The Connection Between Chronic Fatigue and Fibromyalgia
Along with its primary symptom, chronic pain, those who suffer from Fibromyalgia (FMS) often experience extreme fatigue and trouble concentrating. This lack of mental alertness could be caused by a sleeping disorder. In fact, it is thought that up to 80% of people with fibromyalgia experience some type of disordered sleep. The most common sleep disorder amongst those with Fibromyalgia is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS).
Who does CFS affect and how?:
- Women are four times more likely than men to develop CFS. The illness occurs most often in people ages 40 59. Still, people of all ages can get CFS.
- People with CFS feel completely worn out. Their fatigue is so extreme it makes it hard to do the most simple, basic tasks, like dressing, bathing, or even eating. Sleep or rest does not make the tiredness go away. It can be made worse by moving, exercising, or even thinking.
- CFS can happen over time or come on suddenly. A person with CFS may have muscle pain, trouble focusing, or insomnia. The extreme tiredness may come and go, but in some cases the it never goes away.
Diagnosis of CFS:
In order to be diagnosed with CFS you must:
- Have severe chronic fatigue for six months or longer with other known medical conditions ruled out.
- AND concurrently have four or more of the following symptoms: substantial impairment in short-term memory or concentration; muscle pain; multi-joint pain without swelling or redness; headaches of a new type, pattern or severity (all common symptoms of FMS); sore throat; tender lymph nodes; and exhaustion even after sleep.
There are no tests for the specific purpose of diagnosing CFS. Tests should be directed toward confirming or excluding other possible medical conditions.