What is Fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia is a condition that causes pain all over the body (also referred to as widespread pain), sleep problems, fatigue, and often emotional and mental distress. People with fibromyalgia may be more sensitive to pain than people without fibromyalgia.
What is Fibromyalgia Flare?
A fibromyalgia flare is a temporary increase in the number and/or intensity of symptoms. Some flares only last for a day or two but others may continue for several weeks or even months. The best way to prevent fibromyalgia flares is to identify what causes them and, when possible, try to avoid the circumstances that trigger them. Keep in mind that a flare may not occur for up to 48 hours after the event that triggered it.
We put together a list of 6 COMMON CAUSES OF FIBROMYALGIA FLARES for you to become aware on what circumstances to avoid if you are dealing with fibromyalgia. These causes are called triggers. But take note, just like symptoms, triggers for fibromyalgia vary by person, but they can include:
Some experts say what you eat may play a role in fibromyalgia -- just not the same role for everyone. Certain foods and ingredients -- such as aspartame, MSG, caffeine, and tomatoes -- seem to worsen symptoms for some people. To find out if something in your diet is a trigger for you, try avoiding one food at a time and keeping a diary of how you feel.
No one knows for sure why weather appears to trigger pain in fibromyalgia or other conditions. One line of thought involves barometric pressure changes.
Barometric pressure, or air pressure, is the weight of air pressing down on the earth (and everything on it, including you.) It appears that barometric pressure changes may be to blame for any effect of weather on pain symptoms. Specifically, falling barometric pressure causes tissues (muscles, tendons, ligaments, etc.) to expand.
Too much or too little physical activity
Regular physical activity can often decrease or improve symptoms of fibromyalgia. Although exercise may increase symptoms of pain at first, it may help prevent pain over time. Just be careful not to overdo it.
While regular physical activity is recommended to help manage fibromyalgia symptoms, it is crucial to limit overexertion not to do too much.
Moderation is the key.
Stress makes symptoms of fibromyalgia worse. Many people with fibromyalgia experience stress and feelings of depression, anxiety, and frustration. People may benefit from trying to avoid or limit exposure to stressful situations and making time to relax.
One thing you can do is to practice meditation and breathing exercises.
Focus on good sleep hygiene by going to bed at the same time each night and avoiding screens (TV, smart phone, tablet) within an hour of bedtime.
Research has found people with fibromyalgia have abnormally low levels of the hormones serotonin, noradrenaline and dopamine in their brains.
Low levels of these hormones may be a key factor in the cause of fibromyalgia, as they're important in regulating things like mood and appetite.
Keep a log of triggers
Triggers for fibromyalgia vary from person to person. Maintaining a log of activities, meals, sleep times and duration, and symptoms of fibromyalgia may help to identify particular triggers.
Recording these activities might highlight patterns of what triggers a flare. This might help a person with fibromyalgia find out how to better manage or avoid those triggers.
The information shared in this blog post is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. Please consult your doctor.