Fibromyalgia and Lupus

Lupus vs. fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia and lupus are both chronic conditions that share some of the same symptoms. Diagnosis can be difficult because the conditions appear to be similar. Each condition requires a thorough physical examination, an analysis of medical history, and laboratory testing.

In some cases, it’s possible to suffer from both disorders.

Lupus

Lupus is an autoimmune disorder that causes your body’s immune system to attack itself.

If you’re diagnosed with an autoimmune disease like lupus, your body produces autoantibodies. Rather than killing bacteria, autoantibodies work against your immune system. They mistake your body’s healthy cells as harmful agents and attack them. As a result, you may develop fatigue, skin rashes, joint pain, and inflammation of a number of body organs.

Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is a disorder that causes widespread musculoskeletal pain. It also causes fatigue and, sometimes, anxiety. Unlike lupus, fibromyalgia does not cause inflammation, swelling, or damage to bodily tissues.

Researchers believe fibromyalgia affects how your brain processes pain signals, and as a result, triggers chronic pain. There is, however, no evidence to date proving fibromyalgia to be an autoimmune disorder.

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