How Are Fibromyalgia Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Linked?**
Is it true that if you are diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome
follows? Well, these two conditions are classed as separate disorders but there
does appear to be an overlap between the two.
Fibromyalgia is a chronic disorder, with the pain symptom being widespread
musculoskeletal pain and the presence of multiple tender points. There are 18
specific tender points and doctors will usually look for the patient to express
pain for at least 11 when pressed using mild force. , They can be found in the
areas near the neck, spine, shoulders, hips, knees and elbows. Fibromyalgia
patients also exhibit a myriad of other symptoms, with the most common being
sleep disorders, morning stiffness, fatigue, headaches, irritable bowel
syndrome, depression and anxiety.
Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is also a chronic disorder, which is also known
as chronic fatigue and immune dysfunction syndrome (CFIDS), or myalgic
encephalomyelitis (ME). People with CFS feel a persistent fatigue that does not
improve with rest. They will feel tired immediately even if they were just doing
ordinary and normal activities. They can feel exhausted for no apparent reason
and be housebound or bed-bound for long periods of time.
Studies have indicated that about 80 percent of patients diagnosed with CFS were
observed to have an overlapping diagnosis of fibromyalgia. There is some
speculation that because of this close relationship fibromyalgia and chronic
fatigue syndrome are actually part of a wider spectrum of disorders and
therefore are linked.
When treating fibromyalgia, doctors and experts recommend having a holistic
approach. Treatment programs for fibromyalgia are not piece-meal processes.
Everyone involved should be an active player. The patients, the doctors, the
therapists, and the family and friends should play active roles in the treatment
programs. The support group of patients with fibromyalgia should be as strong as
their will power will need to be to recover from their condition.
There are a number of treatment programs that patients can adopt that reduce
symptoms. For one, low impact aerobic exercises have shown to have positive
impacts, with fibromyalgia patients reporting reduced pain and improved sleep.
These exercises include swimming and walking both of which targets the muscles
making them more fit which reduces muscle pain and tenderness. Exercise also
releases certain hormones and chemicals that can block pain receptors and boost
the immune system.
Other forms of treatment for fibromyalgia include heat and massage therapies.
These help to increase the blood flow to the muscles to encourage healing.
Medications are also available and include painkillers, antidepressant
medications for elevating moods, sleep drugs and muscle relaxants. However the
best results seem to come from patients who use a combination of medication,
exercise, diet modifications, physical therapy, and meditation and relaxation in
their fibromyalgia treatment programs.
Treating chronic fatigue syndrome uses similar methods to the fibromyalgia
treatments. It has been observed that patients with the condition are also more
likely to improve their condition if they use an integrated treatment approach
in their programs.
As symptoms and severity can vary so much from patient to patient, doctors will
normally try to address the worse symptoms first. There are medicines that can
target sleeping problems, cognitive difficulties and pain, however CFS patients
are often sensitive to these so dosages are normally lowered.
Herbal treatments are an option and although your doctor won’t prescribe these,
anecdotally CFS sufferers have experienced significant improvements.
You should be aware however, that herbal treatments can inter-react with other
medicines and you should seek medical advice before taking anything.
Amending your diet to remove caffeine, refined sugar, and alcohol is also
recommended as many CFS sufferers report sensitivities to these products. If you
smoke you should try and give up, if not for your lungs, but because it can make
Some patients have found relief through alternative treatments like gentle
massage, acupuncture and mediation. If you wish to try an alternative treatment
method try to find a practitioner who has experience of CFS.
Just like fibromyalgia, medications alone don’t normally succeed in alleviating
all the CFS symptoms. By combining conventional medicines with treatments like
meditation or relaxation, stress management, emotional and mental health
counseling, and sleep management both fibromyalgia chronic fatigue syndrome can
be better managed.
The Natural Cure to Fibromyalgia
Recognizing the Signs and Symptoms of Fibromyalgia*
One of the hardest things in diagnosing fibromyalgia is that symptoms are so
diverse and the fact that doctors still have no idea what causes the condition.
So, what are the signs and symptoms of fibromyalgia and how do you go about
getting a diagnosis?
Before discussing what brings about fibromyalgia and what constitutes its
diagnosis, let us first look into what fibromyalgia is.
Fibromyalgia is a chronic illness that is characterized by widespread pain that
is across the whole body. People with fibromyalgia will also have sleep
disturbances, which leave them feeling tired and fatigued all the time. They
will also be more sensitive to pain and may even have emotional problems such as
mood changes and depression.
What causes fibromyalgia?
Some believe that fibromyalgia is caused by problems in the way the brain sends
out pain signals to the various receptors in the body. It seems that because of
some stimulation, the brain becomes more sensitive to pain, more so than other
Other experts in the field say that fibromyalgia is due to problems in sleep.
Rather than just a symptom of the problem, the sleep dysfunction is actually the
cause. This is because people with fibromyalgia often have disturbed sleep with
several moments of brain activities that are akin to the wakefulness state.
There are also some doctors who believe that injury and trauma may be the root
of the problem. This trauma can be found in the upper spinal region of the body,
which may in turn affect the central nervous system. Others point out to the
possibility of the problem being caused by a viral or bacterial infection. This
may affect the nervous system, which controls involuntary movements in the body.
Another area that is being looked into is the effect brought on by the changes
in the metabolism of the muscles. Decrease in the blood flow in muscles may
result to the sapping out of strength as well as fatigue and muscle pains.
In diagnosing fibromyalgia, several tests are often conducted to ensure
diagnosis and to rule out other possibilities. This is because no single test
can give you an accurate diagnosis of fibromyalgia. In fact people who are
suspected to suffer from this problem usually have to go through several blood
tests and x-rays. And oftentimes, these tests will come out normal.
Still, these tests are needed to rule out other problems with similar symptoms,
such as lupus, multiple sclerosis, hyperthyroidism, muscle diseases, cancer or
rheumatoid arthritis among others. Because of this, the American College of
Rheumatology has come up with several guidelines for the classification and
diagnosis of fibromyalgia.
According to them, fibromyalgia may be diagnosed if the pain that is experienced
by the patient is felt in various parts of the body for a period of at least
There should also be a minimum of 11 of the 18 stipulated fibromyalgia ‘tender
points’ on the body that are sensitive and tender when applied mild pressure
(4kg). These tender points can be found in the following places:
Backs of the upper leg
Above the buttocks
Front and back of the neck
4kg of pressure is similar to the pressure needed to make the skin change color
when you press on it with your finger.
If you are displaying any of the above signs and symptoms of fibromyalgia then
make an appointment to see your doctor. Be prepared for your doctors to look
into your medical history as to check on the tenderness and sensitivity to pain
felt across several points on the body including the extremities and of course
the upper body and neck. *
The Natural Cure to Fibromyalgia