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Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Or Fibromyalgia

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Home Remedies And Lifestyle Changes

How We Are Healing From CFS | Chronic Fatigue Syndrome | Fibromyalgia | Ken Tamplin

Making some lifestyle changes may help reduce your symptoms.

Limiting or eliminating your caffeine intake can help you sleep better and ease your insomnia. You should limit or avoid nicotine and alcohol too.

Try to avoid napping during the day if its hurting your ability to sleep at night.

Create a sleep routine. Go to bed at the same time every night and aim to wake up around the same time every day.

Suppression Of The Hypothalamus Gland

The hypothalamus gland controls most other glands in the body including the adrenals, the thyroid, and the sex hormones. It also controls the autonomic nervous system and sleep. Because the hypothalamus is suppressed, we often find imbalances with other hormones as well. When the hypothalamus is weakened, it causes a cascade of negative effects that can occur in your body. The weakness of the gland happens because of long-term stress, acute trauma or stress, chronically deficient diet, exposure to toxins, as well as a number of other factors.

Defining Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

There has been considerable controversy over whether CFS is a specific disorder or at the severe end of the spectrum of idiopathic exhaustion. There also has been confusion regarding the overlap of CFS with FM and other functional somatic syndromes, and with psychiatric illness. In some reports the majority of subjects with CSF also have a comorbid psychiatric disorder, and psychiatric disorders increase the risk of later chronic fatigue. Some researchers have claimed that fatigue cannot be distinguished from depression, whereas others believe chronic fatigue should be considered a separate diagnostic category.

CFS was first identified as a new illness in 1985 following a series of 31 cases of unexplained fatigue reported from Lake Tahoe, Nevada.17 In the report, the authors presented initial evidence that the Lake Tahoe cases were related to the Epstein-Barr virus. Chronic exhaustion, or neurasthenia, had previously been linked to potential infections, including outbreaks reported from Los Angeles County General Hospital in 1934.18 During the next 50 years, other epidemics of exhaustion, generalized body aches, and general misery were reported from South Africa, Australia, England, as well as in Florida and Washington, DC. The clustering of cases, flu-like symptoms, and the beliefs of healthcare professionals suggested an infectious etiology but none was ever found.

At least 1 of the 2 following manifestations is also required:

  • cognitive impairment
  • orthostatic intolerance

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Predictors Of New Onsets Of Irritable Bowel Syndrome Chronic Fatigue Syndrome And Fibromyalgia: The Lifelines Study


Background: It has been claimed that functional somatic syndromes share a common etiology. This prospective population-based study assessed whether the same variables predict new onsets of irritable bowel syndrome , chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia .

Methods: The study included 152 180 adults in the Dutch Lifelines study who reported the presence/absence of relevant syndromes at baseline and follow-up. They were screened at baseline for physical and psychological disorders, socio-demographic, psycho-social and behavioral variables. At follow-up new onsets of each syndrome were identified by self-report. We performed separate analyses for the three syndromes including participants free of the relevant syndrome or its key symptom at baseline. LASSO logistic regressions were applied to identify which of the 102 baseline variables predicted new onsets of each syndrome.

Results: There were 1595 , 296 and 692 new onsets of IBS, CFS, and FM, respectively. LASSO logistic regression selected 26, 7 and 19 predictors for IBS, CFS and FM, respectively. Four predictors were shared by all three syndromes, four predicted IBS and FM and two predicted IBS and CFS but 28 predictors were specific to a single syndrome. CFS was more distinct from IBS and FM, which predicted each other.

Migraines Chronic Fatigue Syndrome And Fibromyalgia: Treatment Options

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Two studies suggest as many as 75% of people with chronic fatigue syndrome experience migraines and that most migraines in ME/CFS are undiagnosed. Agreeing that migraines are common in ME/CFS, WebMD, which has very little to say otherwise about chronic fatigue syndrome, states ME/CFS is one of five disorders with high migraine rates.

Consider, as you read the similarities between ME/CFS/FM and migraine below, that Rayhan and Baraniuk propose ME/CFS/FM patients may be in a kind of chronic migraine-like state.

