Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or Fibromyalgia?


Chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia have many things in common. For starters, they are both hard to diagnose and neither one has a cure. To complicate matters further, both of these disorders share many of the same symptoms. So how do you tell which disorder you have? Here are some of differences between these two to help you narrow down which disorder you may be suffering from.

Fibromyalgia Symptoms

Widespread pain for a period of at least three months

Pain in 11 of the 18 tender points


Sleep problems



Morning stiffness

Headaches, jaw pain, or abdominal pain

Bladder problems

Irritable bowel syndrome

Restless leg syndrome


Facial pain

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Symptoms

Pain that is mostly in the joints, muscles, or nerves

Muscle or joint aches with no swelling

A feeling of severe tiredness that interferes with daily functioning

Sleep that never seems to refresh

Intense headaches

Sore throat

Swollen lymph glands in the neck or armpits

Memory problems or trouble concentrating

Irritable bowel syndrome

Read through this list and see which ones seem to fit your symptoms the best. If you have any of these symptoms, begin recording them in a journal.

In your journal record all of your symptoms – anything that makes you feel unwell. Record:

  1. The severity of the symptoms
  2. The date of the symptoms

Any activities or events that you may feel could be significant to the symptom.

A record of your symptoms such as this is very helpful and beneficial to your doctor to help diagnose your disorder. Both you and your doctor can review the journal to see any patterns that seem to be forming and find any common factors that seem to be contributing to your symptoms.

By keeping track of and recording your symptoms, you have concrete evidence of your sickness. This will prove to be invaluable in diagnosing your disorder and deciding if or which disorder you may have.

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Jason Ladock

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