Updated: 6 days ago
If you've lived with Fibromyalgia for any amount of time, you are already aware that there are some things that you can do to help reduce your pain and discomfort.
Yet, most of us still struggle with flare-ups.
Fibromyalgia flare-ups, "Fibro-Flares," are days, weeks, or even months when symptoms are more intense than the level of discomfort we would normally experience from our fibromyalgia symptoms. Unfortunately, this rise in symptom intensity can often interfere even greater than usual with our ability to make up adequate self-care, do daily living activities, such as chores, cooking, or working, maintain mental wellness, all of which decreasing our quality of life.
An example of a Fibro-Flare is when your pain levels jump up to an intolerable state. Your IBS symptoms seem uncontrollable, your fatigue feels unshakeable, you are hit by migraine after migraine, and your mental and emotional state may feel unstable. I understand that many of us with fibromyalgia already live a life at this level of intensity of symptoms, unable to work or maintain adequate self-care. It may feel like we live in a constant flare.
It's important that we know what works for us and be ready if fibromyalgia flares strike. However, it's also just as important to constantly check our habits and see where we can make further changes within our fibromyalgia symptom management to avoid being vulnerable to a flare-up of intense symptoms.
If you feel that your Fibromyalgia symptom management needs improvement, I urge you to dive deeper into looking first at three everyday "normal life" things that could be contributing heavily to the frequency and severity of your Fibromyalgia flare-ups.
Before taking a closer look at these things, remember to have patience and kindness towards yourself when taking action and steps towards avoiding Fibromyalgia flares.
Though they may seem general and "no brainer," these steps actually take effort and are harder for someone with Fibromyalgia to manage than someone not dealing with fibromyalgia symptoms, such as insomnia, chronic pain, chronic fatigue, anxiety, and depression.... to name a few.
1. Get good quality sleep
Easier said than done, right? I understand. Poor sleep is one of the top symptoms of Fibromyalgia, and it seems that so often a symptom that people with Fibromyalgia try to "learn to live with." It's actually of exponential importance to make sure we sleep well when dealing with this difficult condition. When we don't sleep well enough, our pain levels can feel amplified, our fatigue is worse, and feelings of stress begin to compound. Be sure to get at least 7 hours of sleep each night to prevent that from developing. Read more about How to Sleep Better with Fibromyalgia.
2. Reduce caffeine
It is completely normal for most people to drink a certain amount of coffee, cola, or energy drinks every day. The problem with these drinks is that they can cause our body to stress and stay there until the caffeine is out of our system. When stressed, our body's muscles can become tightened, which seems very common in people with fibromyalgia. This tightening of our muscles causes us to feel stiff, exacerbates our pain, and results in cramping and inflammation. Even more uncomfortable, caffeine can cause bowel inflammation in people with fibromyalgia, so it may be best to pass on that second cup of coffee in the morning. Instead, consider trying a milder stimulant like green tea or experiment with Matcha if you still have a craving for a morning energy boost.
3. Minimize physical & emotional stress
If you have people or situations in your life that cause you to feel stressed, it would probably be a good idea to let them know that you need a little space from time to time. Setting up healthy boundaries can save you time and stress, and you have the right to let people know that you need to take care of your health. It's important to know when to say no, and to know your limitations. It's better to let yourself heal and strive towards feeling better than to end up flipping from flare to flare. Please don't do more than you can, and give yourself time to heal when you need it the most.
Read more about 5 Tips For Active People Dealing With Fibromyalgia
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