CFS & FM Symptom Comparison Table
Compiled by Melissa Kaplan, May 2000
Not everyone who has been diagnosed with CFS or FM - or both - will have every symptom listed below, nor will they have every symptom they do have all the time. That is the variable nature of this disorder. Symptoms may also wax and wane, getting worse or better, more prominent or maintaining a sort of constant background "noise" that goes on for so long that one begins accommodating it with out thinking about it. However, constantly having to deal with many of these symptoms puts a tremendous strain overall on the body, creating a state of constant stress on the immune system, organ function, and musculoskeletal system, making even the most minor and seemingly inconsequential activities of daily living (like getting up in the morning) so difficult if not--or impossible-- for so many for so long.
Treatment modalities directed towards mitigating specific symptoms or symptom clusters (such as improving the quality of sleep) should be looked at by everyone, regardless of whether they have been diagnosed with CFS or FM. While not everything works for everyone, and modalities that work for a time may cease working after a while, to ignore something because it doesnt bear the diagnostic label you were tagged with may result in your missing out on something that may help alleviate some significant symptoms and improve your quality of life.
Note: For ease in printing, this checklist is also available in PDF format.
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