Fibro or CFS; How do you know which?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by mrpain, Apr 25, 2006.

  1. mrpain

    mrpain New Member

    I'm a male with fibromyalgia. With it comes differents types of pain throughout my body, at different levels of pain, at different times. But every day there's pain. Also different degrees of fatigue at different times. There's cognitive impairment that comes and goes, and sensory overload.

    Also lack of sleep due to constantly waking up once I finally get to sleep. Ibs is present too. Migrains come 2 or 3 times a month.

    Other people I know well have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, but the people I know have absolutely no pain. All the other symptoms though, matches close to what I have. I read on the board here where people have CFS, but also has a lot of pain with all the same symptoms.

    So my question is what determines the difference between the two? I'm just asking because I really don't know and I'm just trying to learn along with everyone else.
  2. lenasvn

    lenasvn New Member

    It appears to be common to have both DD's. Click on the member profiles, I often find people are diagnosed with both DD's, or have Arthritic conditions, etc.

    I am no expert by any means, but it seems there are alot of flu-like symptoms with CFS, low-grade fevers, and severe excercise intolerance along with an intolerable fatigue.

    In the library you can do a search for Dr. Cheney, I favor the article named "The 3 stages of CFS".

  3. Michelle_NZ

    Michelle_NZ New Member

    I'm not an expert, but I do have CFS. I think what distinguishes CFS from fibro is the post exertional malaise. Quite simply, exercise makes me sick - for days or longer. Doing too much makes me sick - and "too much" is now very little.

    My understanding is that people who have fibro have tested positive for 11 / 18 trigger points (I think I have that right?).

    I do get quite abit of pain, mostly in my legs. I find that its quite closely related to the amount of sleep I get - less sleep = more pain.

    I hope this helps.

  4. findmind

    findmind New Member

    Well..... with time, I learned to distinguish between the FM attacks my shoulders shoulder blades, also my buttocks. It also causes a "bunching" up of tendon/tissue in the inner knee areas.

    If I pick up something too heavy, the muscle pain is really bad...that's FM.

    Now the CFS pain is really quite's a really sick pain; that all over icky sicky flu-ish pain that makes you think you're going to die right now...sometimes for days!

    Then, if I vacuum, I get this pain under my arms...swollen glands and sometimes by the next day I really have to lie down, I'm so sick.

    The spinal column pain can be very severe sometimes, too...its like a flu in the spine. with Fm and CFS can sorta tell which problem is raising its ugly head.

    Sore throats and low-grade fevers can be with pain, too.

    Hope you have all these pains-in-the-you-know-what figured out soon! LOL

    But then what??? If have both DDs, you can't properly exercise to help the FM if the exercise puts you on the bed, couch or lounger for 3-4 days afterwards!

    I think a lot of drs. will be saying progressive exercise for both: I think they are crazy!

  5. mejlee

    mejlee New Member

    Do any of you know of a good signs/symptom list for CFS, so I could check the for differences between my FM and possible CFS. Preferably one I could do a search for on this site.

    I am at a point that I need to figure this out for myself. At my last Rheumy. appointment when I asked my dr about the poss. of CFS, he said, "we are already dealing with one issue (meaning with FM) lets not complicate things with another dx." I felt like saying yes lets make sure we only deal with one life alterating condition a decade!

    P.S. he said the same thing about the poss. of psoratic arthritis. (pardon my spelling, my brain has been in a fog for a couple of weeks.)
  6. UnicornK

    UnicornK New Member

    ...if your number one complaint is fatigue, you have CFS. If your number one complaint is pain, you have FM. I have number one complaint is pain and fatigue. LOL

    I guess this makes sense.

    God Bless.
  7. Smiffy

    Smiffy Member

    I have both mrpain, & believe them to be the same illness.
  8. mrpain

    mrpain New Member

    I guess I'm in the fibro and cfs camp. Definitely lots of pain, and definitely severe fatigue. If I over exert myself in any way even though I'm having a pretty good day, then I will pay for it the next few days. Sometimes, even for weeks.

    And when I say having a good day, that would be, having a good day for me; not for a normal person..(if you know what I mean).
  9. skierchik

    skierchik New Member

    See the post titled "I have CFS & Fibro, If I Cure CFS will I still Have Fibro? by Wakemeup. I posted some information out of my favorite CFS book.

  10. skierchik

    skierchik New Member

    FM is a symptom of CFS. See my response to post titled "I Have CFS & Fibro, If I cure CFS, will I still have Fibro? Post started by Wakemeup.

    Here is a Chronic Fatigue Immune Deficiency Syndrome (CFIDS) Questionaire by Jeffrey S. Bland, PhD.

    Please circle numbers preceding the statement if they apply to you.

    1. I have experienced easy fatigability that has lasted at least six months.
    2. A physician has evaluated me and ruled out any other physical or psychiatric diseases that may mimic CFIDS symptoms.
    3. For at least the past six months, I have experienced recurring or persisting:

    a. chills or mild fever; or rash that comes and goes
    b. sore throats
    c. painful or swollen lymph glands
    d. unexplained general muscle weakness
    e. fatigue for 24 hours after previously tolerated exercise
    f. headaches unlike any previously experienced
    g. joint pain w/o joint swelling or redness
    h. forgetfulness
    i. excessive irritability
    j. confusion
    k. inability to concentrate
    l. depression
    m. disturbed sleep

    Interpretation: The Center for Disease Control in Atlanta defines CFIDS as being probable when the patient answers yes to questions 1 & 2 and acknowledges at least 8 of the 13 criteria in question 3.

