFS
  • Abnormal nerve response in FMS
  • Stress-system (HPA axis) abnormalities predominantly from the adrenal glands in ME/CFS and the hypothalamus in FMS
  • Elevated pro-inflammatory cytokines in ME/CFS, and sometimes elevated anti-inflammatory cytokines in FMS

In addition, leading researches of both FMS and ME/CFS say that subgrouping is the future. Many of them believe that FMS and ME/CFS are themselves umbrella terms for similar but distinct conditions.

What FMS or ME/CFS myths have you come across? Leave a comment to let me know about it!

Learn more or join the conversation!


Photo © Jason Reed/Getty Images

January 6, 2010 at 8:42 am
(1) Angela Carter says:

When I first saw the headline I was mortified but I clicked on the link and started reading. I calmed down then. It ticks me off when a doctor, who knows nothing about either fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue, wants to package all your symptoms into one category instead of just saying he doesn’t know and referring you to someone who does know about them.
Thanks for this information, I can only hope health care professionals as well as others, take the time to read this article and educate themselves.

January 6, 2010 at 10:38 am
(2) Liz says:

The first doctor I saw who actually diagnosed me with CFS/FMS believed that they were the same disorder. I’ve since been rediagnosed with both, though. They do seem to go together, so I understand the confusion. However, I personally believe that fibromyalgia is a consequence of the stress on my body due to the CFS and that it is probably underdiagnosed in people with other conditions which have been better explained than CFS historically.

I’ve actually been talking to a friend who has FMS but not CFS. She is so much more lively that I can’t help but be jealous. She’s recently started running and loves it. I’ve had to explain that I don’t get that runner’s high at all and that exercise makes me feel much worse, not better. It helps me understand, though, why other people with FMS could do so much better than I do and why other people think, “If so-and-so with FMS can exercise and have a full-time job, then why can’t you?”

January 7, 2010 at 7:57 am
(3) judy says:

to Liz, forget about what all those other peopl say, they are merely repeating hearsay from other who dont have a clue includeing most doctors.
I got Fms at an early age, migraines acheing legs. I went on to win the presidential physical fitness award,set records in track and field and played womens soccer as a fullback. We were the champions of the South east US .
I was never tired but thought I was a big crybaby and everyone else felt as bad as me.
After RHUMY put me on Oxy and Methadone I dev. Chronic Fatigue. Heck I was so druged and cycleing pain I could hardly get out of bed.
Stress on high pressure photo shoots was killing me.
I beleive that either a virus or a fungus is the culprit. You see the study of the x virus disputed in the UK? Maybe maybe not..how was the study done? I signed up for testing for x but I have an inkling that we are dealy with a fungus. Someting is causeing the nervous system to go crazy. Amplfy pain ..you know the story.
Still walking everyday. Yesterday went to Smsclub. Put a case of somthing in a cart and started pushing and walking real fast. Poor lady that steped out in front of me.
I am still all reved up from the detox of the opiates and must burn off the jitters. Kratom still working, it last for at least 6 hours . My skin has not darkened but my reading of people using the 15times strength, these maybe the ones with skin darkening. One thing about Kratom if you take too much you soon vomit. I did a 15x one ,will never again. No need to
Good Health and keep on digging.

January 7, 2010 at 11:43 am
(4) Liz says:

Thanks, Judy.

Meds sometimes seem like half of the problem, don’t they? Mine have caused extra fatigue, nausea, vertigo, drastic weight gain, you name it. I’m currently off of them all because I just couldn’t take it any more. The pain is greater, but I’m fortunate enough that my fibro pain is usually tolerable – but then again, that’s if I do everything “right” and don’t do much of anything at all.

January 8, 2010 at 6:31 am
(5) Heather says:

This is soooooo informative. I only wish many doctors would read this!