Studies suggest migraines are very common in chronic fatigue syndrome

Given the long list of migraine symptoms and the considerable overlap with ME/CFS symptoms .the low diagnostic rates may not be surprising.

Besides symptoms and high rates of comorbidity, the relapsing remitting nature of both disorders, the problems with barometric pressure changes, some similar triggers , similar central nervous system abnormalities, etc. make a possible connection between migraine and ME/CFS/FM an intriguing one.

As in chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia, more women than men have migraines. The disorders share several other commonalities.

Consider that about three times as many women as men get migraines. Consider that both migraines and ME/CFS symptoms are often substantially reduced during pregnancy. Consider that central nervous system hyperactivity plays a role in both conditions, that both feature blood vessel problems and inflammation is a key factor in both.

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What Are The Aims Of The Cfs And Fms Service

The aims of the service are to:

  • Help you understand your condition
  • Enable you to develop helpful coping strategies to manage symptoms
  • Reduce distress and disability
  • Improve your quality of life

We use a holistic approach, meaning that we look at the physical and the psychological aspects of the illness.

What Causes Chronic Fatigue

The most common causes of fatigue are chronic medical or psychiatric illnesses, accounting for 70% of chronic fatigue in the general population. However, at least 30% of the time no specific cause is found for chronic fatigue.8

In population-based studies, it has been very difficult to separate idiopathic chronic fatigue that has been associated with chronic depression and other chronic mood disturbances. Depression-associated fatigue versus pure fatigue was evaluated in a report that prospectively followed 1,177 primary care patients, with 3 separate measurements of fatigue and psychiatric symptoms.9 The depression and fatigue scores correlated closely over time. They replicated previous findings of a strong correlation between fatigue and psychiatric morbidity, but also identified a group of patients with persistent, independent fatigue, which was not associated with any increase in psychological morbidity. This persistent, independent fatigue state was uncommon and found in only 2.5% of the population.

In a population survey of more than 10,000 adolescents, 13 to 18 years old, chronic fatigue was found in 3%, of which one-half had associated depression or anxiety.11 Although the prevalence is lower than in adults, more than half the adolescents with chronic fatigue had severe or very severe disability. Comorbid mood correlated with greater disability and health service utilization.

Assessment of Chronic Fatigue

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Stimulating The Central Nervous System For More Energy Alertness And Even Calmness In Me/cfs And Fm

Most of the pharmaceuticals used to increase energy in chronic fatigue syndrome are amphetamines or have amphetamine-like structures. Amphetamines have been used in the past to elevate mood, reduce feelings of fatigue and increase alertness, concentration and motivation.

They cardiovascular effects have lead them, at times, to be used in orthostatic intolerance as well. In general they constrict the blood vessels and increase blood pressure and heart rates. They may also increase blood glucose levels.

Historically, amphetamines were used to treat everything from asthma to obesity to hyperactivity to neurological disorders, but abuse problems have restricted their use today to conditions such as attention deficit disorder. When taken correctly the risk of addiction is reportedly very low but taking large doses of stimulants over a long period of time can cause addiction. Sleep and energy levels can be negatively effected in ME/CFS and FM in some patients.

Sleep And Fibromyalgia Fatigue

Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Anxiety, Depression, Food Sensitivities,

When Rose first sees a patient with fibromyalgia syndrome and chronic fatigue, she makes sure that other causes of fatigue, like anemia and thyroid problems, have been addressed.

Improving a patient’s sleep is an important part of easing fibromyalgia fatigue, Rose tells WebMD. “We know from research that sleep improves mood, pain, and in general how people feel during the day. Regardless of the reasons for the chronic fatigue, if we can get some control over quality of sleep, we’re likely to see positive benefits to mood, fatigue, concentration.”

The chronic lack of sleep affects a patient’s overall health as well as their pain, Rose adds. “They feel lousy, exhausted, and their immune system can be damaged.”

Steven Berney, MD, chief of rheumatology at Temple University Health System in Philadelphia, agrees. “In fibromyalgia, all treatments are geared toward helping people sleep better,” he tells WebMD. “If we can improve their sleep, patients will get better.”

