Weather's Effects on Fibromyalgia

Eating Right and Managing Fibromyalgia Pain

Fibromyalgia includes a variety of symptoms, including widespread pain. Many fibromyalgia suffers claim that changes in the weather, even minor changes affect their symptoms and increase pain. To deal with these worsening symptoms, diet and managing pain is the best solution.

Weather's Impact on Fibromyalgia

While the information is still limited, it does seem that changes in weather have an impact on fibromyalgia sufferers. According to the National Fibromyalgia Association, they conducted an internet survey on 2,596 sufferers. Out of all the aggravating factors for their symptoms, weather changes were ranked at number two, showing that these changes do worsen the symptoms of fibromyalgia for many patients.

Most commonly, colder climates irritate fibromyalgia sufferers. When the weather suddenly becomes cold or drafty, these patients tend to feel an increase in pain. However, when weather warms, they feel a relief from their suffering. Changes in barometric pressure, which measures the weight of the air, also affect symptoms. Even low humidity plays a role in worsening symptoms.

Despite this claim, Dr. Robert M. Bennett of Oregon Health and Science University and the co-author for the previously mentioned survey advises against moving to warmer climates to escape fibromyalgia relief. Because there is still little information regarding weather's impact on fibromyalgia, it is only best to move to a warmer locale if there is a substantial improvement in that warmer environment after six months.

Eating Right to Help with Fibromyalgia

A more cost-effective and reasonable way to help with fibromyalgia is to change diet. Eating right makes everyone feel a little better, which is a big help for fibromyalgia sufferers. Focusing on eating lean meats, complex carbohydrates, vegetables and fruits helps improve pain by improving overall lifestyle. Foods to avoid when suffering from fibromyalgia include:

  • Aspartame
  • Food additives
  • Sugar
  • Caffeine
  • Dairy
  • Gluten
  • Simple carbohydrates

Sufferers already have enough pain and discomfort with which to deal, eating an unhealthy diet only worsens that, so through eating right, patients ease some of their symptoms.

Pain Management for Fibromyalgia

Treating the pain of fibromyalgia is about changing lifestyle to cope with all the different symptoms. Instead of choosing only one pain management system, it is best for sufferers to choose few to maximize their relief.

  • Exercise – Exercise helps manage pain as well as ease stress, which can lower the threshold for pain. It is best to start off slow and slowly increase the exercise routine.
  • Physical therapy – Physical therapy helps increase range of motion, improve stiffness and make small changes that cause major flare-ups, such as good posture.
  • Alternative treatments – Acupuncture, massage therapy and chiropractic treatments are great for reducing pain and helping to manage stress.
  • Antidepressants – Depression lowers the threshold for pain, making patients feel worse than they would if they weren't depressed. For patients who suffer from fibromyalgia and depression, antidepressants help relieve pain by increasing the threshold for pain.
  • Fibromyalgia medication – There are many medications designed to help with fibromyalgia pain and other symptoms, including Cymbalta, Lyrica and Savella. These are meant to control pain.

Conclusion

For many patients, weather does play a huge role in fibromyalgia symptoms, but it isn't always possible or wise to move to a warmer locale. Luckily, there are several ways for sufferers to manage pain through eating right and living a healthy lifestyle.