Fibromyalgia Screening in Patients With Unexplained Chronic Fatigue

Christopher A. Aakre, MD, MSc


Menopause. 2021;28(1):93-95. 

In This Article


Fibromyalgia is more common in midlife women. Screen for fibromyalgia in perimenopausal and postmenopausal women with unexplained fatigue and postexertional malaise with delayed recovery. The 2016 ACR diagnostic criteria can be adapted to a self-reported survey to facilitate screening of patients with undifferentiated fatigue. The presence of widespread pain out of proportion to tissue injury, age at onset, and the tempo of symptom development can be useful to differentiate fatigue secondary to fibromyalgia from chronic fatigue syndrome. Graded exercise therapy has strong evidence for pain reduction but only weak evidence for fatigue reduction. Some pharmacologic therapies used for treatment of VMS in menopause are also effective therapies for fibromyalgia-associated pain.