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Fibromyalgia (FM) & Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS): similarities & differences

  [ 47 votes ]   [ Discuss This Article ]
By Buchwald D • • May 12, 1996

CFS and FM are clinical conditions characterized by a variety of
nonspecific symptoms including prominent fatigue, myalgia, and
sleep disturbances. There are no diagnostic studies or widely
accepted, pathogenic, explanatory models for either illness.

Despite remarkably different diagnostic criteria, CFS and FM
have many demographic and clinical similarities. More
specifically, few differences exist in the domains of
symptoms, examination findings, laboratory tests, functional
status, psychosocial features, and psychiatric disorders. FM
appears to represent an additional burden of suffering among
those with CFS, however, underscoring the importance of
recognizing concurrent CFS and FM. Further clarification of
the similarities (and differences) between CFS and FM may be
useful in studies of prognosis and help define subsets of
patients who may benefit from specific therapeutic

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