Yup, Fibromialgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome are pretty much the same disease. The difference is that if your pain bothers you more than your fatigue, they call it FM, if your fatigue is more debilitating than your pain, they call it CFS. In England they call it ME (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis). It’s described as having the flu for the rest of your life.
The majority of sufferers have these symptoms to varying degrees, so think about this when your friends don’t respond to “How are you doing?” :
Fatigue, generally worsened by exertion, non-restorative sleep, weakness, nausea, pain in joints, muscles, lymph nodes, eyes, & neck, chronic sore throat, headache, digestive issues, fever and chills, heat/cold intolerance, bladder problems, immune dysfunction, allergies and sensitivities, weight gain or loss, hair loss, coordination problems, twitching, …
but wait, aside from physical symptoms that come and go without warning, they also get these mental problems:
confusion (brain fog), difficulty in concentration, memory that comes and goes, dizziness, aphasia/ dyscalculia, numbness, strange tastes and smells,
and these emotional ones:
anxiety, mood swings, and depression (yathink? Who wouldn’t if that was your day-to-day life?)
And there’s no magic treatment. Incremental improvements can be made by eating well, with supplements, reducing allergic exposure, reducing stress, mild exercise, sun or SADD lights, meditation, and the usual things that make you healthier.
And it’s true- usually they don’t “look sick”. Symptoms vary day-to-day with almost no logic, so it’s hard to plan anything. Let them let you know what they feel up to at any given moment.