The Similarities and Differences of RA, Lupus and Fibromyalgia

Debbie Cyza DuncanDebbie Cyza Duncan
Sep 29, 2017

Debbie discusses the similarities and the differences of RA, lupus and fibromyalgia, and what happens when all three of these conditions come together.

The Similarities and Differences of RA, Lupus and Fibromyalgia

People With RA, Lupus, and Fibromyalgia All Experience Pain and Fatigue

First thing I can think of as far as similarities, you experience pain just about everywhere. Another thing is you have fatigue, and you get the fatigue from a lot of things.

You think about the amount of pain you’re experiencing, where the pain will be tomorrow, and if you’re going to be able to get out of bed. All of these thoughts can cause anyone fatigue.

RA and Lupus Are Progressive; Fibromyalgia Is Not

RA and lupus are progressive illnesses, meaning that without treatment, and sometimes with treatment, your disease can progress and get worse.

  • Lupus – It can be a fatal disease if not treated at all, and sometimes, still when you get treatment.
  • RA – It can be a deadly disease, but it has to have some help from another illness. RA not only goes to your bones and joints, but it can go to the lining of your lungs.
  • Fibromyalgia – it’s not a debilitating disease, meaning that it doesn’t get worse with time or without treatment, but you still have great pain.


Going back to similarities, all three of these illnesses can make a person disabled. In my case, I have all three, and I am disabled from them. 

Depression is Common in RA, Lupus, and Fibromyalgia

My advice to you is if you’re feeling down or you’re feeling depressed, find someone you trust and talk to them.

Start a journal that you just keep for yourself, or maybe share with that person, and if it gets really bad, please seek professional help. A professional will help you in ways that maybe your best friend can’t.

A professional will see you as a person that they don’t know your history, and they have all the knowledge to help guide you to feeling better. Don’t ever feel afraid of going to a professional because you’re feeling depressed.

Fibromyalgia Is Not a Fatal Disease

Another thing with these diseases is that fibromyalgia is not a life-threatening condition. It won’t take your life.

On the other hand, lupus, if not treated and sometimes when it’s treated, may take your life.

Rheumatoid arthritis, with the help of other conditions, may take your life too. I kind of pause when I say that because I do have all three of these diseases so that it can be scary.

However, I have a great support system, and I hope that you do, too. If you don’t have anyone to talk to, or you do, and you just want to know more, please come on here, to NewLifeOutlook.com there’s a lot of great resources for you here. 

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