Living with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia

Both Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia are conditions whose causes and origins have not been conclusively defined by the medical community. In fact, the symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and the symptoms of Fibromyalgia overlap. At this time it is unclear if there is any correlation between the two conditions or if they are both slightly different faces of the same disease.

Both Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia are afflicted with some form of sleep disturbance and fatigue. In either case it is common to prescribe some form of medication to establish normal sleep patterns and minimize daytime fatigue.

Another trait that both diseases share is muscle pain. There are various ways to address this issue and in many cases the best approach is to use a combination of techniques. For example, there are a variety of suitable medications which may be prescribed to alleviate the pain. In conjunction with medication the doctor may recommend some mild form of exercise.

Both pool exercise in warm water and yoga have shown to be excellent methods to provide relief. One note of caution however: the amount of exercise should be approached prudently. Some patients experience severe fatigue after exertion.

"Brain fog" is a condition experienced by many sufferers of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia. This is a condition in which one’s concentration is impaired and cognitive abilities are compromised.

A definitive treatment for this has yet to be devised but several methods have been shown to help. Biofeedback is one such method and the same anti-depressants used for the patient’s sleep therapy has been beneficial in a number of cases.

Diet is a primary issue with either of the two diseases. It is advisable to consult with a nutritionist who is familiar with the conditions. There are foods to avoid which are particular to specific cases and also those that might aggravate most patients. These include caffeine, alcohol, and highly processed foods.

Living well with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia is by no means an easy task. There is no area of a patient’s life which the diseases do not impact; economic, social, mood, family, and work - all are interrelated.

Although many patient’s incomes are severely affected getting benefits can sometimes be daunting.

The best course of action is to follow the doctor’s instructions, monitor your general health and activities, and develop or join a support group.

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