January 8, 2010 at 3:10 pm
(6) lloyd says:

Well, I find this discussion confusing. One clear point is that CFS patients don’t have the typical pain of tender points. But the distinctions of types of pains is fuzzy. Certainly, fibromyalgics commonly refer to their discomfort as “flu-like,” with overall achiness and malaise in addition to tender points. Like right now, I just feel inflamed in general and uncomfortably foggy. Thus, if you have fibromyalgia, what additional symptoms cause a clear diagnosis of CFS also? Certainly, with fibromyalgia you feel fatigue; indeed, I have never talked to anyone with fibro who didn’t have some fatigue, though there are always degrees of pain and fatigue. It certainly would be difficult for a doctor to make a clear diagnosis of both syndromes being present.

In regard to some previous comments, I think it is important to recognize that there are always degrees of a condition. One should never fall into the trap of thinking that if one person has fibromyalgia, then every fibromyalgic should be like that person in terms of functioning. Not everyone with other conditions, such as RA, has the same degree of illness. Also, there seem to be stages–at least when it worsens. I know that when I first became aware of my condition, the fatigue was more disturbing and problematic than was the pain. But when I developed full-blown fibro (no question of the tender points then), the pain was excruciating.

January 8, 2010 at 4:44 pm
(7) Misha says:

Is it only me or have others been diagnosed with both Fibro and CFS (and arthritis)? I have been told I have both. I have the pain, the tender points, the tendancy to pick up every bug going around, terrible fatigue and hard, physical work and exercise can land me in bed with unspeakable exhaustion and pain. I had to stop work in May 2008.
I tried coming off my meds and very quickly ended up in hospital in agony, plus a heap of other stuff you don’t want to hear about. Any others in the same boat?

January 8, 2010 at 5:49 pm
(8) Claire says:

I have been diagnosed with both and when I read the descriptions of both, I tend to fit both descriptions. The only time, though, that I have ever slept a lot was when I was also hit with EBV, and the last time only after I crashed into total disability.

While they may be different conditions, there are many who have both, and I often meet people with ME who, like me, don’t sleep all the time, but they can’t get out of bed in the morning. They can’t get going. They are becoming more more and more fatigued, they look as if they have CFS too. And they might. At times, I wonder if CFS is so scary if some folk with FMS and CFS just don’t want to face the fact that they might be dealing with both.

Meanwhile, I have not seen where the distinctions matter much except to the folk who have FMS without fatigue.

Then again, it took me many many years to notice that I actually was experiencing fatigue.

January 8, 2010 at 6:34 pm
(9) Jen says:

My daughter became sick at age 16. The first four years she had more fatigue than pain, getting worse each year. In year 5 she began experiencing pain and the fatigue became less. At age 23 she still has both pain (tender points and generalized achiness) and fatigue (trouble getting to sleep, needs a lot of sleep and rest). She appears to fit in both categories.

January 8, 2010 at 11:21 pm
(10) FibroFilly says:

I believe the largets myth is that the two are completely separate illnesses. They have more symptoms in common than not. Those with FMS also have heart issues much like CFS. I think it depends much upon genetics…ones biological “make-up” and that is the only difference between the two. Everyone is diffferent so anything which involves the body will also manifest itself in slightly different ways…depending upon ones health to begin with. Just MHO.

January 9, 2010 at 11:43 am
(11) Joanna says:

I don’t understand how if they are both completley different things, then how can I have both ME/CFS and Fybromyalgia? They all must be linked in some way to the nervous system becuase all of my symptoms started due to a stressfull job (and maybe no actual allowed sickness time time off, in order to get over any particular illness properly, thus affecting my immunity).

I had IBS first (which I also beleive to be nervous system linked, then ME/CFS which was very bad for the first year, leading to both ME/CFS lowered immunity, plus Fybromyalgia and worse IBS.

Someone needs to look into how the nervous system plays a huge role in these conditions and what can be done to control it flaring them up and also give suffers much more help and advise and not treat us like we’re depressed or just need to pull ourselves together.beleive me after 6 years, i wish i could.

