Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and fibromyalgia are separate conditions but they share a common symptom which is extreme fatigue. For this reason, the two conditions are often present at the same time. Poor quality sleep is often the underlying cause of fibromyalgia and improving sleep is often the starting point in fibromyalgia treatment.
Lack of sleep leads to exhaustion and when a person is exhausted, normal daily activities become extremely hard to perform. When this period of exhaustion lasts for several months, it can result in the person being diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome, sometimes in addition to fibromyalgia.
Symptoms of chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia are similar and may include joint pain, fatigue, achiness and brain fog. Women are more likely to develop fibromyalgia than men – the National Institute of Health estimates that 80-90 per cent of cases are female. The reasons for this could be linked to hormones, immune system differences or genes.
What Causes Chronic Fatigue and Fibromyalgia?
There is no one cause of CFS because several things may trigger it including viruses, hypertension, immune impairment, and hormonal problems. Stress can also play a role and any of these can lead to a person feeling totally exhausted and unable to cope with everyday life.
Similarly, causes of fibromyalgia can be varied and may include a genetic disposition, since fibromyalgia tends to run in families. Infections have also been identified as a potential cause of fibromyalgia and physical or emotional trauma can also be pre-cursors to the condition.
Symptoms of Chronic Fatigue and Fibromyalgia
The symptoms of CFS are very varied but fatigue lasting a few months or more is the most common of the symptoms. Other symptoms include headaches, muscle ache, memory loss, joint pain, sore throat and tender lymph nodes.
The most common symptom of fibromyalgia is widespread pain, which is often the reason people seek medical advice. This pain is usually present throughout the whole body and varies from a dull ache to a sharp or throbbing pain which is felt in muscles, ligaments and around the joints.
As with chronic fatigue, a symptom of fibromyalgia is fatigue, often caused by sleep being disrupted due to pain. Cognitive difficulties can also be present and are often referred to as “fibro fog”. Headaches, depression, IBS and menstrual cramps are other symptoms which may be present with fibromyalgia.
Diagnosing Chronic Fatigue and Fibromyalgia
Diagnosis of chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia can be difficult because the symptoms of both tend to mimic other conditions. For this reason, chronic fatigue is often misdiagnosed as Lyme disease, lupus or hypothyroidism. Because of the joint pain often associated with fibromyalgia, it can sometimes be mistaken for osteoarthritis, so for this reason it is very important that chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia are diagnosed correctly.
Exhaustion and unexplained pain are two common reasons that patients with CFS or fibromyalgia, seek medical help. It may not be possible to diagnose the condition immediately and tests may be ordered to identify, or rule out, possible causes of their symptoms.
Natural Treatment for Chronic Fatigue and Fibromyalgia
At LifeWorks Wellness Center, when a patient presents with unexplained symptoms, a functional evaluation will be performed by the practitioner, to help to determine cause(s) of the condition. Specific evaluation and testing look at all the potential causes of CFS and fibromyalgia, including adrenal function, thyroid issues, chronic virus and infection.
If a patient has been diagnosed with chronic fatigue or fibromyalgia, the practitioner will describe the natural treatment options available. The causes of CFS and fibromyalgia are often multi-factorial and can differ from person to person. For this reason, all programs are individualized based on what is needed.
LifeWorks Wellness Center is long recognized as one of the foremost natural health clinics in the US. At our Tampa Bay, Florida alternative medicine office we have been offering treatment for chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia for a long time and many of our patients have regained quality of life. Very few clinics offer natural treatments for CFS or fibromyalgia and so our patients fly in from all over the world because they simply can’t find alternative medicine clinics offering this treatment where they live.
We have helped many patients regain their health and we would love to help you, too.