Weather Changes Can Bring Fibro Flares

Weather Changes Can Bring Fibro Flares

finding balance
I live in the upper Midwest, where we have humid summers and frigid, snowy winters. These seasons can cause severe fibro flares that put me out of commission for days.

For years I didn’t make the connection between changes in the weather and increased severity of my symptoms. I was so out of touch with my body.

As I’ve aged, my symptoms have worsened. They’ve evolved into horrible gastric distress, neurological issues, and pain that is hard to deal with.

I went from a functioning career woman to a total slug who couldn’t get out of bed for days. I found myself so exhausted I couldn’t do anything.

I often woke feeling like I hadn’t slept a wink. I had no idea I wasn’t getting restorative sleep. My energy level went from little to none. My house was a pigsty. I was barely able to go to work, let alone come home and clean.

I gained a lot of weight — more than 100 pounds in 20 years. But exercise was out of the question. It triggered a major flare or led to me getting sick.

The stress of being unable to do even the minimum to get by had a terrible effect on my health. And beating myself up over not being able to complete the simplest of tasks wasn’t helping matters. Depression set in. I felt worthless and hopeless.

My first reaction when I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia was to feel hope for the first time in years. There may be a way to alleviate some of my symptoms, making life more enjoyable and worth living again, I thought.

I quickly discovered it wasn’t going to be that easy. But I’ve learned a lot about myself and my illness. Now I try to recognize the subtle changes in my health. Those headaches could mark a  change in the weather, for example — which could lead to a major flare. I rest when I start to feel rundown.

Keeping an eye on extended weather forecasts has helped. If forecasters expect precipitation or a sizable drop in temperature, I change my plans for those days. I may cancel some activities, or take time off from work.

Meditation and practicing mindfulness have been beneficial, especially when it comes to relaxing and falling asleep. If you are unfamiliar with these practices, or unsure where to start, many clinics and hospitals offer classes. You will also find how-to videos online. Youtube has become one of my favorite sources for them.

Rest is vital if I want to keep working and avoid illness. I suffer from severe sinus infections that last a month or longer. I try to get as much rest as possible when I feel the first signs of a cold coming on.

I also try not to sweat the small stuff. Learning to let go of stress is difficult, but has to be done. My health and well-being depend on it.

I try to recognize my limitations and not over-do. But I’ve found I’m not very good at this, failing more often than not.

I consider myself a work in progress. My house is still a mess, but I’ve learned to accept the fact that I can’t clean it as often as I would like.

I feel more hopeful about the future than I have in a long time. Coming to grips with my illness has been empowering. I refuse to let fibro win. Sorry, fibro, you’re not going to ruin my life any more.

 

Note: Fibromyalgia News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Fibromyalgia News Today, or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to fibromyalgia.

21 comments

  1. StevefromMA says:

    Interesting. Cold weather has indeed gotten harder to deal with, also probably barometric changes. I also have developed chronic sinus problems, tinnitus, and now, GERD, very similar. Pain is pretty severe and I wish I were as optomistic as you.

    • Carrie Anton says:

      I’m sorry you are having such severe pain. I’m not always optimistic but I find that when I’m not, my fibro seems worse. Could just be my perception but whatever it is, I prefer to at least try to be positive. Best of luck to you!

  2. Stephanie Marie Chapanar says:

    I can relate to your informative article except for the sinus issues. I really try to be mindful of my body when dealing with this disease but in the middle of a flare it can be a challenge. And I agree the older I get the more severe my symptoms get. Why is that, are we tired of the all the symptoms and a have a shorter fuse? I deal with the triple crown of fibro, digestive issues and hypothyroidism. But as a dear friend of mine who also has fibromyalgia says “I will not let it steal my joy!” Hang in there and God Bless you!

    • Carrie Anton says:

      Hi Stephanie, I am also hypothyroid. It seems like a lot of us suffer from that. I love your friend’s quote! No, we cannot let this illness steal our joy!! Words to live by! You hang in there as well. God Bless you too!

      • Carrie Anton says:

        Gloria, I’m sorry you are having a bad flare, but I love you attitude! Never let this illness steal your joy! Gentle hugs!

  3. Denise Bault says:

    The weather changes actually effect me the day BEFORE! I don’t know why, but the day before a front moves in, it just knocks me for a loop!

    • Carrie Anton says:

      Denise, I’m beginning to see the same pattern! We just had a snow storm and the day before, my fibro really started talking to me.

  4. Terry says:

    I feel the same way, Denise. If cold weather starts moving in my whole body is so painful even my skin hurts along with muscles and nerves. I’ve had Fibro for 25+ years with excruciating pain everyday and I never get any relief! But the weather here in Tn., yesterday it was 67 and today we are supposed to get 2 inches of snow. The trees and roses and other plants are blooming already so I hope the cold weather doesn’t completely destroy them the rest of the way!
    Best wishes to each and everyone whom has Fibro and other conditions!

  5. Helen says:

    Carrie, I’m so sorry it took you so long to get a diagnosis! I also live in the upper midwest and appreciate what you have said–I share many of the same issues as you mention. I’m 67 and was diagnosed 17 years ago. I’m also not sure if it’s a shorter fuse, or our aging body just don’t adapt to the symptoms as well as it did when we were younger.
    Terry, 25 years! Wow, I can’t even imagine another 8 years…
    A gentle hug to each of you who have/will post. Stephanie is right: We cannot let this steal our joy!

    • Sorry to say but fibo is progrsive. I had fibo for years and i have just started with th burning pain past couple of years they have come up with twoo differnt medications for fibo .new ones coming out in time

  6. Em says:

    Accepting our limitations is perhaps the most difficult part of our journey.

    The cold returned and the dreaded fibro flares that I continually endeavor to deny. does not work for this fibro person.

    Blessings

  7. Connie Alvarez says:

    I have had Fibro since 1985 and U can really relate to all of you! Changes in the weather always affects me the day before.I get shin splints also.Anyone else get these? God bless each of you.May we all keep our joy,even when we are hurting.Someone else could be hurting worse.Reach out if you can.It helps if you get out of yourself.

  8. I too have really big trouble when Barometric Pressure rises. Currently at 1034mb and am fit for nothing today. Predicted to fall tomorrow and low on Friday. Roll on the day . . .
    Only diagnosed after several years pain last May.

  9. Linda Lolli says:

    Hi
    This is my first post. I am 71 yrs old and was diagnosed with fibro last week. About 15 years ago I was diagnosed with psoriasis and 3 yrs ago with psoriatic arthritis. I am on methotrexate 20 mg one day per week. I was just put on 300 mg of gabapentin before bed. I am afraid of weight gain as I already significantly over my ideal weight. Does anyone have any advice for me. What are the best meds for fibro.

  10. marie fourie says:

    I also have fibro and cidp – these days i am going for the injections but the cold weather does make a difference in the pain. i also struggle with accepting that i cant do everything i use to. but i am hopefull and sure that by taking each day at a time makes a difference and also the support of my hubby and kids make it easier. God bless and hope you als see the positive side although its not always possible

  11. Tom says:

    Why don’t Men have FM? Why is it only women? What test or tests shows that someone has FM? I appreciate someone not feeling themself, being overly tired, run down, even weather causing cramps due to poor life style in early years, or even over exercising, and becoming a slave to lacticacid pain. However, I am struggling with FM as a disease. I apologize if I sound uncaring, trust me I am not. I am concerned that we are making excuses to check out of life while we call it something else for embarrassment reasons.

    • Tim Bossie says:

      Tom, men can have FM. Diagnosing FM is something that many doctors tend to shy away from for some reason or another. I had one doctor tell me that he will never diagnose someone with it. There are many different factors that have to be considered (pain in joints, headaches, chronic fatigue, etc) that can all be attributed to other illnesses. I get your point about being an excuse, and quite possibly, for some people that is most likely the case. But, many people do suffer with this disease and their lives are adversely affected.

  12. StevefromMA says:

    Actually we men with fibro are really the neglected FM patients. No one runs studies on men, assesses hormone function, etc., etc., not to mention finding out after three years that Tramadol affects testicular functioning. I have to find that out myself on Pubmed?!

  13. Denise Bault says:

    Tom, if you do any research on fibromyalgia, you will see that approximately 10 per cent of those suffering from it ARE male! It’s a VERY difficult and costly illness to diagnose. Why? Because so many of the symptoms could be caused by other illnesses. It is diagnosed by elimination. As far as I know, there is only one test that is currently being marketed to test for fibromyalgia. It’s a blood test and last I heard, it is expensive and not covered by insurance. It takes on average 2 years to finally be diagnosed by a knowledgeable doctor!
    I personally find it extremely offensive to say that it is an excuse to check out of life. Shame on you! Would you say something as idiotic to a cancer patient or someone who has cystic fibrosis – which, by the way, is another “invisible” illness. Believe me, and I think I can speak for everyone who’s afflicted, your comment was rude and showed an inane lack of understanding about a complex illness that has taken over the lives of millions of people!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *