Welcome to the CFS message board! I am very glad to also welcome you as Moderator of the FMS forums. That board has been very active, and without a moderator for quite some time. I've tried to visit there as often as I can, but it is far better that it have its own mod. This doesn't mean I won't still participate there, of course. I'm just glad you'll be there!
It does surprise me a little, that you would bring up this question. Several medically peer-reviewed research studies have failed to find a difference between CFS and FMS, when looking at symptoms alone. This doesn't mean that they ARE the same thing, just that they LOOK ALIKE. Like twins--look alike, sound alike, maybe even act alike, BUT different people. I have seen patients, in forums like this and also in support groups, wasting incredible amounts of energy, (that they don't have to waste in the first place), arguing about this point. And I just have to shake my head. What difference does it make? The only way to treat either illness is to treat the symptoms. And when you get right down to it, even in support groups and message boards, discussion is only geared toward treating the individual symptoms. If patients feel more comfortable in "pure" CFS or "pure" FMS message boards or support groups, then fine, go to a "pure" type of group.
My feeling is that we have enough in common, to be far more helpful to each other, if we put aside this unnecessary argument, and focus on what we can do to help each other. Isn't that really why we're here?
Um, sorry to go off like that. I just don't want discussion to get focused on this question. Yes people with CFS do have muscle/joint pain. In the studies that I mentioned above, they found that the top 2 symptoms in both illnesses are fatigue and muscle/joint pain. And when I say top 2, I mean 2 most common symptoms. In CFS, the most common symptom is fatigue and the 2nd most common is muscle/joint pain. In FMS, it's the other way around. As for the rest of the symptoms, the CFS list of symptoms and the FMS list are almost identical. That's how the research studies that I mentioned above, come to conclude they LOOK LIKE the same illness.
Sleep disorders occur in CFS at about the same rate as in FMS, and I think that a lot of patients of both illnesses can benefit from having a sleep study done. There are different treatments for different types of sleep disorders, depending on what is learned in each patient's study. It is my understanding that the c-pap machine is used for one particular kind of sleep apnea. There are a few different types of sleep apnea, and sleep apnea is only on type of sleep disorder. One would need to ask their Dr for a sleep study, and then their treatment would be determined by the results.
Yes people with CFS have just as much trouble getting a diagnosis as people with FMS, sometimes more. Also people can have both.
I hope this info is helpful and that I've answered your questions. Once again, welcome to HealingWell, and welcome to the CFS board! Best wishes.