1. Weather changes or season changes. The constant changes in weather can contribute to fibromyalgia flares arising. Every fall my body responds poorly to the change of seasons – summer to fall. As the cooler temperatures set in, my aches and pains soon become consistent deep down to the bone pain. The colder the temperature drops the worse my pain levels become. The chronic fatigue becomes even more debilitating – making tasks even harder to complete. Getting out of bed in the morning itself is a challenge. I keep telling everyone that I need to win the lottery and buy my own tropical island. For myself warmer weather eases my pain levels. Other people, find heat difficult to handle. Everyone’s body is different. If I wake up with deep down aching during the spring and summer months – I often know the humidity is usually going to be high or if rain is on its way. Who needs a weather app when your body tells you the weather as soon as you wake up!!
2. Stress can also create a flare up to form. As we all know stress is not kind to our bodies, even without factoring fibromyalgia into the picture. Stress weakens our bodies, causing our body to become vulnerable. For people with fibromyalgia, the stress response tends to be heightened symptoms. It is very important for people who live with fibromyalgia to learn how to manage their stress in their lives.
3. Over exertion. People with fibromyalgia or any chronic pain disorder need to pace themselves even on their good days. Its probably not a good idea to clean the house, go get groceries, run errands, and attend a friend’s birthday party in the evening. Trying to accomplish too much will cause over exertion and a fibro flare will result! I often make this mistake and then end up bed ridden for days to come.
4. Illness. Even a common cold can create a flare up. People with fibromyalgia tend to have a cold or flu worse then people without fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia can cause inflammation in the body and then add in a cold or flu that may cause further inflammation to form is unpleasant. I often wonder why when I get a cold it seems three times as bad then before my fibromyalgia diagnosis. According to my lab work my immune system is working as it should with no limitations detected , but yet it takes me longer to recover from the cold. Prevention is the key! Avoid being around other people who are sick.
5. Lack of sleep. One bad night of sleep can cause a major flare up. This happens to me often as I have insomnia plus pain levels wake me up through out the night. Once I wake up, there is a slim chance of me falling back to sleep. For the last week, I have been waking up at three or four am, and then I can’t get back to sleep. It makes for a very long day. Even if I go to bed an hour later then I normally do the pain levels and chronic fatigue both hit a level of ten!
6. Hormonal changes. Changes in hormone level can cause one to experience a flare. A women’s menstrual cycle, causes hormone levels to fluctuate. These fluctuations can be enough stress on the body to create a flare up! Thinking about it…is it really a flare up or does fibromyalgia just make a women’s menstrual cycle symptoms feel worse?!? I’ll let you be the judge of that question! I don’t really have the answer ro my own question. Just food for thought.
7. Treatment changes. Adding new medications can cause a person’s body to react. Maybe the increased dosage your doctor prescribed caused some of your symptoms to get worse. I recently had a dosage increase of medication and I felt nauseated everyday for two weeks. I often get nausea, but this was worse. Even adding in a treatment pain such as light stretches can cause higher pain levels and fatigue to form. Any changes to your treatment plan causes stress to your body. The stress then is not tolerated well causing a flare up! I changed both my medications at the same time which caused extreme stress to my body. I probably should have increased each medication separately instead of at the same time.
8. Travelling. For myself this is a major cause for a flare up. When we travel we have to sit in a vehicle or whatever means of transportation you take for extended amounts of time. This in itself is hard on your body. Sitting in a vehicle creates pain levels to increase which causes fatigue to set in from mentally enduring the higher pain levels. When you travel daily routines are also set aside for the day or even several days. After I travel I always go into a very bad flare up that lasts for days or even up to a week later.
9. Individual sensitivities. This can range from certain scents, brightness of light, loudness or even triggered by an allergy. You may have other sensitivities. For myself I have become sensitive to scents. Stores that use sir fresheners or are using essential oils can trigger me to go into a flare. I have gone into several stores and had to immediately leave due to the scents. Loud noises is also a trigger for me.