Guide Response: They are definitely related — both are neuroimmune disorders that involve central sensitivity, but they’re not the same condition. Having one is believed to predispose you to the other, as well as to a host of other related conditions, including IBS like you mentioned.

January 9, 2010 at 12:16 pm
(12) Donna says:

I saw a neurologist this past November. I didn’t pass his walking tests. I asked him about fibromyalgia. He said that I failed the walking tests because I wasn’t physically fit. Also, he told me that fibromyalgia is a collection of symptoms brought about by depression. At that point, I just tuned him out. I really hate it when doctors want to blame everything on depression.

January 9, 2010 at 12:44 pm
(13) Heather says:

LOL @ Donna’s comment…. it’s just such an absurd thing for a doctor to say. Sorry you had to go through that.

January 9, 2010 at 12:48 pm
(14) Darlene says:

I hate to sound cynical, but who cares? To me, it’s all a distinction without much of a difference and seems to complicate things rather than clarify. My CFS aside, I’ve noticed that many of the articles on this site parse everything to such a degree, in addition to coming up with abbreviations for everything that it ends up being annoying not to mention just plain confusing (not to mention taxing) to read.

Guide Response: It might not seem like an important distinction, but when it comes to treatments it can be huge. Especially since most of us rely heavily on self-treatment, knowing what dysfunctions we should treat ourselves for can make a big difference. ~Adrienne

January 9, 2010 at 2:01 pm
(15) Jenny says:

I have just been diagnosed with FM after 2 years of pain following the first two years of CFIDS. I now am diagnosed with both CFIDS and Fibro, and fit the symptom/diagnostic criteria for both. It was strange doing the firbro diagnostic test because I was so achey in my muscles from the lactic build up with CFIDS that when he pressed on tender points I was surprised to find the other kind of pain as well. I think my CFIDS and FM take turns at being the more apparent condition. I believe CFIDS and FM ARE related for sure, but are both also umbrella terms for a number of more specific ailments that we have yet to discover.

I hate drugs and do not look forward to going on medication, I think it is possibly they cause a slew of new problems, but I have to keep trying. 4 year later, it would be ignorant not to do everything in my power to get better.

January 9, 2010 at 2:31 pm
(16) Derek Jennings says:

FMS, ME and CFS are labels given to a variety of like symptoms. It’s meaningless to argue that this or that label are really the same given that the labels themselves are ill-defined. And these labels will remain ill-defined until the etiologies of the illnesses in this area have been uncovered to a degree that conclusive diagnostic tests are available to categorize the patient.

January 9, 2010 at 5:50 pm
(17) judy says:

Liiz, Kim great insite,Misha,Joanna,depression!!,Jenny umbrella, DerekUmbrella. I think we are under an umbrella.
Anti depession meds…Tricyllic makes us sleep, SSRI makes a person deal with life in as a queiter more gental way, these are bandaids. If they work for you I am thrilled.
The truth remains what the heck is this? Yes Umbrella theory is correct in that we all respond in different ways to things, Slap ones face, they may walk away ,another may not. This may all be a parasite or a more sophisticated advanced spirokyte. Obviously I am not a scientist. I worked for a FMS clinic in Lake Tahoe for 2 years. We saw a lot of patients that had an onset of symptoms after trauma. Many recovered includeing me after intense C1 manipulations. I slept for 20 hours after my first manipulation. I also lost all IBS and RLS symptoms.
Only to have them return. Some folks got well. Dr. made claims that were not true and lost his license. I think he hit the nervouse system and it temporarly stopped the nightmare. I am now digging deeper with a Doctor in Florida who has tremendous sucsess with cancer and believes FMS is a paracitic type invader. We must keep digging. I respect the opinions of everyone on this site and my hat goes off to A. Will wright more when I see the parasite guru.

