Fibromyalgia Fatigue and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), are illnesses that are distinguished by excessive levels of fatigue. In fact, both conditions have so much in common that the medical community remains debating whether fibromyalgia fatigue is just another representation of the disorder that induces CFS.
Based on statistics, fibromyalgia, fatigue affects a higher number of Americans than chronic fatigue syndrome does. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention considers there are approximately 5 million people in the country with fibromyalgia, in comparison with slightly over 1 million people who have chronic fatigue syndrome.
Still, the investigation has determined that the boundary between fibromyalgia fatigue and chronic fatigue syndrome is extremely thin. The Arthritis Foundation calculates that 50% to 70% of people with fibromyalgia fit the patterns of chronic fatigue syndrome also.
Differences between Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Chronic pain and exhaustion are common fibromyalgia symptoms and symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome. The exemption is that in fibromyalgia, exhaustion or fatigue usually does not result in debilitating muscle pain. In CFS, people undergo a remarkable depletion of energy but furthermore can encounter some pain.
Some more significant variations among the two include:
- What provoked the condition: Numerous individuals diagnosed with fibromyalgia weakness claim that their fibromyalgia symptoms developed from some kind of trauma, which can be physical damage or emotional blow. On the opposite, chronic fatigue syndrome seems to rise from a viral disease such as mononucleosis or influenza.
- Distinct pain localities: People have fibromyalgia fatigue if they sense tenderness or discomfort in 11 of 18 distinct locations on their bodies, at least. Patients with CFS do not have these sites of pain.
- Inflammation: People with chronic fatigue syndrome usually grieve about swollen glands, fever, and different manifestations of inflammation. Physicians find no proof of the inflammatory response in cases with fibromyalgia fatigue.
- Sleep: Although fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome are both linked with disturbed REM sleep, modern research from Japan discovered key differentiation in additional sleep disruptions among patients with CFS alone and the ones with CFS and fibromyalgia both.
Similarities of Fibromyalgia and CFS
Beyond the common symptoms, researchers have found that fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome primarily occur in middle-aged people.
Also, both disorders appear to target women more often than men. About 80 to 90 percent of people with fibromyalgia fatigue are female. Chronic fatigue syndrome is four times more likely to occur in women than in men.
Treatment with naltrexone
Naltrexone is a medicine which at normal doses of 50mg to 100mg, inhibits the influences of opioids. At incredibly lower doses, though, few researchers believe the drug might be advantageous to people with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome.
Low dose naltrexone (LDN) is an economical drug, already available easily, which has kindled enthusiasm about its potential uses. Investigations are moving gradually, though, apparently because there isn’t a prominent financial incentive.
Additional health problems where low-dose naltrexone is remaining under exploration involve autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, and complex regional pain syndrome; and different immune-related illnesses, like HIV/AIDS.
How does Low Dose Naltrexone Work?
Researchers haven’t yet understood the drug’s definite mechanism of action. Some investigators hypothesize that Low Dose Naltrexone inhibits specific receptors of the nervous system that are responsible for causing fibromyalgia symptoms and chronic fatigue syndrome symptoms.
Some proof proposes that low-dose naltrexone acts as an anti-inflammatory agent in both CNS and PNS, probably by restricting the action of functional cells called microglia.
Studies also imply that LDN might aid in normalizing the immune system, and that’s why it appears to be helpful for people with autoimmune diseases and other immune-system illnesses.
LDN for Fibromyalgia treatment
A set of Stanford University researches have proved positive outcomes, like a 30% drop in symptoms as compared to placebo. Investigators state that outcomes are most beneficial in people having higher sedimentation rates, and that signifies an inflammatory reaction.
Effects also show that medicine is well-tolerated. Though these investigations are all quite small, and further work requires to be done before we acknowledge how reliable and effective low dose naltrexone is for this condition.
LDN isn’t an FDA-approved fibromyalgia treatment, but sometimes it is prescribed off-label.
LDN for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Until now, LDN hasn’t been investigated as a treatment for chronic fatigue syndrome. But, few physicians and patients state they’ve applied it successfully.
With new evidence leading to the probability of neuroinflammation in CFS and Low Dose Naltrexone’s potential influence on inflammation in the nervous system, we might observe it as an effective treatment for some.
Just like the case with fibromyalgia treatment, Low Dose Naltrexone is prescribed as an off-label treatment for chronic fatigue syndrome, sometimes.
For treating fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome, the drug naltrexone is usually given in a dosage of 4.5mg or lesser. Typically, the starting dose is 1.5 mg, and then is worked up to 3 mg, and later increased to 4.5. The consequences associated with this low dose are not observed at more elevated doses.
While LDN seems to be well-tolerated, recognized naltrexone side effects comprise:
- Dizziness and syncope
- Sleepiness and fatigue
- Anxiety and nervousness
- Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea,
- Abdominal pain/cramping and reduced appetite
- Joint pain
- Upper respiratory tract infection
- Sore throat
- Excessive muscle contraction
Mostly the side effects are stated as rare, mild, and temporary. Patients with kidney or liver conditions might need specialized tests or dosage adjustments to reliably start taking Low Dose Naltrexone. This medicine might be dangerous to a fetus.