Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition characterized by widespread pain in the soft, fibrous tissues of the body, i.e. the muscles, ligaments and tendons. Fibromyalgia pain can mimic that of arthritis and the symptoms of the syndrome are similar in many other conditions, including hypothyroidism.
Hypothyroidism is a chronic condition in which the thyroid (a small, butterfly-shaped gland in the lower front part of the neck) does not produce enough hormone. Thyroid hormones help regulate the body’s metabolism. If the thyroid doesn’t function properly, a person can develop many of the following symptoms: widespread pain, achiness, fatigue, brain fog or confusion, depression, sleep disorders, memory impairment, constipation, and swollen extremities.
Sounds like Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia, don’t it? Remember, CFS is determined when a person’s ng fatigue is not alleviated by rest. The episode of ‘fatigue’ must last for longer than six months.
Obviously, these conditions can all mimic each other. In some cases, people are erroneously diagnosed with Fibromyalgia or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome when they have Hypothyroidism and vice versa. Also, many people with FMS & CFS also have Hypothyroidism. The conditions often co-exist with each other.
All three disorders, according to this “Physician Interview: Richard Shames, M.D., on Treating Thyroid Dysfunction, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome & Fibromyalgia” at Fibromyalgia Support.com, deal with thyroid dysfunction and adrenal imbalances. Dr. Shames’ also mentions another point of similarity between the three: many physicians find these conditions difficult to treat. (That may be considered an understatement by some of us, right?)
Therefore, with CFS and FMS it’s truly difficult to tell from the symptoms and the causes just how closely they relate to the thyroid. Research needs to be improved to make these gray areas darker. However, you can say that it is a compelling issue.
If you’d like more information on hypothyroidism and its links to Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and a host of other diseases, I’d love it if you checked out my course at Suite101.com.
Coping With Hypothyroidism