Sally is going to attempt to write about the difference between Fibromyalgia and ME/CFS. The illnesses are very similar and often get confused…here goes! She has brain fog today so this could be interesting! Love Foggy xx
Since Foggy started in 2014, I have made no secret of the fact that biology is not my strongest subject. I always explain medical stuff as if I was having a conversation in a pub. Jargon free and simple!
The cause of this blog was an interesting conversation my mum had at a doctor’s appointment earlier this week. She was talking to staff about my Unrest screening and was explaining that I had ME/CFS myself…blah blah blah. She told me about the conversation when she got home. The bit that interested me was when the staff said this:
‘ ME/CFS? That’s what Lady Gaga has isn’t it? Well done her for being an advocate of the illness’.
Two things concerned me.
1. NHS staff don’t know the difference between ME/CFS and Fibromyalgia
2. Lady Gaga ‘coming out’ may add to our issues of getting people to understand ME/CFS.
The two illnesses are exceptionally similar. But, from what I can make out, Fibromyalgia sufferers do not suffer from Post Exertion Malaise. This means that exercise is part of their ‘treatment’. This could be why many ME/CFS sufferers are advised to exercise to manage their symptoms. Anyone who keeps up with our political fight will know that Graded Exercise Therapy (GET) has been slammed for causing symptoms to dramatically worsen in ME/CFS patients.
Many people have been diagnosed with both ME/CFS AND Fibromyalgia. My foggy brain can’t understand how you can have both at the same time. If one benefits from exercise and the other worsens. If anyone would like to comment and explain that to me I would be grateful – JARGON FREE though please!
One thing is for certain, Lady Gaga definitely, 100%, cannot have even a smidge of ME/CFS. She would not be able to perform those magnificent dance routines if she had our illness. I am yet to watch her documentary Five Foot Two but can say that Post Exertion Malaise would wipe her out 24-48 hours later. You cannot push through pain/fatigue with ME/CFS. That said, I am not down playing Fibromyalgia, I understand that pain, and fatigue-wise it is just as life destroying as ME/CFS.
There have been rumours in the medical world that ME/CFS and Fibromyalgia could possibly be the same illness. I can’t see how that can be. Yes, they are both chronic illnesses with many of the same symptoms but there are also distinct differences.
I think the sooner the healthcare professions see that exercise is good for one but not the other the better!
I hope that helped to clear up some confusion….I hope I haven’t added to it!
Here are some links that you might find helpful.
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