January 9, 2010 at 11:24 pm
(18) Christina says:

well after a load of extra CFS-like symptoms (I’ve had my fibro diagnosis for 18 year) I asked my dr about it and he said “it doesnt matter” and “it wouldnt change anything”. but I dont know how you FMS people exercise. 3 or more 15-min.walks cause me incredible fatigue and pain, and I am wiped out for 1-2 weeks. and those stupid commercials on TV make me so mad! those people look great, like, “oh look what I can do when I take this pill”, well, they dont talk about the horrible disabling fatigue, headaches, and painful chronic and embarrassing IBS. I am trying vitamin therapy just cause. Has anyone had success w/B’s for energy or D3 for pain or pantothenic acid for stiffness? Will anything get rid of water? I am so fat and bloated from water and lactic acid, I am desperate! I could not live without my narcotics either, but the last time I had a pain crisis they just doubled them. I dont feel like very many doctors are interested in digging, they see fibromyagia and ignore everything else. I am interested in knowing about manipulation of C1 as I have 5 bulging discs, three cervical, 1 thoracic, and 1 lumbar

Guide Response: I’ve had a lot of luck with supplements, including a sublingual B complex and D3. For our puffiness (some researchers say it’s not truly water retention, but possibly thinkened fluids that don’t move properly), you might want to try massage with manual lymph drainage. For me anyway, it feels great and gets rid of the tenderness in the lymph nodes under my armpits. ~Adrienne

January 10, 2010 at 11:30 am
(19) judy says:

It seems we are all defieint in vitamin d. I take an injection of Myers cocktail weekly. It has a lot of B ,you can Gooogle it. The Cervical1 according to the doc I worked for is misalighned. The misalinment tugs on the nerve meneges causing the pain. Yes he lost his license for making inflated claims. After Tahoe I traveled to Oregon and received an electical type of treatment some what like a TENS unit . Knocked the pain out. Then the FDA recalled these machines just as I was preparing to buy one.
Had severe sleep apnea 2 studys could not use a CPAP as i am allergic to the material in the mask.
Went to Texas saw Dr Roby at the Roby Institute in Austin,did allergy testing and hormone assement. I have not had one episode of Apnea since! Got hooked up with The Helen Foundation in Arizona, you send vials of blood their team looks for food allergie but most of all I found micro dose hydrocordisone therapy the foundation hooks you up with a local D.O. so you dont have to travel to Arizona. When Hydocordisone was discovered in the 50′s the team won a ???prize. Docs started percribing it but in mega doses. Thus their patients developed Cushing Syndrome. Drug got a bad rap..A professor Stenberg started fine tuning this cordisol issue and produced out standing success. His jouney was for his wife with RA. She got well. Stenberg then found an array of success with several other conditions includeinf FMS. I got so much better it was a life changer. I had appied for disabilty and required a Rhumitologist diagnosis. The Rhumy forbid me to take Hydrocordisome Micro therapy or to see any other doctor???? Rhumy pumped me up with Hillbilly Heroin [OXY] and Methodone.
Is it just me or dont those 2 block each other???? Well I am back on Micro dose and power walking. We have been told that FMS is not an inflammitory condition so why does the cordisone wrk SO well? Could it be that the adrenals are under funtioning as cordisone takes over, in micro dose you take a 2 day holiday weekly from cord so your own adrenal skeep working and you do not dev Cushings Syndrome. Still there is an underlying culprit and I internd to hunt that sucker down. I use to train Tennesee Walking Horses and have landed on my rear enough times to have bulging discs and a spur on every one of my cervicals….Still doing Great with Kratom herb.
GOD bless us all! Keep digging and do not stop.

Guide Response: I’m glad to hear the cortisone helps you so much! Unfortunately, most of us with FMS don’t tolerate it well. It’s amazing how we all respond to things so differently. ~Adrienne

January 10, 2010 at 11:35 am
(20) Balletdancer74 says:

Just to clarify, M.E./CFIDS doesn’t involve a lot of sleeping with everyone. In fact, more than most don’t sleep even with sleeping aids. What they DO have in common (I’m talking about JUST M.E./CFIDS people) is the inability to have refreshing (stage 3 and 4 – REM) sleep.

