YOUR HEALTH: Fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue?

Find out how you can tell Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome apart by their symptoms.
Published: Oct. 4, 2023 at 8:08 AM CDT
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ORLANDO, Fla (Ivanhoe Newswire) - Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome are two mysterious and debilitating conditions, and they’re often confused with each other. Find out how you can tell the disorders apart by their symptoms.

Tiredness, pain, trouble concentrating, and sleeping difficulties are symptoms of both chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia. While signs may overlap, the signature symptom of fibromyalgia is pain.

“The pain is often described as an ache or a burning type of sensation,” said Erik Hiester, a doctor of osteopathic medicine at Concierge Medicine.

And, people with fibromyalgia commonly experience discomfort in areas of the body called tender points.

“Tender points are typically located on both sides of the body, oftentimes at the head, the neck, shoulders, elbows, lower extremities, and upper extremities,” explained Dr. Hiester.

When it comes to chronic fatigue syndrome, fatigue is the key symptom that sets it apart. Typically, people with this condition report fatigue that worsens with activity and doesn’t improve after resting.

When it comes to fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue, it’s important to get a correct diagnosis, so you can start on the proper treatments. There are three FDA-approved drugs for fibromyalgia and none for chronic fatigue syndrome – although some meds are used off-label to treat symptoms of chronic fatigue.

With both conditions, it’s important to maintain a healthy lifestyle and stay active. Finding a doctor who specializes in treating these illnesses can also be beneficial. They can help you sort out the differences between fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue.

There are no widely accepted tests used to diagnose either fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue, so doctors typically rely on listening to patients describe their symptoms.

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