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Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 1097
   Posted 6/13/2009 1:55 PM (GMT -7)   
I did some research on CFS and see that most of the symptoms are the same as Fibro. So now I'm do you tell the difference between Fibro and CFS? The muscle pain, flu like feelings, foggy head, sleep disturbances, mood disturbances, chest pain, chronic cough, etc. can all be symptoms of either disorder. However, I struggle a lot of with chronic sore throats and joint pain, but only see those symptoms listed under CFS. Then again, I also have the tender points that I'm only finding listed under Fibro symptoms. I'm wondering if perhaps I have both? Those of you here who have both, how do you tell the difference between your Fibro symptoms and your CFS symptoms. And is there any treatment for CFS or do you deal with it basically the same way as you do Fibro?
love and hugs

fibromyalgia, ibs, gerd, anxiety

We either make ourselves happy or miserable. The amount of work is the same.~Carlos Castaneda

I wish you all the joy that you can wish.~William Shakespeare

Housework, if you do it right, will kill you.~Erma Bombeck

Regular Member

Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 67
   Posted 6/13/2009 6:47 PM (GMT -7)   
With CFS there are other symptoms such as tender lymph nodes, chronic low grade fever and low blood pressure that are not present with fibromyalgia.

That being said, it's possible to have both. I think I have both. I think I've had CFS for a long time without being aware of it, and only became aware of it after developing fibro. I'd check with your doctor if you think you have CFS.
When you come to the edge of all the light you have known and are about to step out into the darkness, faith is knowing one of two things will happen; there will be something to stand on, or you will be taught how to fly.

I make mistakes, I am out of control and at times hard to handle. But if you can't handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don't deserve me at my best. - Marilyn Monroe

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 9090
   Posted 6/13/2009 9:56 PM (GMT -7)   
I too have heard that it's not rare at all for people with fibromyalgia to also have cfs. I'm glad you posted the differences patheral because I couldn't remember what they were. There are so many things in common that it's very confusing at times... and I'm sure it is to doctors also. It's no wonder some doctors are still working in the dark ages when it comes to these two disorders. They are afraid to stick their necks out and put a label on something they are not sure of...but I still have a problem excusing them from getting you a proper diagnosis from someone who is qualified and not afraid to say the

Co-Moderator Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain Forums
Fibromyalgia, Ulcerative Colitis, Insulin dependent diabetic, PTSD, dermatitis herpetiformus, osteoarthritis and a few other side dishes.
Happiness is something to do, someone to love, and something to hope for."

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2006
Total Posts : 1156
   Posted 6/14/2009 12:30 AM (GMT -7)   
I have both and I can feel the difference between the two. With CF you also have joint pain plus I get sore throats and total exhaustion.


Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 1014
   Posted 6/14/2009 5:23 AM (GMT -7)   
G' Morning Danielle,
I have been dx'd with both.  Originally (10 years ago) it was a dx of CRF after the final bout with Lyme then last January I got the dx of FMS.  Treatment wise, I got more meds for pain after the FMS dx than with the CFS dx.  The symptoms in my opinion are the same.  I think its the same disorder with two different names.  My doctor basically said the same thing.. ei; six, one half a dozen.  I was treated with trazadone & paxel when they were calling it CFS then changed over to elavil and tramadol when I got the FMS dx.  Not much of a difference. 
All I know is.. if I do have both, the treatment is inadequate at best.
Happy trails...
Fibormyalgia, 4x Lyme Disease Survivor, Depression, Anxiety Disorder, Dyslexia, 2 Lumbar Disk Herniations, Allergies, Bi-lateral Carpal Tunnel, Psoriasis. 
Meds = Elavil, Tramadol, Xanax, Lipitor
"Shoot for the moon, even if you miss, you'll land among the stars" - author unknown

getting by
Forum Moderator

Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 41909
   Posted 6/14/2009 8:33 AM (GMT -7)   
When I was reading my fibromyalgia network newsletter, they said that it could be one of the same. But they address cfs as much as the fibro. So it is hard to say. But they are both so similar. I suffer with fatigue a lot. I can handle the pain but not the fatigue. so your guess is as good as mine, or something like that. lol...

Have a great day.

Hugs, Karen
  Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia
fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression,allergies

Forum Moderator

Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 35859
   Posted 6/14/2009 12:54 PM (GMT -7)   
I'm Traveler. I have been on the Lyme Forum for a while now, but I am new here!
I have both CFS & Fibro also. As far as I have been able to tell the last 20+ years, it doesn't matter for me which one is flaring - there are only certain things that work, and those don't usually work all that well, but well enough to get me through to tomorrow. =)
That's about the only thing that keeps me slighty sane!!

- Traveler

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 1097
   Posted 6/15/2009 6:00 AM (GMT -7)   
Thank you all for your replies! I am really starting to wonder if I don't have both. For the past week or so, I've been experiencing a chronic sore throat and a lot of joint pain and an increase in my exhaustion-yesterday I could barely get out of bed. At first I thought I was just wiped out from the super busy crazy month I had, but I haven't been experiencing an increase of fibro pain, just of tiredness and the sore throat. Also, with the sore throat, I don't have any other symptoms-no runny nose, no cough, no fever or chills or anything. The sore throat isn't severe-I can swallow fine and it's not a burning pain, more like a scratchy itchy irritated pain. Also, it comes and goes randomly, so I don't think I have strep or mono or a cold or anything like that. It's just really annoying and I'm so darned tired...Is it possible for CFS symptoms to sneak up on you after you've had fibro for awhile? Or is it possible to have CFS for a long time but not really know it, only to have your symptoms get really bad seemingly out of nowhere?

I have to call to make an appointment with my Dr., but it can take up to a month to get in to see him. Hopefully I can either get in fast this time or just start feeling better on my own! Arg!
love and hugs

fibromyalgia, ibs, gerd, anxiety

We either make ourselves happy or miserable. The amount of work is the same.~Carlos Castaneda

I wish you all the joy that you can wish.~William Shakespeare

Housework, if you do it right, will kill you.~Erma Bombeck

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 831
   Posted 6/24/2009 5:04 AM (GMT -7)   
I just checked out the CFS and I always seem to have sore thoart, and like now I have flu like syptoms but I was just thinking it was Fibro now not so sure.

How high does fever get with CFS.

DX Fibro 12/31/07   Guess I can put the rest dx
PSTD  Bi Polar 2/04  Depression most of my life  IBS
RX Amitriptylin 25mg
God gives doesn't give us more than we can handle. So this too shall pass.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 286
   Posted 6/24/2009 6:55 AM (GMT -7)   
I have been diagnosed with both. I was first diagnosed with CFS and then about a year later diagnosed with the fibro. It's hard for me to separate which is which. When you suffer from both, they seem (in my opinion) to just make the other one worse. And you're right, there are alot of symptoms to conflict. Best check with your doctor!

"You were only given this life because you are strong enough to live it."

Dx: Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue, Trigeminal Neuralgia, Migraines, Anxiety, Insomnia, Acid Reflux, RLS, Asthma.

Rx: Indomethacin, Buspar, Cymbalta, Lyrica, Requip, Nexium, Advair, Compazine, Lunesta.

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