Fibromyalgia also involves poor sleep. I agree. I’m just saying that people with M.E./CFIDS don’t ALL sleep a lot.

M.E./CFIDS usually (not always) involves lower killer cell counts. Also, I wouldn’t quite describe it as “muscle aches.” There is extreme ubiquitous pain involved in the muscles (myalgia), joints (arthralgia) and nerves (neuralgia).

Yes, FM has the same pain, but the “weakness” is not nearly the same as the “weakness” from M.E./CFIDS.

Fatigue/tiredness is for people who do too much, than sleep well and feel rested in the morning (i.e. party too much or work too much, etc.).

I describe M.E./CFIDS “fatigue” as a debilitating weakness like someone is gradually poisoning us…an extremely sickly weakness…not “just” the flu.

If we describe it as such, people “might” realize that we’re not “tired.” It’s a sickly weakness…hence why I use the term “poison.”

Maybe a (or multiple) toxin is involved. Ciguatera/Ciguatoxin (fish poison) has been found in all M.E./CFIDS patients tested. It causes the exact neurological problems we experience. I’m not saying it’s the cause, but it’s certainly not helping.

Having both just makes everything more difficult. Gentle exercise/stretching…no exercise. I finally found a “balance.”

Just thinking about the ignorance out there and the fact that the world has brushed both illnesses off (I’m not a fan of the Lyrica commercials or public service announcement for FM as they only show women mostly in their 50s and up – what about children? And they only portray it as a “pain disorder.” Heck – nearly every illness known to man is painful!) is “exhausting in and of itself!” How ironic!

To better days!

January 10, 2010 at 4:25 pm
(21) lloyd says:

BalletDancer, I like your description of the fatigue as being a “sickly” tiredness, as if being poisoned–something debilitating. I can recall my irritation when a doctor’s nurse said sarcastically, “Well I’m tired too”–both unprofessional and ignorant. I have FMS, and from talking with other fibromites, this kind of fatigue is common; more apparent after overexertion (which doesn’t require much) or lack of exercise or any stress or especially poor sleep, but always somewhat present. It can also vary with an individual’s energy cycles, of course. How this differs from the fatigue of CFS I don’t know.

In regard to Lyrica, yes, it’s a great disappointment, and of course, the ads are misleading. But the ads legitimized fibromyalgia. At least when I say the name”fibromyalgia,” people respond, “Oh yes, I’ve seen the ads.” So we can be thankful to the drug industry for that. Remember, it was just last year when that awful front-page NY Times article appeared that quoted some doctors as saying that people with fibromyalgia “obsess over pains that other people just deal with.” The article was questioning whether the drug industry was legitimately providing a treatment for what many consider a phantom disorder. And on the front page was a picture of a sprawling woman with the horrendous caption: “She says she has fibromyalgia.” So however deficient Lyrica may be, it has raised some public awareness.

January 10, 2010 at 4:28 pm
(22) lloyd says:

Correction: the Times article was two years ago, about the time Lyrica was approved.

January 11, 2010 at 10:38 am
(23) Shammie says:

I am glad to see that what I have concluded on my own, is also the opinion of others. After extensive blood work, limes disease, EBV, etc. I was sent to a rheumotologist. I figured he was going to conclude that I had CFIDS. Nope, he did his pressure point tests, which I had no clue as to what that was then stated that I had Fibromyalgia. He had horrible bedside manners, which turned me off immediately. He asked a million questions, to which I didn’t respond to his liking ( time manner, brain fog) so he became aggitated with me. Anyhoo….after starting my own online research, which btw, doctors hate, I finally diagnosed myself w/CFIDS w/some Fibro. My most prominent symptom is FEVER. I have a low body temperature, so when running a 99.0 – 100 I feel like I have the flu. I have tried to see if this is on a cycle, but after a year of keeping up with it, I can’t seem to find one. I just hate being 44 (prime of one’s life) and feeling like I am 64! There are too many things to do to be lying or sitting around. I try to remain positive, which for all of us is difficult, but I am a firm believer in having a positive attitude helps. God Bless you all!