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Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Differences

Chronic pain and fatigue are common symptoms of both fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. The difference is that, in fibromyalgia, fatigue often takes a backseat to debilitating muscle pain. In chronic fatigue syndrome, people have an overwhelming lack of energy, but also can experience some pain.

Some more important differences between the two include:

  • What prompted the condition. Many people diagnosed with fibromyalgia fatigue report that their symptoms followed some sort of trauma a physical injury or an emotional shock. On the other hand, chronic fatigue syndrome appears to spring from a viral infection like mononucleosis or influenza.
  • Distinct pain sites. People are diagnosed with fibromyalgia fatigue if they feel tenderness or pain in at least 11 of 18 distinct locations on their bodies. People with chronic fatigue syndrome do not have these pain sites.
  • Inflammation. People with chronic fatigue syndrome often complain of fever, swollen glands, and other signs of inflammation. Doctors find no evidence of inflammatory response in patients with fibromyalgia fatigue.
  • Sleep. Although chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia are both associated with disrupted REM sleep, a recent study from Japan found key differences in other sleep disturbances between people with CFS alone and those with CFS and fibromyalgia.

Fibromyalgia and CFS: Similarities

Treating Fibromyalgia Fatigue and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Severity Of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Symptoms

Symptoms vary widely in severity and people may have some symptoms more severely than others. However, the following definitions are provided by NICE to provide a guide to the level of impact of symptoms on everyday functioning:

Features of mild chronic fatigue syndromeThese include:

  • You are able to care for yourself and do some light domestic tasks but may have difficulties with mobility.
  • You are usually still able to work or attend education, but to do this you have probably stopped all leisure and social pursuits.
  • You often have reduced hours, take days off and use the weekend to cope with the rest of the week.

Features of moderate chronic fatigue syndromeThese include:

  • You have reduced mobility and are restricted in all activities of daily living.
  • However you may have peaks and troughs in your level of symptoms and ability to do activities.
  • You have usually stopped work or education, and need rest periods, often resting in the afternoon for one or two hours.
  • Your sleep at night is generally of poor quality and disturbed.

Features of severe chronic fatigue syndromeThese include:

  • You are unable to do any activity for yourself, or you can carry out minimal daily tasks only .
  • You have severe cognitive difficulties and may depend on a wheelchair for mobility.
  • You are often unable to leave the house or you have a severe and prolonged after-effect if you do so.
  • You may also spend most of your time in bed and are often extremely sensitive to light and sound.

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Cfs Versus Fm: Twins Cousins Or Just Acquaintances

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Editor’s Note: Dr. Lapp is Director Emeritus of the Hunter-Hopkins Center in Charlotte, one of the few medical practices in the US specializing in the treatment of ME/CFS and fibromyalgia.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is a disorder characterized by debilitating fatigue and recurrent flulike symptoms, such as muscle and joint aches, sore throat, swollen glands, and difficulty thinking. Fibromyalgia Syndrome is a disorder characterized by widespread muscle pain. Can such different descriptions share anything in common?

Siamese Twins

Most experts agree that the symptoms of CFS and FM are so close that they are – for all intents – the same disorder. It’s a bit like Jekyll and Hyde, or perhaps like Chang and Eng Bunker, the Siamese twins made famous by P.T. Barnum. They were both the same “person” but had two different names, two similar but different personalities.

Assigning a Diagnosis

Patients who present to their primary care providers frequently relate a litany of complaints such as fatigue, vague aching, and trouble with memory or concentration.

Based on these complaints, the primary care doctor will most likely diagnose Chronic Fatigue Syndrome using the 1994 international case definition published by the Centers for Disease Control.

Overlaps and Shadows

Fibromyalgia & CFS Compared


Pure Cases

  • Reduced cerebral blood flow in cortex and midbrain
  • HPG Axis suppression
  • Reduced serum and/or CSF serotonin
  • Low growth hormone

How Is Cfs Treated

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Theres currently no specific cure for CFS.

Each person has different symptoms and therefore may require different types of treatment to manage the disorder and relieve their symptoms.

Work with your team of healthcare providers to create the best treatment plan for you. They can go over the possible benefits and side effects of the therapies with you.

