How is chronic fatigue syndrome related to fibromyalgia?

Dawn Marcus
Chronic fatigue syndrome may occur in people with fibromyalgia. A survey published in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that four in five people seeing a doctor for a diagnosis of CFS could additionally be diagnosed with fibromyalgia. One in five also had CFS. So, even if your main difficulty is fatigue, you might also have fibromyalgia.
The Woman's Fibromyalgia Toolkit: Manage Your Symptoms and Take Control of Your Life

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The Woman's Fibromyalgia Toolkit: Manage Your Symptoms and Take Control of Your Life

The Woman's Fibromyalgia Toolkit tells readers what they need to know to take control of fibromyalgia symptoms. It includes step-by-step instructions for using effective non-drug treatments,...
Despite a lack of consensus, chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and fibromyalgia do share many of the same symptoms, including overwhelming fatigue, sleep disturbances, mood disorders and headaches. But some experts believe they are separate conditions and that the one symptom that may distinguish fibromyalgia from CFS is pain. Even more confusing, some findings suggest that people with fibromyalgia also develop CFS. Fortunately, many of the treatments for fibromyalgia fatigue also help reduce fatigue from CFS.
Jacob Teitelbaum
Integrative Medicine

In real life, most people who have fibromyalgia also have chronic fatigue syndrome (and vice versa). Unfortunately, the research and clinical definitions used for these conditions sometimes create more confusion than help. Basically, if you have persistent severe exhaustion that does not go way with vacation combined with severe insomnia and brain fog, you likely have chronic fatigue syndrome (or a related process) whether or not it fits the exact diagnostic criteria. If you also have widespread pain, you likely have fibromyalgia as well.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.