Sometimes people with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) or fibromyalgia have a hard time convincing people that their symptoms are more than just a figment of their imagination. However, both CFS and fibromyalgia are serious diseases that affect tens of millions of people in California and the rest of the United States.
A doctor who has dedicated his professional life to treating patients with CFS and fibromyalgia after suffering from fibromyalgia himself said the two illnesses often are confused for one another depending on what type of doctor a person sees. He said that same set of symptoms are often diagnosed by a rheumatologist as fibromyalgia and by an infectious disease doctor as CFS.
The doctor explained that, in reality, the two diseases are like sisters and often represent the same process happening to our bodies. The doctor said he believes a hypothalamus dysfunction is responsible for both illnesses and that our modern way of living can trigger this dysfunction.
For example, our lives are often filled with stress and most people don’t get the proper amount of sleep or exercise. Additionally, much of our food has been stripped of nutrients, which also puts us at risk for hypothalamus dysfunction, the doctor said.
CFS usually involves being extremely tired but unable to sleep; brain fog; widespread pain; tingling in the body; bowel disorders and low libido. The doctor said fibromyalgia also involves body pain caused by tightening of the muscles. People are at greater risk of suffering from the conditions as they age, he explained.
To help treat people with the conditions, the doctor has created the acronym SHINE: sleep, hormones, immunity, nutrition and exercise. In addition to sleep, nutrition and exercise being important factors in fighting off CFS and fibromyalgia, the doctor said it’s also important to get tested for hormone deficiencies and get treated for infections.
Source: Metro, “How to deal with chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia,” Shengying Zhoa, Aug. 29, 2013