Many people find it pretty tough to tell apart chronic fatigue from fibromyalgia. That’s because their symptoms appear quite similar. So, how do you know for sure if you have CFS or fibromyalgia? What are the distinguishing features of both disorders? Can you manage them both with natural remedies like upper cervical care?
Similarities of CFS and Fibromyalgia
When seeking doctor assistance or upper cervical care for any ailment, the first thing you need to do is list the symptoms you experience. This will help the attending healthcare professional to gauge your condition and narrow down the root cause. It also allows your doctor or upper cervical chiropractor to help you find the most suitable remedy to use.
In the case of CFS and fibromyalgia, many would agree that they share several similar symptoms. Diagnosed patients typically report the following problems:
- Chronic muscle and joint pain
- Unexplained exhaustion
- Impaired brain function
- Trouble remembering things
- Dizziness or vertigo attacks
- Poor body coordination
- Disturbed sleep
Patients also note similar triggers for the two conditions, namely:
- Physical overexertion
- Previous accident, injury, or trauma
- Stress (physical, emotional, and psychological)
- Poor quality sleep
- Acute illness or infection
It’s also worth noting that patients with either fibromyalgia or CFS also have other pre-existing health conditions, such as:
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
- Chronic and recurring headaches
- TMJ pain or TMJ disorder
- Mental health problem (stress, depression, or anxiety)
Are They The Same Conditions?
Here are some distinct differences between the CFS and fibromyalgia, according to research:
- Diagnosis procedure – In testing for CFS, doctors need to perform both psychiatric and medical causes of the fatigue to rule out other possible causes. As a result, more people get diagnosed with fibromyalgia than CFS.
- The peak age at which the disorder affects individuals the most – CFS tends to cause the worse symptoms for patients when they reach their late 40s and then slowly subside through the years. Fibromyalgia, on the other hand, tends to peak later in life and continues to worsen.
- Growth hormone abnormalities – Patients with fibromyalgia tend to have problems with their growth hormone levels.
- Sleeping regulation dysfunction – According to a study on sleep pattern regulation, females with fibromyalgia have higher nocturnal melatonin levels. This results in higher susceptibility to sleep disruptions.
- Cortisol levels – Fibromyalgia patients have higher cortisol levels than those diagnosed with CFS. Cortisol is an example of stress hormones that can trigger all sorts of problems, including weight gain, anxiety, and sleep deprivation.
- Flu-like symptoms – Notably, patients with CFS often show signs similar to flu or common colds. These include sore throat, low-grade fever, and swollen glands. Fibromyalgia patients, on one hand, only report heightened pain or pressure sensitivity.
Based on these pieces of evidence alone, more and more researchers believe that the two disorders are indeed different conditions. It would be interesting to see other studies later on that would deep dive into the mechanisms of fibromyalgia and CFS.
Explaining their Possible Connection
Interestingly, it’s not uncommon to find patients diagnosed with both CFS and fibromyalgia. They can co-exist, and unfortunately, cause massive disruptions in a person’s life. Some turn to upper cervical care for help. But what exactly connects these two disorders? More importantly, how can you manage them better?
The answer lies in your nervous system, specifically your spinal cord, brain, and brainstem. Basic anatomy lessons would remind you that the brain serves as the processing unit of the body. It hands out instructions for various things, including moving your body or healing injured tissues.
The stream of information from your brain passes through the brainstem and the spinal cord. These two parts of the central nervous system serve as your brain’s primary connection to your entire body. Usually, the signal transmission process goes smoothly.
However, when something goes amiss – like a cervical bone shifting from its original place – the natural flow of signals also gets affected. The signals end up getting messed up, confusing your brain. It could also lead to increased pain sensitivity and disrupted sleep when the bones press onto your brainstem.
Upper Cervical Care for Fibromyalgia and CFS
Whether you have CFS or fibromyalgia (or both), your pain and other symptoms may stem from a neck misalignment. If you got into an accident in the past that hurt your head or neck, your upper cervical bones might have shifted. They may be pressing onto your brainstem and causing you to experience the different symptoms of fibromyalgia or CFS.
It’s a good idea to have your C1 and C2 (uppermost neck bones) inspected by a cervical doctor. This way, you can measure even the smallest changes in their position. Once you have your diagnosis, your upper cervical care doctor can customize the approach for the adjustment. This ensures that your bone misalignment gets fixed, and the adjustments made will hold for as long as possible.
Rest assured that the adjustment procedure is gentle and precise. An upper cervical care doctor uses accurate imaging techniques and a scientifically proven approach to correct neck bone misalignment. Slowly but surely, your bones will go back to their neutral position.
Gradually, you can experience improvements in your symptoms. In a way, upper cervical chiropractic can help you take back control of your life and enjoy doing your usual routine.
Find an upper cervical care doctor for your CFS or fibromyalgia today!