The question whether fibromyalgia can flare up in winter has been asked a number of times before. We believe that it does.
And before we explain what exactly fibromyalgia is and how you can treat yourself during the winter, we’d also like to let you in on the fact that fibromyalgia flare-ups don’t just occur during colder months and can be just as striking at any other time of the year.
But here we’ll be focusing mainly on how to counter those intensely cold, winter months.
So, what really happens when fibromyalgia flares up?
While fibromyalgia does flare up during winter, readers here should also make a note that fibromyalgia also flares up during hot summer months.
Only the person who suffers from fibromyalgia can truly describe what it feels like when the condition seems to be at its peak.
Also note that much like most things in life and the illnesses that affect most of us, no one person is the same.
Fibromyalgia catches fire in winter and summer
The same goes for the fibromyalgia sufferer.
One woman describes the acutely strong sensations she experiences during her periods, particularly during the winter months and while abnormally strong menstruation pains do occur among some women, it is not abnormal in the literal sense.
The same woman in the case study found, however, also reports extreme pain during the summer months.
So, like the illnesses that people respond differently to, fibromyalgia sufferers respond differently to the extreme cold of winter.
Make no argument, fibromyalgia does hot up in winter
The fact remains, however, that more than enough people with fibromyalgia complain bitterly how the winter cold is affecting them while some scientists, researchers and analysts continue to discuss and debate whether winter does adversely affect fibromyalgia patients, passing around peer review papers, and with one doctor even suggesting ludicrously to his patient that the phobia of winter ‘was all in her head’.
But as a person who does not suffer from fibromyalgia, for instance, spare a few more thoughts for those that do the next time you start feeling cramps and stiffness during a cold winter’s night.
It’s difficult to quantify, but multiply your discomfort several times over and you get the impression of what someone with fibromyalgia might be going through.
Why extreme weather affects fibromyalgia sufferers
While fibromyalgia sufferers report extreme changes in the weather as one of the main causes of their flare-ups, evidence has been collated which proves that winter, for instance, does adversely affect someone with this condition.
One important explanation is directly linked to the drastic drop in temperature.
When the temperature drops, air pressure decreases. When air pressure decreases, the body’s fluids and soft tissue surrounding its joints expands. And when this happens, things begin to heat up, if you will.
What is fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia, it is worth pointing out, is not a disease. It is a condition which is mainly characterized by muscle pain or musculoskeletal pains accompanied by tenderness in certain parts of the body and stiffness.
This medical disability is chronic and is also known clinically as a syndrome.
Fibromyalgia is a rheumatic condition but isn’t even closely related to full-blown arthritis which usually affects older people.
Fibromyalgia can affect people of all ages. Apart from pain, these sufferers will also experience tiredness and certainly an inability to sleep properly at night, particularly during winter, if this season affects them.
If you encounter someone who is suffering from the fibromyalgia syndrome, he or she may just tell you that he/she is suffering from FMS, the adaptable acronym for fibromyalgia syndrome.
Comfortable winter treatments
Time to warm up to the idea of well and truly keeping warm this winter, even if you yourself do not have FMS.
The principles from these tips apply to you too and can help make you a happier and more wholesome and well-rounded person.
Firstly, here’s a tip that will probably disappoint most sociable folks who enjoy more than a few good glasses every once in a while.
No more wine for you
The perception that a good quality bottle of red wine, never mind its bouquet, will warm you up this winter is only partially correct.
In fact reducing or limiting your intake of alcohol along with a couple more self-remedies will get the balance right and help you keep warm throughout winter.
But at least one doctor here recommends avoiding alcohol altogether, particularly if you are suffering from fibromyalgia.
He explains that inevitably alcohol causes the blood vessels to dilate and this, in turn, precipitates heat loss.
To complete this balancing act; indulge yourself with a warm (but not hot) bath, and master the art of layered clothes dressing; in other words, you don’t necessarily need to look like a snowman who’s about to melt to stay warm optimally.
Dressing comfortably and warmly
Modern textiles and new fashions allow you to dress stylishly without losing any of the extra warmth that these new specialist fabrics are designed to provide you with.
That being said, one of the best shopping sites for you will be your traditional camping goods or sportswear stores.
There’s one more important note to the art of winter dressing for FMS sufferers. Never wear tight-fitting outfits and always choose loose-fitting alternatives which essentially will be giving them more comfort anyway.
Particularly if you are living in the Northern Hemisphere, wearing a warm pair of woolen gloves is a must.
Have you thought about relocating?
Now, whether you are with or without FMS but particularly if you are living in one of the colder regions of your northern climate and especially if you are rooted and truly love where you live, you might not like this last suggestion.
Back in the day and before the turn of the twentieth century our forefathers took it upon themselves to re-locate to much warmer climates.
It’s worth considering when you are seriously afflicted by the winter’s extreme temperatures.
Like the pioneering men and women before you, it’s not only your health that could improve. Moving town may also lead to prosperous new beginnings for you.