    He also describes symptoms of Fibro which I included in the above mentioned post from Wakemeup.

    Hope this helps.

  11. lovethesun

    lovethesun New Member

    but I can't even do mild housework,It willlay me uo for atleast 24hrs I have the 1st 2 on that list & 7.I don't get a sick feeling unless my pain is over the top.No fevers either.Linda
  12. mejlee

    mejlee New Member

    Thank you so much, that is exactly what I was questioning.

    I am trying so hard to find a doctor that will pay attention to "everything" my body is yelling. Having info. in writing helps me to clarify what is going on. So thank you again for taking the time to help me out!!!

  13. skierchik

    skierchik New Member

    Your welcome, Mejlee! Did you read the other post? Does this make sense for you? It sure did for me. It's describes me exactly. My doctor agrees that it's toxins that are messing up my body. I have been feeling alot better doing exactly what he tells me. Also, I have shared his protocols with everyone if you want to try them.
    Look them up under my name.

    I'm telling ya detoxing and cleaning out our bodies is exactly what we all must do. Everything I read about these DD's points to "toxins" no matter who the author is. I hope everyone will give it a try!


  14. apl

    apl New Member

    Hi everyone, I'm new here, and so glad to have found such a useful resource.

    I have all of the above-mentioned symptoms, except for the severe headaches. I only get tension headaches, that seem to relate to the bunching up of muscles and tendons in my neck, back, and shoulders. I have quite a few other symptoms too.

    I was diagnosed with Fibro in November of 2005, but have been experiencing the symptoms for as long as I can remember. I'm pretty sure I tested for all 18 of the suggested "tender points". I have read so much in the last several months since my diagnosis, and the only thing I am completely sure of is that there is a lot of contradictory and confusing information out there for both CFS and FMS. But if the list of symptoms above is for CFS, and Fibro and CFS are two separate conditions, then I guess I have both. Or if my suspicions are correct, they are the same, or at least caused by the same core issues.

    Sorry for such a long and relatively pointless first post, but this question intrigues me.

    I'm grateful to find so many helpful and informative people here. I wish us all the best of luck and continued courage.

  15. bossco

    bossco New Member

    to be truly diagnosed with fibro, I believe you have to test positive for a certain amount of the 12 or 16 trigger points....I have cfs, but beleve that is what separates us from fibro.
  16. mrpain

    mrpain New Member

    According to the above cfs list, I have nearly everyone of them.. And according to the fibro list, I have all 18 tender points with pain, plus the fatigue factor. It makes me sound like a hypachondriac, but it's the truth...Thanks for all the information..
  17. musikmaker

    musikmaker New Member

    I was diagnoised with Fibro but as I read about CFS, I have most of these symptoms also. I am starting to think they are the same disease.
  18. BethW

    BethW New Member

    I think this is so confusing to us because it is so confusing to doctors themselves as well as researchers. In my state I had a doc tell me they never diagnose CFIDS anymore and haven't for yrs. They diagnose everyone with FMS - everyone. Also they don't know the ICD code used to get insurance to pay for CFIDS so they use FMS. The newest code book ICD 10 doesn't even have a code for CFIDS or ME.

    My diagnosis was very simple because I got very feverish, fluey sick, lymph gland swelling and pain, aching all over, confused, short term memory, so weak I literally crawled to the bathroom, could not walk downstairs, the least exercise (as in walking) sent me back to bed, sore throats, low grade fever for two yrs. (findmind's description here describes it perfectly as does skierchik. The fatigue got worse and worse. Then I had to have gall bladder surgery and the next morning woke up with a different kind of severe pain, sharp in places, worse in some, radiating out all over, everywhere I pressed my finger it hurt badly. That was diagnosed finally (took a while) with FMS. Very different symptoms.

    I am sure I have forgotten something, but because mine was 2 yrs apart, it was very clearcut to me. In the early 90's when I was diagnosed with CFIDS, doctors were reading about it in magazines, medical journals and talking about it. They could recognize it right away. At the time 1990 I was diagnosed by 3 docs: a psychiatrist, internist, and an opthamologist. They all had enough other patients to recognize it.

    The two diseases may be the same disease with different body systems affected or different degrees of cases. FMS patients may have the same genes and a few different ones. Some studies over the yrs have shown differences and some likenesses. The last 7-9 yrs they have stopped separating the 2 for studies lumping them both together so it is not possible to know the differences. It seems to be a real mess now. Adrenal gland functioning used to be a difference. CFS low FMS not low. RNaseL used to be a difference; then they stopped separating those I think. I am no expert, just a long-time sick person with few answers.

    Sometimes I am just amazed that in our advanced country a disease entity has been handled so poorly that we are all so confused at this point. How can we be treated properly without knowing what we have? Off my rant. Sorry.

  19. mrpain

    mrpain New Member

    All the money that goes to the drug companies, yet, what have they cured with their drugs? In most cases, it has to be taken for life. Every med. that I'm on, I see no end in sight.... And in some cases, it will probably be increased.
    I say this because I'm feeling really bad right now and this has not changed for decades.

    Yes there's moments throughout that's not as bad, but they are only brief...but ya'll know that, so I'm probably preaching to the choir as the saying goes...

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