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What is the difference between the fatigue of MG and CFS?

By July 21, 2012 - 8:52am
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I have both disorders and sometimes I cannot tell the difference between the fatigue of MG, which is occasionally relieved by rest, and the fatigue of CFS, which occurs without activity and sometimes with but doesn't seem to go away, even after a nights sleep. But I also have sleep apnea and don't get restorative sleep. I just found out my new BIPAP machine is not doing me any good in relieving the apnea episodes. They tested me to see if I need to go back on night-time oxygen. It is the chronic fatigue and frequent shortness of breath that are bothering me the most. I may have asthma and I do have COPD. Lately I have not been anemic, though I have spent most of my adult life anemic. Depression is also an issue. How do I differentiate from all of these problems and symptoms so I can treat them better. So far not much has helped. I have to spend a great deal of time in bed because I don't have the energy or strength to do anything. When the weather is nice I do walk and despite the exhaustion and shortness of breath I do do the housework. I take frequent breaks as they are required. If someone can help me sore some of this out I would be greatly appreciated. Thank you. bbnrse P.S. I should also add that I am hypothyroid. I also have fibromyalgia.

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Thank you Rosa. I was diagnosed with CFS many years before I was diagnosed with MG, which was Sept. 2010, I think. The CFS and fibromyagia diagnoses were back in 1989. Your are right, the symptoms are sligtly different in that the MG symptoms do ease with rest, at least for awhile. Until you are active again, that is. My CFS never lets up eventhough it is worse sometimes than others. I am always exhausted and it is so frustrating when you want so badly to do something and you know you'll pay for it later. Again, thank you for your words of wisdom, they are very reassuring. bbnrse

July 22, 2012 - 10:26am

Hi bbnrse,

I'm sorry to hear about everything that is aching/bothering you-- it sure is a long list and I can see how symptoms can get confusing. It is really hard to tell what's causing what because sometimes even different conditions have the same or similar symptoms. However, Myasthenia gravis causes weakness of the voluntary (skeletal) muscles. Voluntary muscles are those that are under your control. In other words, you think about moving your arm, and it moves. The muscle weakness of myasthenia gravis worsens with activity and improves with rest.

On the other hand, symptoms of CFS Last at least 6 months, are not relieved by bed rest, and severe enough to keep you from participating in certain activities. CFS symptoms may still be confused with MG symptoms because they sometimes affect your muscles and it can feel like you have the flu. 

I know that chances are you already know this but it's the best way to differentiate the two.

Wishing you the best,


July 21, 2012 - 7:34pm
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