January 11, 2010 at 12:00 pm
(24) judy says:

Shammie I too have always had a low body temp yet I feel as though I have a fever. WEEEEIrrrd.
Lets put all of our brilliant brains together and whip this thing. Lloyd we were done a service by the Lyrica adds inthat the Gen public has heard the word.
I hate the ad, tried the drug, put me in a comatose state.
Did I have FMS?? don’t know I was in a coma.Prefer not to be in one. Come on lets digg in.

January 12, 2010 at 4:42 pm
(25) lloyd says:

Sometimes, my skin feels burning hot, as though I have a fever, but I don’t. I have found a number of FM people that have a similar symptom

January 14, 2010 at 7:30 pm
(26) Debbie says:

My CFS/FMS, was indeed “caused” by a severe depression that I went thru, my experience is exactly as the one writer’s doctor said.

What happened was that I DID get better mentally with taking Effexor, but physically….I never came back. I’ve never been the same since. Now it is… that the physical down-and-out condition depresses me, but it is NOT the main condition anymore…just the after affects that the stress caused and it’s never gone away, it’s been 12 yrs now.

Tried working for 2 more years after it all happened, and I was completely WIPED out, went on total disability in 2000. I hate it, the income is so much less than if I was still working. I had an excellent job with the county govt, excellent benefits, and now I am totally restricted financially and would have a very hard time making it on my own, it has taken that security away, that in itself is crushing to my spirit.

My spirit is really fragile since this came into my life and took away my health, there is absolutely no stamina for anything, mentally or physically. If I do too much activity or don’t sleep enough, I get severe, severe nausea like I could throw up. At the beginning I kept taking medication for nausea, thinking something was wrong with my stomach. At long last, I finally figured it out. It happens when I’m just physically wiped out, in sheer exhaustion, the only thing that helps is to go to bed.

I feel for everyone that has whichever one. The rhuematologis has said at different times, I have both. All I know is that it’s the pits!!

The “fog” that it’s left me with is so embarrassing. I can’t remember things, I can’t think straight, I CAN’T TALK sensibly to think of words. Thoughts leave my mind mid-sentence, I feel so stupid and could crawl in a hole when I can’t get out what I’m trying to say. I never, ever used to be like this.

It’s an awful, awful condition to live with.

I’ve tried about all the antidepressants and that’s been no help, alot I could not physically tolerate, they have so many bad, bad side effects and I am med sensitive.

Also have the “smell sensitivity” – can’t remember the name of that syndrome. (duh) Never used to have that problem either. It’s been extremely bad for a long time now though. I have to ask my mom not to wear her perfume (how awful is that to say to your mom…your smell makes me sick Mom…)

All this to say…my life is drastically changed, I don’t like it at all but I have learned after much time to accept it.

January 15, 2010 at 5:21 am
(27) S says:

This webpage makes me sad. There seems to be huge amounts of people with hypothyroidism that dont get any real treatment, just get told they have ME/CFS, fibromyalgia pain and IBS. These are all symptoms of hypothyroidism in a vast number of cases. I have personally been diagnosed with IBS, had debilitating muscle pain and chronic fatigue but was cured with thyroid hormone. And no, it was not possible to diagnose the hypothyroidism with a simple blood test/TSH since that was normal. I needed antibody tests and an ultrasound of my thyroid so that doctors saw it had shrunk and was useless. Hypothyroidism affects all cells in the body and different people have different symptoms. It leads to IBS due to a slowing in intestingal movement leading to bacterial overgrowth. Chronic fatigue, muscle and joint pain, exercise intolerance, cold intolerance etc all classical symptoms of lowered metabolism = hypothyroidism.

January 15, 2010 at 8:48 pm
(28) Kim says:

#27 has a point, but I have been diagnosed with hypothyroidism (about 12 years ago) and treated. Some things got better, but it did not last. I was finally diagnosed with FMS, CFS and OA within the last 18 months. I think the stress of my job finally was too much for my body. It is possible to have hypothyroidism + the other conditions.

