Fibromyalgia is a vicious syndrome that affects about six percent of the population. The pain caused by the disease can sometimes develop into an additional syndrome called Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Fibromyalgia. In fact, twenty to thirty percent of Fibromyalgia patients also have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Fibromyalgia.
If a patient does not have Fibromyalgia, it is difficult to differentiate between Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Fibromyalgia since about seventy-five percent of the symptoms are the same. The main difference between the two is that patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Fibromyalgia suffer from intense fatigue that has lasted for six months or longer.
Scientists are uncertain what causes the syndrome. They have theorized that it may be caused by an immune dysfunction but have not found a definitive answer as of yet. The best they can do for this incurable syndrome is to treat the multiple symptoms that the patient has.
Symptoms and Treatment
As stated above, fatigue is the main symptom of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Fibromyalgia. This fatigue causes the patient to lack the energy to perform basic day to day activities. They may also have muscle and joint pain which serves to exacerbate the problem since pain further wears down the patient’s physical and emotional energy.
One of the better treatments for this fatigue is moderate exercise, since the endorphins produced by the body through exercise causes the feeling of well-being and energy. The problem with this treatment is that the pain that also tends to accompany this syndrome is at times too severe to allow the patient to participate in even the mildest of activity. In addition, the fatigued feelings cause an emotional crippling so that the patient may be unwilling to muster up the energy to exercise.
Other symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Fibromyalgia are cognitive dysfunction, such as memory loss, as well as depression, sleep disorders, headaches and dizziness. Patients can also experience irritable bowels, headaches and sore throat or lymph node pain. Many of these symptoms are the same as experienced by Fibromyalgia Syndrome (FMS) patients, which is what makes the two syndromes difficult to tell apart.
The treatments offered for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Fibromyalgia are also similar to FMS, such as the use of pain killers, anti-depressant medication, sleeping pills, acupuncture, and massage. Unfortunately, at this point, there is no cure for this syndrome. The most that doctors can do is to treat the symptoms, allowing the individual to cope with the syndrome, and enjoy and function in life as fully as possible.