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Morning everyone, hope you are all feeling well.

Can anyone tell me the main differences between these two illnesses. I have looked them up and they are very similar. How does the G.P diagnose the right one?

Teedie x

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  • Posted

    Hi Teedie

    Yes, they are so similar aren't they. I think the main difference is that with true fibromyalgia it differs from ME in some respects.

    This extract is from my ME 'bible' -

    'Fibromyalgia does not have the post-exertional muscle weakess and malaise, muscle twitching, the marked cognitive dysfunction or sore throats and tender glands that you see in ME, nor does it usually have a clear post-viral onset. Some doctors believe fibromyalgia is a form of chronic fatigue syndrome, while others make a clear differentiation.'

    So it's still very confusing and there are times when I think 'hang on' I think maybe I've been misdiagnosed! I think with fibromyalgia eleven trigger points of pain have to be identified on various parts of the body.

    (If you have a look at the fibromyalgia forum SES has recently posted a picture showing these points) - and reading some of the postings it is obvious that intense pain and lack of mobility features strongly.

    In my case, I only really have four trigger points (tender areas) on my neck and shoulders so I guess I have ME. :? My joints and muscles ache but are not intensely painful like my shoulder area.

    Whatever we have, both illness and truly horrible and neither are fully understood or accepted by a lot of folk. :evil: :evil: :evil:

    Katie smile

    Apparently it is Fibromyalgia Awareness Day on May 12th.

  • Posted

    HI there Teedi

    Fibromyalgia Tender Points:-

    Upon physical examination, the fibromyalgia patient will be sensitive to pressure in certain areas of the body called tender points. To meet the diagnostic criteria, patients must have:

    1. Widespread pain in all four quadrants of their body for a minimum of three months. Pain is considered widespread when all of the following are present:

    * Pain in the left side of the body

    * Pain in the right side of the body

    * Pain above the waist

    * Pain below the waist

    * Pain in the neck, front of your chest, mid-back, or low back

    2. At least 11 of the 18 specified tender points of fibromyalgia. These are areas of pain on touch but without signs of redness, swelling or heat in the surrounding joints or muscles. For a tender point to be considered "positive" you must feel pain when someone pushes with their finger with an approximate force of 4kg (roughly the amount of pressure needed to change the colour of the skin). Some health care providers may use an instrument called an algometer during the examination of the patient to ensure that only a 4kg load is being placed.

    [b:ac419812a8]Overview: What is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?

    How do you know if you have CFS?

    Diagnosis of CFS is complicated by the fact that fatigue is the single most commonly reported complaint but fatigue is a feature of countless other conditions as well. Because of this, a doctor's first goal is to rule out other illnesses.

    The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has established certain criteria for diagnosing CFS:

    1. Fatigue that is persistent, relapsing or debilitating; does not improve with bed rest; and reduces or impairs average daily activity level by more than 50 percent for a period of at least 6 months. Patient has no previous history of fatigue.

    2. The patient has 4 or more of the following symptoms, which must have persisted or recurred during 6 or more consecutive months and not predated the fatigue:

    # Short-term memory or concentration problems[/b:ac419812a8]

    # Sore throat

    [b:ac419812a8]# Multi-joint pain without joint swelling or redness[/b:ac419812a8]

    [b:ac419812a8]# Muscle pain[/b:ac419812a8]

    # Headaches of a new type, pattern or severity

    [b:ac419812a8]# Non-refreshing sleep[/b:ac419812a8]

    # Post-exertional malaise lasting more than 24 hours

    Overview: Fibromyalgia sufferer has tender points from head to toe, as I have fibromyalgia I have had concentration problems, muscle pain and non-refreshing sleep but the other symptoms of CFS do not seem to apply?

    I hope this helps your query, I enclose a picture of the tender points referring to Fibromyalgia as mentioned by Katie K. Thanks Katie K it is Fibromyalgia awareness day May 12th and charity that I have joined for my Support Group is researching into Fibromyalgia.

    Take care everyone x


  • Posted

    Thanks for a great insight. Doesn't look like i have Fibromyalgia - thankfully :D

    Was at my G.P today and was asking her about it. She is adamant i have CFS sad

    Another 4 week sickline :x


  • Posted

    Hi Teedi

    As long as your GP looks after you as it took a year for my diagnosis as my GP I think due to him being less experienced......... as I presume he has not long come out of Medical School due to him being young, I get the impression it takes an experienced Doctor or a Specialist to diagnose Fibromyalgia, as even though I said I think I have Fibromyalgia as a Occupational health Doctor first mentioned it and reading about it I saw the link also, my physio said I had it too but my GP was not convinced enough until I had confirmation off my Pain Specialist Consultant?????

    I do hope you feel better soon Teedi and I hope everyone is having a better day than me x




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