What is the difference

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by mlp1954, Mar 18, 2006.

  1. mlp1954

    mlp1954 New Member

    between Fibro and CFS? I am told I have Fibro, but dont know what CFS is. Do they go hand in hand? What would a short description of both be? I am new to Fibro, or at least to my diagnosis, have had it a very long time I think, just never diagnosed. I have RA too, and that was my diagnosis, but now I know I have Fibro too. Lucky me...
  2. hopeful4

    hopeful4 New Member

    Hi Pattie,

    For many of us, we have both. Some theories are that CFIDS and FM are the same illness, kind of on a continuum.

    I was diagnosed with CFIDS in 2000. Last year I was told I "only" had 10 of 18 tender points, therefore didn't have FM. Also, I was diagnosed with chronic Lyme Disease last year, which was the main underlying cause of the CFIDS and FM. The symptoms of the three overlap. Have you been tested for Lyme by a knowledgeable Lyme Literate doctor?

    If you go to the Library tab, above, you will find these articles in their entirety, and many other helpful articles.

    Symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

    The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has established certain criteria for diagnosing Chronic Fatigue Syndrome:

    1. Fatigue that is persistent, relapsing or debilitating; does not improve with bed rest; and reduces or impairs average daily activity level by more than 50 percent for a period of at least 6 months. Patient has no previous history of fatigue.

    2. The patient has 4 or more of the following symptoms, which must have persisted or recurred during 6 or more consecutive months and predated the fatigue:

    Short-term memory or concentration problems
    Sore throat
    Multi-joint pain without joint swelling or redness
    Muscle pain
    Headaches of a new type, pattern or severity
    Non-refreshing sleep
    Post-exertional malaise lasting more than 24 hours

    In addition, a number of minor symptoms may also appear:

    Poor sleep
    Brain fog
    Increased thirst
    Bowel disorders
    Recurrent infections
    Exhausting after minimal exertion

    The CDC criteria should not be thought of as final guidelines in diagnosing Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Research has shown the people with disabling fatigue who fit the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome criteria have the same immunologic changes and responses to treatment as those who don't fit the criteria.

    Understanding Fibromyalgia

    (Compiled by the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases)

    What Is Fibromyalgia?

    Fibromyalgia is a chronic disorder characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain, fatigue, and multiple tender points. "Tender points" refers to tenderness that occurs in precise, localized areas, particularly in the neck, spine, shoulders, and hips. People with this syndrome may also experience sleep disturbances, morning stiffness, irritable bowel syndrome, anxiety, and other symptoms.

    What Causes Fibromyalgia?

    Although the cause of fibromyalgia is unknown, researchers have several theories about causes or triggers of the disorder. Some scientists believe that the syndrome may be caused by an injury or trauma. This injury may affect the central nervous system. Fibromyalgia may be associated with changes in muscle metabolism, such as decreased blood flow, causing fatigue and decreased strength. Others believe the syndrome may be triggered by an infectious agent such as a virus in susceptible people, but no such agent has been identified.

    How Is Fibromyalgia Diagnosed?

    Fibromyalgia is difficult to diagnose because many of the symptoms mimic those of other disorders. The physician reviews the patient's medical history and makes a diagnosis of fibromyalgia based on a history of chronic widespread pain that persists for more than 3 months.

    The American College of Rheumatology (ACR) has developed criteria for fibromyalgia that physicians can use in diagnosing the disorder. According to ACR criteria, a person is considered to have fibromyalgia if he or she has widespread pain in combination with tenderness in at least 11 of 18 specific tender point sites.

  3. mlp1954

    mlp1954 New Member

    Thanks for the reply to me on the difference between CFS & Fibro. I sure have a lot of the symptoms of CFS too. The one thing that really bothers me, besides the pain, is the fact that I cannot concentrate on anything, and my short term memory is not good. I used to be right on top of things all the time, used to love to read, I cannot read anymore, I just dont comprehend it at all. I do have the joint pain, no swelling at all. I know I have RA too tho, with hip replacements. Wish there was a magic test to tell you what you have wrong, with a magic pill to follow!! Thanks so much.,,,,Pattie
  4. tandy

    tandy New Member

    I'm still tryin to figure that question out after having Fibro for 13 yrs.
    Cause I've always heard that with Fibro,..your pain is the worst. and with CF your fatigue is the worse.
    ????? well,..I have both.
    I guess some people with CF don't have alot of body pains.?? But they are bombarded with total fatigue.
    I don't know,...maybe I have both and I just don't
    know it yet.
    My Rheumy said "they are both just about the same disease"
    Almost as if saying if you have one,..you more than likely have both.
    I'm in the 'lets wait and see' stage of having possible RA also.

    Hope my answer has'nt confused you more!!LOL
  5. hopeful4

    hopeful4 New Member

    I love your doggies at the door!

    Well, although there is no single "magic test" nor a single "magic pill", there are definately tests available to find out what the underlying causes are of your illness. And, there are treatments to bring things back into balance, and to fight infections, and viruses.

    I go to the FFC, and there, for the first time, got very comprehensive testing, and then a treatment plan based on that. I was found to have such things as: low thyroid, low hormones of all kinds, rock bottom NK cells, low WBC, candida, mycoplasma pneumoniae, echovirus, lyme disease, and hypercoagulation.

    BTW, your cognitive problems sound very similar to mine. I have neuro-lyme, chronic lyme that effects my brain function. The symptoms of neuro-lyme are yet another overlap, right over the CFIDS/FM symptoms.

    Take care, and never give up.

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