Chronic fatigue or fibromyalgia? Differences and symptoms

Many people wonder about the difference between chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia. What points do these two affectations have in common, and what differences exist between them?

These disorders are very real but very little understood, despite the fact that many people suffer from them. A holistic approach helps sufferers to improve their quality of life.

Fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue, two similar but not the same disorders

Today we can already talk about fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue without hanging the label of hypochondriacal or “lazy” patients, and I speak in feminine because the predominance of these pathologies, often confused, is 10 to 1 and 3 to 1 in relation to men. , respectively. But to tackle them, you have to know how to distinguish them. Although they share symptoms, they often intermingle.

Two different syndromes … but linked by fatigue

Chronic joint pain and leg stiffness from chronic fatigue is not like that of specific and symmetrical points in fibromyalgia. And digestive, endocrine, and hormonal disorders point more to chronic fatigue.


Its name comes from the Latin fiber, for connective tissue, from the Greek mine, muscle, and algia, pain.

It is classified as a rheumatic condition, although there is no joint inflammation, and it is a syndrome with musculoskeletal disorders, persistent pain, variable stiffness in muscles, tendons and surrounding soft tissue, and emotional disorders such as anxiety, depression, irritability or stress.

Some features distinguish it:

  • Aerobic exercise is advisable and feels good: swimming, walking, yoga …
  • There is no joint pain.
  • There is a general feeling of tiredness, but not intense.
  • Its appearance is gradual and very stable symptoms.

Chronic fatigue

It is classified as a neurological disease, and is characterized by very intense and debilitating physical and mental fatigue with devastating effects on personal life.

It is different from fibromyalgia in that:

  • Aerobic exercise can make it worse. Only very low intensity, gradual stretching can prevent body stiffness.
  • There is joint pain.
  • There are symptoms of edematous or hyperplastic tonsils, or lymphadenopathy or swollen lymph nodes.
  • Fatigue prevents you from doing or maintaining activities, even making you want to.
  • There can be a fever often, and a constant feeling of flu.
  • Its appearance is abrupt and fluctuating.
  • Your legs are very stiff.
  • There is cognitive impairment: of understanding, memory, concentration …
  • There may be hypersensitivity, even with immune disorders, to drugs, food, noise, light …

How to treat these diseases beyond drugs

Pain relievers and other medications do not cure these diseases. While it is true that they alleviate some of the discomfort associated with them, the way to address them should be from a holistic point of view.

The body has a powerful capacity for self-healing, but we must help it with the necessary tools to achieve optimal functioning . It is also important to remember that eating and eating are not the same, and that a conscious, simple, ethical and healthy lifestyle must be pursued.

Supplements, nutritional advice and other remedies

Good supplements against pain:

  • Tryptophan : A 500 mg dose of this amino acid daily increases endorphin activity and helps create serotonin, a substance that mitigates pain perception.
  • Black cumin seeds : they are taken in powder, at the rate of a quarter of a teaspoon a day, added, for example, to a soup or vegetable puree. It has a powerful calming effect.
  • Nutritional yeast : not to be confused with beer yeast . A tablespoon a day, sprinkled on your plates. Its B vitamins boost immunity and relax at the hypothalamic level. beer
  • In synergy : Coenzyme Q10, L-carnitine and NADH are used together to improve the symptoms. Dosages are not standard. They must be established by a therapist in each case.

Highly recommended:

  • Black cumin (Nigella sativa) is an analgesic, anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory.
  • Boosting the overall balance of the organism is essential in both

The diet that helps your body

Raw vegetables

The diet must be fresh and raw by at least 70%, with a lot of green leaf, and always organic. Includes smoothies, green smoothies, sprouts and sprouts.

Many minerals

Potassium, silicon, selenium, zinc and magnesium are essential in these pathologies. Consume seeds and roots.

Quality greases

Choose cold-pressed first-line vegetable oils such as olive or sesame, and those rich in omega-3s, flax or hemp.


Make sure that your diet is rich in vitamins A, C and E including, for example, carrots, citrus or avocado. A very useful antioxidant is pure cocoa.

Avoid gluten and dairy

Avoid wheat and opt for millet, rice, amaranth, teff, sorghum, quinoa, buckwheat … Look for vegetable alternatives to dairy.

What else to avoid?

Soybeans, foods rich in oxalates (spinach, Swiss chard, beets), nightshades (potatoes, peppers, tomatoes, eggplants), salt, sugar, alcohol, hydrogenated fats and meat are not recommended.

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