The main difference between FMS and CFS are the symptoms of pain and fatigue - FMS is thought to have more widespread pain and CFS more fatigue.
When diagnosing CFS a doctor should expect a few differences.
FMS diagnosed with:
- 11 to 18 tender points felt on the body
- chronic widespread pain
- sufferers often reporting having a specific traumatic event or long term stress prior to their symptoms commencing
- a low-grade fever, swollen glands or a sore throat
- chronic fatigue which is an overwhelming feeling of exhaustion that does not go away
- sufferers of CFS tracing their symptoms back to a flu or viral infection
Do the differences really matter? In my opinion, and I am not a doctor, the differences do not matter because there is no cure or magic pill for either disease only treatment of the symptoms. The treatments that are tried are very similar and include lifestyle changes such as pacing, sleep therapy and gentle exercise, pain medications and antidepressants. You can read about many of these treatment options on this site by looking through the list of articles.
This video aims to explain ME/CFS which includes Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and Post Viral Fatigue Syndrome and help sufferers understand the illness and friends and family understand what their loved ones are going through. As you watch it you will see that Fibromyalgia symptoms are very similar to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome symptoms:
- unrefreshed sleep
- post exertional malaise (tiredness after exercise)
- pain after exercise
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
- concentration problems
- short term memory problems
- muscle weakness
- sensory overload
- sensitivity to light
- lack of energy