the difference between FM and CFS

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by gentlee, Sep 27, 2002.

  1. gentlee

    gentlee New Member

    Sorry, can't now locate the message from someone asking about this, and as I found and copied an extract (below) this morning, here it is in a new thread....

    This is a very informative book:
    M.E. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: A Pratical Guide
    By Dr Anne Macintyre (Thorsons/Harper Collins publishers) (1998)

    In this book (Chapter 4, p112) it says:
    'FM is another condition where the causes and pathological processes are poorly understood. Its main symptom is muscle stiffness and pain, with acute tenderness at focal points called 'trigger points'. These are often where a muscle joins a tendon, and there are classical places for these trigger points, used when making the diagnosis. Many people with FM see rheumatologists with an initial diagnosis of arthritis. People with FM also get very very exhausted, and tend to have poor sleep with frequent waking.
    [....]
    However, FM differs from M.E. (or CFS) in some respects - it does not have the post-exertional muscle weakness and malaise, muscle twitching, the marked cognitive dysfunction, or sore throats and tender glands that you see in ME and CFS, nor does it usually have a clear post-viral onset. Some doctors believe FM is a form of CFS, while others make a clear differentiation between them. '

    This book has been my Bible and I fully recommend it. It also explains in detail the biological and historical factors in CFS
    and gives excellent practical info on dealing with it and getting social security benefits (in GB) too.

    Liz
  2. gentlee

    gentlee New Member

    Sorry, can't now locate the message from someone asking about this, and as I found and copied an extract (below) this morning, here it is in a new thread....

    This is a very informative book:
    M.E. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: A Pratical Guide
    By Dr Anne Macintyre (Thorsons/Harper Collins publishers) (1998)

    In this book (Chapter 4, p112) it says:
    'FM is another condition where the causes and pathological processes are poorly understood. Its main symptom is muscle stiffness and pain, with acute tenderness at focal points called 'trigger points'. These are often where a muscle joins a tendon, and there are classical places for these trigger points, used when making the diagnosis. Many people with FM see rheumatologists with an initial diagnosis of arthritis. People with FM also get very very exhausted, and tend to have poor sleep with frequent waking.
    [....]
    However, FM differs from M.E. (or CFS) in some respects - it does not have the post-exertional muscle weakness and malaise, muscle twitching, the marked cognitive dysfunction, or sore throats and tender glands that you see in ME and CFS, nor does it usually have a clear post-viral onset. Some doctors believe FM is a form of CFS, while others make a clear differentiation between them. '

    This book has been my Bible and I fully recommend it. It also explains in detail the biological and historical factors in CFS
    and gives excellent practical info on dealing with it and getting social security benefits (in GB) too.

    Liz
  3. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    First, FMS tender areas are called, tender points, not trigger points. Trigger points are associated with Chronic Myofacial Pain Syndrome,and they radiate pain into other areas, whereas tender points in FMS are localized.

    All the symptoms which the author states do no occur with FMS are very common in people with FMS. That said, many of us with FMS also have CFS. There are many, many overlapping symptoms. Both are very difficult to diagnose and both are diagnoses of exclusion. The thing which differentiates FMS is the presence of tender points in certain areas. Many with FMS have post-exertional malaise, not to mention pain. Muscle twitches are rampant among people with FMS. Cognitive dysfunction, sore throats, and swollen lymph nodes (not glands) are also common.

    ME is just another term for FMS and is more common in the UK. BTW, ME is a better description of our illness than FMS.

    Sorry that I cannot be more positive about an author whom you obviously like, but I calls 'em as I sees 'em.

    Love, Mikie
  4. MsJoey

    MsJoey New Member

    as Mikie says. I used to believe that they were separate entities, but now believe they are one and the same, with people being at different points or spectrums of the disease. Sometimes it is the pain that is most prevalent. Sometimes, like right now, it is the profound exhaustion and weakness that are most prevalent. It varies, day to day, week to week, month to month. You can have any different combination at any given time. Keeps it fun and interesting, huh??? LOL! Until I did a great deal of research for myself, I didn't know these were basically the same thing. Just different symptoms at different times. I'm more than 30 years into this already. Time flies when you're having fun! (HUMOR! Gotta have it!) Yes, it sucks, but life goes on somehow. Some days I wonder how on earth to keep going, but manage it one minute at a time if I have to. I have tried many, many treatments. Right now I'm taking both prescription meds and some alternative. It depends on the moment I think. Nothing helps more than about 30% anyway! Hope I haven't blathered on too much. I don't post very often, lurk mostly, and learn a lot from all of you. Thanks again for all the info here! Jo
  5. teach6

    teach6 New Member

    I agree with Mikie except for one thing. It is my understanding the M.E.is the term used in the UK for CFIDS, not FM.

    Barbara
  6. sean

    sean New Member

    I agree with what mikie says, although I have heard the tender points in FMS refered to as trigger points in articles I have read, and I'm inclined to think that FMS, ME, PVFS, and certain other conditions, are probably one and the same, just reacting slightly different in people.
  7. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    Evidently what I read somewhere about ME being an outdated name for FMS was incorrect. However, there is definitely a difference between the tender points and trigger points just as there is a difference between glands and lymph nodes. Many articles have used them interchangeably, but they are not interchangeable terms.

    There is so much debate amongst the experts regarding whether CFS and FMS are really two distinct illnesses that I believe it is no longer accurate to describe our illnesses as one or the other; however, research may yield a difference in the future. Researchers are now looking into all kinds of illnesses as having possible connections to our illnesses. I believe the discovery of the role of mycoplasmas in the Gulf War Illness was responsible for this broader view.

    I have been diagnosed with both FMS and CFS. I have made great strides with my pain, and my tender points are much less tender. I believe that the Guai treatment is a big factor in this. I am also getting a lot better quality of sleep due to the Klonopin; however, my fatigue and cognitive problems are profound. That may be the CFS part of my illness, so maybe they are distinct.

    Wouldn't it be nice to have some answers instead of just more questions?

    Love, Mikie
  8. gentlee

    gentlee New Member

    and other responders for these important clarifications about FM. I still recommend the book for CFS, even if the author may have mis-used some terms when talking about FM in this case. The idea about a continuum between the two is very interesting.

    Liz
  9. roro

    roro New Member

    I thought ME was the UK name for CFS??
  10. dlizard

    dlizard New Member

    I agree with all of the above , just for the record , but I think our disease(s) deserve a REAL NAME!