I first addressed fibromyalgia/CFS vs Lyme disease here. I think there are a lot of people out there who are just as concerned about the difference between the two as I am since I get google hits on this post all the time. I wrote that post more than a year ago, right after I had been diagnosed with Lyme disease. I wish I could say I have better answers now, but I don’t.
What is still true today is that many doctors confuse Lyme disease and fibromyalgia. So little is known about them and the symptoms are so similar that many lazy doctors just diagnose patients with fibro and never even bother with testing for Lyme. Doctors like to use fibro as a cop out, “I don’t know what’s wrong with you and you’re in pain, so it must be fibromyalgia.” It many cases this is true, I do not in any way believe that all fibro patients have Lyme, but I do believe there are a good amount of fibro patients being misdiagnosed, just like I was. Often the only criteria doctors use to justify not testing for Lyme is a lack of a bulls-eye rash. Unfortunately not everyone with Lyme gets a bulls-eye rash (about 50% of the time), also the rash is not always at the site of the tick bite and the rash usually only lasts for a short time. In my case I had a rash, only it didn’t look like a bulls-eye and it didn’t stay around that long, so in my 2 year diagnoses journey I never thought to describe it to a doctor (not that they would have listened anyway).
If you have been diagnosed with fibro and you have any exposure to ticks I would recommend getting tested for Lyme disease. You might not have it, but it should be excluded. The Lyme tests are total crap and infamous for giving false negatives, but you never know. I never in a million years would have considered testing for Lyme disease since I thought Lyme was only on the east coast. Thank goodness I stumbled into a doctor who knew better and I ended up testing CDC positive for Lyme which is actually pretty hard to do!