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Is There A Connection Between Fibromyalgia And Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome can both be chronic and long term medical conditions and they are both characterized by extreme levels of fatigue. In fact, both medical conditions are interwoven to the extent that it has sparked a series of opinions and differences among medical experts. Some in the medical community wonder whether CFS and fibromyalgia fatigue are two similar disorders with different forms of expression.

Clinical scientists have discovered that both conditions are common among middle-aged people. It also appears that both conditions affect more women than men. About 80-90 percent of those with fibromyalgia are females, while chronic fatigue syndrome is four times more likely to affect females than males.

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Plenty Of Overlap Exists Between The Symptoms Of Cfs And Fibromyalgia Patients Including:

  • Frequent episodes of poor sleep and/or sleep disorders which tend to leave sufferers feeling unrefreshed upon waking
  • Cognitive disorders such as impaired memory function, inability to concentrate, anxiety and depression
  • Headaches and/or dizziness
  • Bowel issues such as bloating, diarrhea and/or constipation
  • Low back pain

Because of the number of similarities between CFS and fibromyalgia, a significant improvement or elimination of the symptoms from both disorders may occur after a treatment regimen designed to address the syndromes simultaneously is adopted. Back pain, in particular, may respond to regular chiropractic treatment independent of treatments more specific to the primary CFS and fibromyalgia symptoms.

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Circulating Leptin Levels In Patients With Myalgic Encephalomyelitis Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Or Fibromyalgia: A Systematic Review Protocol


Objective: The objective of the review is to evaluate circulating levels of leptin in people diagnosed with myalgic encephalomyelitis chronic fatigue syndrome or fibromyalgia syndrome and to investigate the differences compared with healthy controls.

Introduction: Myalgic encephalomyelitis chronic fatigue syndrome is a condition that has major symptoms, including self-reported fatigue, post-exertional malaise, and unexplained pain across the body. The widespread pain is measured in a systematic way and is often referred to as fibromyalgia. The two disorders have many similarities, but their association with leptin has indicated that leptin may affect the role of pro-inflammatory cytokines and symptom severity.

Inclusion criteria: This review will consider observational studies of varying study designs including prospective and retrospective cohort studies, case-control studies, time-series, and analytical cross-sectional studies that include both cases and healthy comparators. Cases will include a diagnosis of myalgic encephalomyelitis, chronic fatigue syndrome, and/or fibromyalgia. Controls are people without this diagnosis, usually healthy participants. Only studies published in English will be included due to limited resources for translation.

What Can Be Done

Diagnosing Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

If you think you may be struggling with chronic fatigue, it is important to discuss your symptoms with your healthcare provider. Symptoms that are particularly important to discuss include:

  • anxiety
  • pain
  • tired

It is also important to tell your healthcare provider about the medications you are taking, including dietary supplements, natural remedies, and complementary treatments. Some medications can exaggerate the symptoms listed above. For example, stimulants , as well as corticosteroids, may cause sleep disturbances. Your healthcare provider can provide guidance on what medications and interventions may restore your sleep, as well as advice on medications to avoid.

It is also important to discuss chronic pain symptoms with your healthcare provider because chronic pain often leads to sleep difficulties, which in turn leads to chronic fatigue. Your healthcare provider may order laboratory tests to determine if organ involvement may be causing chronic fatigue.

For those with arthritis, maintaining a healthy weight and participating in regular exercise may also help reduce symptoms of chronic fatigue.

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What Are Chronic Fatigue Syndrome And Fibromyalgia

They are chronic conditions which affect daily functioning and involve chronic fatigue not much relieved by rest , chronic widespread muscle pain , mood and sleep disturbance , concentration difficulties, and sometimes headaches, intestinal and urinary symptoms.

We use a holistic approach which is based on current NICE guidelines for chronic fatigue syndrome and chronic pain .

Diagnosing Chronic Fatigue Syndrome And Fibromyalgia

ME/CFS and fibromyalgia are both diagnoses of exclusion, which means:

  • They dont have objective lab or imaging tests.
  • Other possible conditions must be ruled out.
  • Multiple factors must be interpreted to come up with an answer.

This process can take a long time. You may have to push your healthcare provider to keep searching or to give you a referral.

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