ME/CFS and Fibromyalgia: definitions, similarities, and differences, by Benjamin H Natelson in Clinical Therapeutics 2019

Article abstract:

This commentary presents a simplified way of making the diagnosis of myalgic encephalomyelitis/ chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) using the 1994 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention case definition.

The format used can easily be modified for other case definitions. The commentary then discusses whether ME/CFS is the same or a different illness from fibromyalgia. Because overlap exists between the 2 syndromes, some investigators have posited that they are variants of the same illness. I have viewed this as an empirically testable hypothesis and have summoned considerable amounts of data that suggest that the 2 illnesses differ.

Were differences to exist, that would suggest different pathophysiologic processes for each, leading to different treatments.

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