how closely related are ME and fibro - Fibromyalgia Acti...

Fibromyalgia Action UK
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how closely related are ME and fibro


I don't actually have fibro but have been suffering with ME for nearly a year. My symptoms seem to have settled down. At first i was suffering from constant palpitations, shaking, brain fog, pins and needles in my fingers, restless legs which turned into a convulsion while in bed at night, night sweats and many other things. A few months ago i was perscribed anti depressants which I took for a few weeks. Since then the symptoms have settled down but now I am suffering from quite bad pain in my legs, I have just had to take 3 days off work as my legs felt like lead, they also seize up if i sit down for too long ( they are at the moment) very painful! enough of me going on for now!

7 Replies

ME and fibro are very connected - both are painful and tiredness.

Ian123 in reply to Betty67

Agree there is a close connection I have both and this is not unusual in my local ME support group. Having tests is the safest way of not having everything put down as the one condition with the best treatment options for your particular case available.

Hi there bluejeans,

I personally think there are links, but I found the following on a forum about ME/CFS and thought it might be of interest.

Differences Between ME/CFS and FMS

ME and CFS probably are the same illness but their research definitions have emphasized different aspects of the illness. The diagnosis of myalgic encephalomyelitis and chronic fatigue syndrome are generally used interchangeably in Canada. The clinical case definition in this document emphasizes both the lack of stamina and fatigue as well as other symptoms that support a multi-system illness, which is referred to as ME/CFS.

A syndrome may be delineated by means of a criterion that reflects a cutoff point on a continuum of symptoms and dysfunctions. Thus ME/CFS and fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) can be differentiated on the basis of symptom balance in what many believe are variants of the same or similar disease pathogeneses. By criterial definition, pain is the major feature of FMS whereas post exertional malaise and fatigue are the major symptoms of ME/CFS. However the latter often involves significant cognitive dysfunction and pain, and overlap situations are common where both pain and fatigue are of similar prominence. Some FMS patients have complex symptomatology that is often indistinguishable from ME/CFS. Indeed many patients are diagnosed with both ME/CFS and FMS. Approximately 75% of ME/CFS patients also meet the criteria for FMS (49). Some patients have a syndrome pattern that changes from one to the other. For example, FMS can evolve into ME/CFS and visa versa.

Although it may sometimes be difficult to distinguish between ME/CFS and FMS on the basis of symptomology, ME/CFS cases are commonly triggered by a viral infection, whereas physical trauma as well as other initiating events, trigger many FMS cases. Another important difference is in the response to exercise. Patients with mild FMS may be better able to tolerate aerobic exercise whereas it often aggravates the symptoms in ME/CFS patients, who may need alternate forms of exercise and a gentler progression. The possibility of overlap with ME/CFS may give rise to confusion as different situations may require different approaches to exercise.

Courtesy of Phoenix Rising Forum based in Canada

Foggy x

Hi bluejeans16

I am so sorry to read that you have been suffering so much, and I genuinely hope that you can find some resolution and relief to these issues. Many of the symptoms are the same, however the NHS has them listed and catagourised as two very different illnesses.

All my hopes and dreams for you


Hi. I am going to keep on going to the doctor and make a nuisance of myself untiil the doctor listens to me. A friend of mine has told me that I can have a blood test to confirm it is ME but they only do the test as a last resort.

I read one consultants theory that they are actually variations of the same disease, ME has more fatigue and less pain, and fibro have more pain and less fatigue, but both have pain and fatigue. I guess you could ask if you could have an assessment to rule fibro in or out. Love x

Hi Jjudith. When the I became ill last December I didn't know what was happening to me. A friend of mine who has ME for nearly 30yrs told me that was what it was.I later found out that a vertigo bug was going around. I was very ill but kept going to work every day. After the bug had gone most of the symptoms were still there. I made an appointment to see a doctor, just before I went I ironed a jumper and found it exhausting I was out of breath. I told the doctor and he prescribed beater blocker which only made things worse, i went back and he perscribed anti depressants (I was not happy and only took them for a few weeks). Since then the symptoms have calmed down but my dad has told me to go back to the doctors. I am seeing a different doctor this time hopefully they will actually diagnose ME as i know that is what the problem is but the last doctor i saw told me it was anxiety I was dying to tell him it was ME but didn't want to tell him how to do his job.

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