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How Are Fibromyalgia Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Linked? | The Natural Cure To Fibromyalgia

How Are Fibromyalgia Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Linked?


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Is it true that if you are diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome follows? Well, these two conditions are classed as separate disorders but there does appear to be an overlap between the two.

Fibromyalgia is a chronic disorder, with the pain symptom being widespread musculoskeletal pain and the presence of multiple tender points. There are 18 specific tender points and doctors will usually look for the patient to express pain for at least 11 when pressed using mild force. , They can be found in the areas near the neck, spine, shoulders, hips, knees and elbows. Fibromyalgia patients also exhibit a myriad of other symptoms, with the most common being sleep disorders, morning stiffness, fatigue, headaches, irritable bowel syndrome, depression and anxiety.

Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is also a chronic disorder, which is also known as chronic fatigue and immune dysfunction syndrome (CFIDS), or myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME). People with CFS feel a persistent fatigue that does not improve with rest. They will feel tired immediately even if they were just doing ordinary and normal activities. They can feel exhausted for no apparent reason and be housebound or bed-bound for long periods of time.

Studies have indicated that about 80 percent of patients diagnosed with CFS were observed to have an overlapping diagnosis of fibromyalgia. There is some speculation that because of this close relationship fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome are actually part of a wider spectrum of disorders and therefore are linked.

When treating fibromyalgia, doctors and experts recommend having a holistic approach. Treatment programs for fibromyalgia are not piece-meal processes. Everyone involved should be an active player. The patients, the doctors, the therapists, and the family and friends should play active roles in the treatment programs. The support group of patients with fibromyalgia should be as strong as their will power will need to be to recover from their condition.

There are a number of treatment programs that patients can adopt that reduce symptoms. For one, low impact aerobic exercises have shown to have positive impacts, with fibromyalgia patients reporting reduced pain and improved sleep. These exercises include swimming and walking both of which targets the muscles making them more fit which reduces muscle pain and tenderness. Exercise also releases certain hormones and chemicals that can block pain receptors and boost the immune system.

Other forms of treatment for fibromyalgia include heat and massage therapies. These help to increase the blood flow to the muscles to encourage healing. Medications are also available and include painkillers, antidepressant medications for elevating moods, sleep drugs and muscle relaxants. However the best results seem to come from patients who use a combination of medication, exercise, diet modifications, physical therapy, and meditation and relaxation in their fibromyalgia treatment programs.

Treating chronic fatigue syndrome uses similar methods to the fibromyalgia treatments. It has been observed that patients with the condition are also more likely to improve their condition if they use an integrated treatment approach in their programs.

As symptoms and severity can vary so much from patient to patient, doctors will normally try to address the worse symptoms first. There are medicines that can target sleeping problems, cognitive difficulties and pain, however CFS patients are often sensitive to these so dosages are normally lowered.

Herbal treatments are an option and although your doctor won’t prescribe these, anecdotally CFS sufferers have experienced significant improvements.

You should be aware however, that herbal treatments can inter-react with other medicines and you should seek medical advice before taking anything.

Amending your diet to remove caffeine, refined sugar, and alcohol is also recommended as many CFS sufferers report sensitivities to these products. If you smoke you should try and give up, if not for your lungs, but because it can make symptoms worse.

Some patients have found relief through alternative treatments like gentle massage, acupuncture and mediation. If you wish to try an alternative treatment method try to find a practitioner who has experience of CFS.

Just like fibromyalgia, medications alone don’t normally succeed in alleviating all the CFS symptoms. By combining conventional medicines with treatments like meditation or relaxation, stress management, emotional and mental health counseling, and sleep management both fibromyalgia chronic fatigue syndrome can be better managed.

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2 Responses

  1. Joy Glasgow
    January 24th, 2008 | 9:45 pm

    Hi, Thanks so much for the information. Do you have an understanding of the relationship between these two and limited systemic scleroderma? My sister has just been diagnosed with lss but seems to have symptoms similar to what you describe here. She also suffers from other overlap things such as srojgens and raynauds. HELP!!!

  2. January 25th, 2008 | 4:50 am

    Hi Joy

    I’m afraid I don’t know about how these two conditions related to systemic scleroderma. I’ve posted your comment here in the hope that a reader may be able to help out.
    Best wishes to your sister.
    Jane

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