Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or Fibromyalgia

Florence Cardinal Health Guide
  • Research engineers and sleep medicine specialists from two Michigan universities have issued the result of a study that discusses how a sleep study can be used to determine other sleep disorders, including insomnia and fibromyalgia.


    Joseph W. Burns, a research scientist and engineer at the Michigan Tech Research Institute (MTRI) also suggested that "It may even become possible for people to take sleep tests -- simpler and more effective than some of those currently available -- at home where they can sleep in their own familiar beds."


    Let us look at two troublesome disorders that, although not actually sleep disorders, do tend to disrupt sleep.

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    Chronic fatigue syndrome is a debilitating and complex disorder. It causes severe fatigue, weakness, muscle pain, an inability to concentrate and insomnia.



    Fibromyalgia is a chronic disorder of the muscles characterized by fatigue, sleep disturbances, and tenderness.


    According to Ramona W. of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, who suffers from both disorders: "Fibromyalgia is chronic fatigue syndrome with pain." There are similarities, and there are differences. However, both of these illnesses do involve poor sleep, sleep disturbances or insomnia.


    Most patients of both disorders suffer from sleep disturbances, headaches, depressing and a numbness or tingling of the skin. Part of the treatment involves improving the quality of sleep. They differ, however, in that fibromyalgia causes soreness and tenderness of the muscles while the fatigue and confusion tends to be much worse with CFS.


    Dr. Goldenberg, an MD from Boston, states: "The fatigue in fibromyalgia is similar to that in .... chronic fatigue syndrome. ..... Because there is an overlap in these two common syndromes, it many not be possible to separate ... (them.)" An excerpt from another pamphlet calls chronic fatigue syndrome the "twin" of fibromyalgia. In fact, another name for chronic fatigue syndrome is myalgic encephaleomyelitis.


    When diagnosing chronic fatigue syndrome or fibromyalgia, doctors must first rule out several other disorders. These include virus infections, mental illnesses, obesity, and, again, sleep disturbances, which, in this case, are causing the symptoms instead of resulting from them.


    So, as well as being the result of chronic fatigue syndrome or fibromyalgia, often the sleep disturbances (insomnia, sleep apnea, narcolepsy) which cause daytime fatigue, are mistaken for CFS or FMS. And, when a doctor is searching for the reason for insomnia or poor quality sleep, CFS and FMS should never be ruled out.


Published On: September 09, 2008