Fibromyalgia Symptoms

and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

age-well.org > prevent age related diseases > Fibromyalgia Symptoms


Two Conditions with Similar Causes

Fibromyalgia makes you feel tired all the time and causes muscle pain and

What is Fibromyalgia?


Fibromyalgia is characterized by musculoskeletal aches, soft tissue tenderness, stiffness and pain, and over all fatigue and sleep disturbances.

Common areas of pain include the back; hips, shoulders, neck, pelvic girdle and hands, however, any part of the body can feel the discomfort.

The overwhelming majority of doctors are neither informed, trained, nor educated concerning fibromyalgia. Since many symptoms overlap or mimic other conditions, doctor’s resort to laboratory tests which are either negative or inconclusive.

Diagnosis is complicated because the presence of other diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis or lupus, does not rule out the possibility that one is also suffering from this condition. It is not a diagnosis of exclusion and must be diagnosed by its own characteristics.

What is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?

Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is characterized by extreme fatigue which is the main way the symptoms of this disease mimic fibromyalgia symptoms. The fatigue may get worse after physical or mental activity, but does not improve after resting. Although there is a theory that the condition may be caused by psychological stress, in most cases the medical profession does not agree on what causes this condition and have, in fact only recently accepted this as a chronic medical condition.

In addition to the extreme fatigue lasting 24 hours after any physical or mental activity, the symptoms of this syndrome include loss of memory or concentration, sore throat, painful and mildly enlarged lymph nodes in your neck or armpits, unexplained muscle pain, pain that moves from one joint to another without swelling or redness, headache of a new type, pattern or severity and unrefreshing sleep.

According to the Mayo Clinic, there are a variety of other reported problems which are not in the official definition of the disease including morning stiffness, tingling sensations, abdominal pain, weight loss or gain, allergies or sensitivities to foods, alcohol, odors, chemicals, medications or noise, bloating, diarrhea, chest pain, chronic cough, earache, aching jaw, dry mouth, dizziness, problems with balance, fainting, dry mouth, irregular heartbeat, chills and night sweats, shortness of breath,

Visual disturbances, such as dry eye syndrome, blurred vision, eye pain and sensitivity to light have also been blamed on the disease as have psychological disorders, such as depression, irritability, anxiety disorders and panic attacks.

It seems to me, as a lay person that psychological problems of this nature would be a natural reaction for anyone coping with so many unpleasant symptoms and not being able to live their life to the full.

According to the clinic, If you have chronic fatigue syndrome *your symptoms may peak and become stable early on, and then come and go over time. Some people go on to recover completely, while others grow progressively worse*.

Possible Causes Fibromyalgia and CFS

Many researchers agree that both Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome are caused by three major factors.

1) Not Enough Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP)
The body’s inability to produce sufficient amounts of adenosine triphosphate-referred to as ATP.

The body obtains its energy by oxidation of foods; however, before energy can be used it is transformed into the ATP molecule. Synthesis of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins, all are necessary for cell integrity, and all depend on ATP availability. ATP is considered by scientists to be the energy currency of life. ATP is the major energy source for just about everything we do.

Intracellular magnesium deficiencies exist in patients with both these conditions and such deficiencies disrupt ATP syntheses. Low ATP levels give rise to even lower intracellular magnesium, causing further ATP reduction. This vicious cycle may be the reason for the “crash” experienced by CFS patients.

2) High Homocysteine Levels
Consistently high homocysteine levels in women suffering from these two illnesses is an established fact.

Too much homocysteine will damage blood vessels nourishing the brain and the heart. Homocysteine in excessive levels may predict heart attack and stroke and probably help cause them as well. Elevated levels of homocysteine also double the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.

Researchers believe both conditions are a result of deficiencies of substances needed for ATP synthesis and excessive homocysteine levels.

3) Stress
Cortisol is produced by the adrenal gland when the body is under stress. Too much cortisol causes exhaustion and leads to adrenal exhaustion and the onset of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or Fybromyalgia.

When to see a Doctor

Pain and fatigue can be a symptom of many illnesses, such as infections or psychological disorders. The earlier a person with either of these conditions receives medical treatment the greater the likelihood that the illness will resolve. In addition, you will need some help in dealing with the symptoms of either of these diseases to prevent falling into depression or other psychological reactions which might be brought on by coping with the symptoms of these disorders.

If you suspect you are suffering from either Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or Fibromyalgia then you need to seek medical help. In general you should always consult your doctor if you are suffering from pain or fatigue that prevents you from fully participating in activities inside or outside the home.

Although these diseases were only recognized by the medical profession quite recently, nowadays doctors recognize fibromyalgia symptoms as well as the symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome and have the knowledge to treat both conditions.


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