What's the difference between Fibromyalgia & CFS?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by kalynn1, Nov 10, 2002.

  1. kalynn1

    kalynn1 New Member

    I'm being treated for Fibromyalgia which I have had for around 10 years. I've been reading a lot about Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, but I still can't tell the difference between Fibromyalgia and CFS? Can anyone help me clear up my confusion between the two?

    Thank you!
  2. kalynn1

    kalynn1 New Member

    I'm being treated for Fibromyalgia which I have had for around 10 years. I've been reading a lot about Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, but I still can't tell the difference between Fibromyalgia and CFS? Can anyone help me clear up my confusion between the two?

    Thank you!
  3. teach6

    teach6 New Member

    I have friend who have FM, without CFS and I knkow one thing for sure, my fatigue is much worse than theirs is. I am tired just about all the time. I have about one hour in th emorning after I am really awake before I begin to feel tired. I take a nap every afternoon and wake up feeling tired.

    My understanding of the difference in the two is that with FM the pain is worse and with CFS the fatigue is worse. That's the quick explanation. For more you can look on this website for articles on both and see for yourself how they differ.

    Barbara
  4. Myth

    Myth New Member

    Hello!
    I too also heard that CFS is more fatigue and FMS is more pain, but there seems to be a strong resemblence in symptoms. I also understand that many are now thinking CFS is viral. FMS is distguished in diagnosis by the pressure pioint test, demonstrating that the patient has extra tenderness in so many pressure points. Whereas in CFS there is even less information to base a diagnosis, they tend to rule out everything else before concluding thatg someone has CFS. They do seem very similar though, and there are still people that think they may stem from the same factors. That is about all I know, but I bet someone here has both and can tell you more.
  5. lucky

    lucky New Member

    I found a very good website for you which is explaining the difference between FMS and CFS.
    The webstite of Carousel Network Chronic Neuroimmune Diseases has some very good infos. Kind regards, Lucky
  6. sybil

    sybil New Member

    last week i got an imformation pack from 'Action For ME'
    a U.K. charity for CFS,known as ME in the U.K.
    in the list of symptoms for ME it says...fibromyalgia!!
    so,they seem to think FMS is a symptom of ME,not a totally separate condition,how odd!!

    sybilxxx
  7. Shirl

    Shirl New Member

    Kalynn, welcome to our world. As for the difference in FM/CFS, thats a great question.

    I have FM, have had it for 20 years, I know the pain is awesome when in a flare, and always in pain but able to function when not flaring. Deep sleep is the next worst thing with FM, which I have found how to control, thank God. The flares are infrequent since I can sleep now.

    I think there is a big difference between the two. The fatigue of CFS is way worst than in FM. I get the fatigue now and then, and it lasts a few days only, but I bet the CFS members will tell you that is one of their worst symptoms.

    Also, I get swollen glands, low grade fever, flu like symptoms now and them too, but not like CFS! Its a hundred times worst and more often then with FM.

    I am going by reading these posts for almost two years on this board, plus research and reading books on both these illnesses. No medical help here, I am just one of the sufferers, a layman in the medical field, thats all.

    If I had a choice, I would take what I have (Fibro)over CFS! I think it is worst.

    Many doctors for awhile were thinking of linking them both together, but to me that is wrong, they are two different illnesses that have overlaping symptoms, but they seem to be quite different in the broad view of things!

    There are many more differences, and more overlaping symptoms, but this should help you a little.

    As for as all the technical jargon, well I rather just the 'facts'mam', I don't understand all that, and if I did I don't know what good it would do for me anyway.

    I have been to doctors, many of them. But have gotten more help and a better quality of life from supplements, herbs,research, books, and this board then I ever got from the medical profession. I am 80% better than I was two years ago.

    Again, welcome to the board!

    Shalom, Shirl



  8. klutzo

    klutzo New Member

    The Director of our local sleep disorders center once told me that when he couldn't tell for sure if a new patient had CFS or FMS he'd leave them alone, laying down in a dark, quiet room with a blanket and pillow, and he'd come back in 30 mins. If the person was asleep, they have CFS, but if they're still awake despite complaining about how tired they are, they have FMS!
    If you are a reader, I would suggest the book Osler's Web, which IMO, is the definitive work on CFS. One thing you will notice is the clustering of CFS cases. This does not happen with FMS. FMS clusters in families, not geographic areas.
    In a book I read by Dr. Jay Goldstein, a CFS expert, he states that he has seen many FMS patients without CFS, but he has never seen a CFS patient without FMS. However, in running my FMS support group, I saw many CFS patients who told me they had virtually no pain at all. They had 3 complaints: fatigue, cognitive problems and low blood pressure/fainting. I never once heard an FMS patient complain of fainting, and in fact, the incidence of high blood pressure in my group was slightly higher than you'd expect in a random group of people. This made sense, since in FMS the sympathetic nervous system is overstimulated.
    I hope you will read more on this and make up your own mind!
    KLutzo