Apologies, it’s been a few weeks since I last posted. I’ve suffered from several health problems recently, including a Fibromyalgia flare that kept me in bed for nearly a week. A fibromyalgia flare is a temporary increase in the intensity of fibro symptoms – I experienced terrible pain all over my body that even my morphine patches didn’t relieve and I also felt extremely fatigued, but I couldn’t sleep which then triggered a migraine.
What causes a fibromyalgia flare?
Lots of people with Fibromyalgia experience an increase in symptoms when there are extremes in temperature, when it is too cold or too hot. It’s important to wrap up warm in the cold, and to stay hydrated in the heat.
I know from past experience how badly stress can exacerbate my fibromyalgia symptoms. It’s important that we try to reduce unnecessary stress in our lives. We need to determine which situations make us anxious and find ways to make those situations less stressful. I practise mindfulness, it helps me to relax and live in the moment. You could also try meditation, yoga, or other relaxation techniques. You could take up a fun hobby to relieve the stress in your life.
I know that when I do too much on a good pain day that I will pay for over exerting myself the next day. It’s important that you recognize your limits and pace yourself – write down everything you need to do, prioritise your to do list, listen to your body and stop at the first sign that you need to rest.
Having a cold or flu can trigger a fibromyalgia flare. Symptoms such as a sore throat, stuffy or runny nose, cough and malaise can make the pain and fatigue worse. You could take Vitamin D, it can help to boost immunity or you can try Zinc Sulphate which helps to prevent colds or Omega-3 fatty acids that will help your body fight inflammation or you could take Vitamin C to keep your immune system in good shape.
Lack of sleep
Sleep disruption can trigger a flare of fibromyalgia symptoms. People with fibro have sleep problems, we have trouble falling asleep or we frequently awake during the night. Poor sleep can make pain seem worse, and pain can lead to poor sleep – it’s a vicious cycle. You could try sticking to a sleep schedule of the same bedtime and wake up time, even on the weekends. You should also practice a relaxing bedtime ritual – power down the digital devices, have a relaxing soak, read a book, or listen to music.
Some flares are unavoidable, and certain triggers are beyond our control. You can try to identify what makes your symptoms worse – you could keep a diary of your activities, how you slept, any stresses you encounter and write down how they affect your symptoms. You may then see a pattern that might help you to avoid triggers that aggravate your fibro symptoms and help you to reduce the intensity and number of flares.