Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) refers to severe and persistent tiredness that does not find relief with rest, and is not a result of any specific medical condition. The exact causes of CFS remain unknown, and experts have varying opinions on the basic causes. One medical theory suggests that CFS may occur due to HHV-6 virus, but there is no conclusive medical evidence to prove it.
Some researchers attribute CFS to an inflammation in the nervous system, which may occur due to a defective immune system response. Factors that may affect this condition include the patient’s age, previous diseases, genetics, stress levels, and environmental factors. Women between the ages of 30 and 50 are most commonly affected by CFS.
CFS symptoms are quite similar to those of influenza and other common viral infections. Excessive fatigue, headaches, and muscular pains are often accompanied with CFS. Excessive fatigue is the key symptom, which lasts for at least six months, and does not get relieved by bed rest. The fatigue is severe enough to hamper the patient’s participation in various physical activities.
Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition, which causes pain, body stiffness, muscular tenderness, and difficulties in movements of joints. Fibromyalgia is also known by the name of Fibromyalgia Syndrome (FMS). Causes of this condition remain unknown. Patients usually experience pain in response to stimuli that are not ordinarily known to cause pain.
Medical researchers have identified heightened levels of substance P, which is a nerve chemical signal and nerve growth factor in the spinal fluid in patients suffering from fibromyalgia. The condition predominantly affects women between the age group of 35 and 55. In some cases, fibromyalgia may also occur in men and children.
Pain is the universal symptom of fibromyalgia. The patient has an exceptionally low threshold to pain. Other symptoms include:
A number of people who suffer from fibromyalgia may also have CFS. Several symptoms of both diseases are common, which can make the diagnosis more confusing. The key symptom of fibromyalgia is extensive pain, while the key symptom of CFS is excessive fatigue that is not relieved, even with rest.
At Manhattan Integrative Medicine, we are experienced at treating patients with chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia. Dr. Borenstein is trained in the SHINE protocol, developed by Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum.