What causes a fibromyalgia flare?

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?

Temperature/Weather changes

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.





UK Fibromyalgia

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21 Responses to What causes a fibromyalgia flare?

  1. I’d never actually heard of fibromyalgia flare before. This has definitely been a learning post for me so thank you for sharing it and expanding my knowledge!

  2. Jodie says:

    Interesting read! I know very little about fibromyalgia. It’s nice you’ve found ways that help reduce flares. It sounds like stress can have a huge impact on so many illnesses, so it’s fab to hear you have coping for it. I want to get into mindfulness myself x

  3. Lilinha says:

    I must confess I didn’t know much about the condition, but I’ve learnt a lot with your post!

  4. My friend has fibro and when the weather changes, especially when it gets cold, she really notices a difference and a flare up xxx

  5. A close friend of mine has fibro and whenever she’s stressed she experiences a flare up x

  6. Jade Bremner says:

    My aunt has fibro and I have seen her when had a flare up and it wasn’t nice. I hope you are feeling better x

  7. Kira says:

    It’s always annoying that a lot of these things can cause us so much pain when 9 times out of 10, especially with me, there is at least one of them going on! I really need to do meditation or yoda to destress!

  8. I didn’t know much about the aggravating factors of the condition prior to reading this.

  9. Sam B says:

    Hello fellow spoonie! I also have fibro and found stress and viruses cause my flares. Sometimes I have random flares just to remind me it’s there. Cheers fibro

  10. What a useful post. Thanks for sharing this valuable info. I am sure many would find it helpful. I didn’t know much about the causes of flare ups until now.

  11. Annie B says:

    Not something I’d come across myself, but I am coming to learn the more relaxed and healthy we are – the better we are in so many aspects of life!

  12. Laura H says:

    I think keeping a diary is really important for understanding how your body works. Hope you’re feeling a bit better now!

  13. clarissa says:

    sufferer here, not great hope you feel better soon lucky touch wood it hasn’t affected me as much this season as usual, but I guess that is down to having a car and not waiting in the cold for buses

  14. I knew about fibromyalgia but never heard about flares. This must be quite hard to undergo such a condition. And obviously the weather doesn’t help… I hope you feel better 🙂


  15. Wilma k says:

    I have iT for 5 years now an recognize just in this wintertime what flare ups mean Wilma

  16. Sammie says:

    The first time I experienced a flare up I thought I was going mad. Thought I’d become a complete hyperchondriac and it was only talking to a fellow fibro friend that got me through. I’m so sorry you’ve been having a tough time and really hope the good pain days return quickly. A great post to help people understand.

  17. Lyn says:

    Sorry to read about your flare ups! I hope that you’re now experiencing better days. Thanks for the tips too! Although I also experience chronic pain (not fibromyalgia, as you know 😊), I forget these until I also have a flare up! My latest one was the result of too many hours making loom bracelets. LOL! Thanks again for reminding me and I wish you more comfortable days from now on! 😊

  18. DIana says:

    My worst triggers are
    1 the cold – it really affects my back muscles terribly. Wear far more warm clothing than you think you will need. I can’t go out in winter unless forced.
    2 staying in one position doing something for hours. I went through a phase of knitting lots of baby clothes for friends until my back just froze up . Bi mistake. Take breaks, move around, do something different.

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