February 25, 2010 at 4:21 pm
(29) Cheryl Robinson-Atwood says:

In the case of my own rhuematologist, I belive his treatment decisions are based on his knowledge of fibromyalgia and relative ignorance of ME/CFS. Medications are promoted by Big Pharma for fibro, therefore that’s what he offers me. Since there are none specifically targeting the unique flu-like exhaustion that dominates my own illness experience, he’s clueless as to what to do for me. This, from a newly-minted doctor. Is there STILL nothing about ME/CFS taught in medical schools??

March 7, 2011 at 9:32 pm
(30) TRUTH says:

It’s called a “Syndrome” for a reason. IT DOES NOT REALLY EXIST!!

October 12, 2013 at 9:04 am
(31) Dianne N says:

I know this is an old post, but it’s still being read, so I can’t just leave that last comment by “truth” as the last one!
No, “truth” can’t know how much that comment and mindset harms us, doesn’t care, and will likely never read my comment.

If that last comment caused u any doubt – the real truth is, calling something a syndrome doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. AIDS is a syndrome. A syndrome just means, very simply, that the condition doesn’t follow set stages. Like cancer. Cancer proceeds from stage to stage. You know what to expect (for the most part).

FMS and CFS are very real indeed, but just not very well understood.

November 8, 2013 at 2:17 pm
(32) diane says:

Hey, Dianne I feel the same about “truth” post. I had been hit with FM 26 years ago when I had an accident. So I had bilateral carpal tunnel, a cervical fusion and lumbar fusion with Right and Left neuropathies and radiiopathies (or however, you spell them) of my legs and arms…if this wasn’t enough lets throw on the FM. I could no longer work, prior to this I was a workaholic,…my dear sister who was going to nursing school at the time(she was 40 yrs old at the time) told everyone I just wanted a free ride and didn’t like to work (I love to work) and was a drain on society. Since she was the medical person people tended to believe her…and the remarks people make to this day (this was 27 yrs ago and still going)…have put a strain on my very existence…It just proves no matter how much education one may have it will never make up for their ability to be a human being..my sis and I no longer talk (what a relief) …look at next post for the rest of this please

November 8, 2013 at 2:18 pm
(33) diane says:

now the worse thing about my “illnesses” is that my 19 year old son is totally debilitated by FM…he was a “normal” kid until three years ago when he came home from his dads house and couldn’t move his neck because “he must have slept wrong” ..it’s been downhill since then…first he had to drop out of the Baseball team at school…then he couldn’t sleep, pee or have a bowel movement…next he started having pain in his “injured” neck, knees, wrist and ankles…now he bleeds from his rectum, can’t sleep but can’t stay awake…has sooo much pain he wants to be dead (no doc will give him pain meds because of his age – they don’t want to make him a drug addict)…he’s been in college, this is his second year, he is now trying to get an extension on the term because he can’t seem to make it to classes anymore (he has a 3.1 GPA so he’s been doing well considering he has a hearing impairment and learning disabilities – he has an IQ of 122 so he’s smart – he just has several learning disabilities) The docs tell him to get massage therepy and accupunture but they refuse to sign a form for Social Security Diasability so he can pay for these treatments because they’re not paid for by his insurance co (they feel they’ll waste his life if he collects $700 a month to help pay for the therapy he needs and can not afford)…so this bias runs rampant in this wonderful world of our…education means nothing when it comes to the ignorance that spreads though our society…just got home from my son PCP..he told us FM and CFS are the same just different names…tomorrow we change PCP’s

December 23, 2013 at 2:06 pm
(34) Sissy says:

I think it’s important for people to understand that each person with Fibromyalgia and/or CFS is different! I have Fibromyalgia and OA…my mother has Fibromyalgia and RA and runs circles around me!

I had bad fatigue and horrible pain, even before developing OA! Everday is a struggle and the lack of understanding and misinformation only make it harder!

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