The Chronic Fatigue Symptoms Associated with Fibromyalgia

The Chronic Fatigue Symptoms Associated with Fibromyalgia

Through the Fog
It’s bad enough that we have to deal with things like pain, sleeplessness, and costochondritis, but throwing chronic fatigue symptoms into the mix is just not good. The depth of my fatigue defies explanation. 

My fatigue keeps me from traveling, shopping, running errands, going out to eat, and more — so much more. Since I can’t be very active physically, I work on keeping my mind active. I read a lot, work on my blog, write, and interact with other people struggling with fibromyalgia. 

I would love to relax in the living room, put my feet up, and read a good book with a cup of ginger tea. Unfortunately for me, I also have pain in my tailbone, so I can only sit for an hour or so before it becomes intolerably uncomfortable. I spend the majority of my day in bed. 

I bought an adjustable stand and a touch pen for my iPad, and downloaded a keyboard that allows me to type by swiping. It’s amazing how much tech exists to make life so much easier. I also play games on my iPad, read on my Kindle app, and watch several streaming channels. I keep myself mentally busy! 

I recently purchased a weighted blanket to help with my sleep issues. I’ll write about that after I’ve used it for a while. If I can deal with my sleep issues then maybe I won’t feel quite so fatigued. That’s the hope anyway. Less fatigue should equal more energy, but I know that’s not always the case. 

Fatigue symptoms are just no fun. I know that exercise is supposed to help, and I hope it helps you, but it seems to exacerbate my fatigue. I do it anyway because I know it’s good for my body. Acupuncture is also supposed to help, but so far I’ve been too chicken to try it. If you have had it done, please let me know — you just might boost my courage. I’m also considering making some dietary changes. Going gluten-free didn’t make a difference for me. I’m currently working on reducing my sugar intake. Wish me luck.

Do you have tried-and-true ways of beating your fatigue symptoms? Please share in the comments below.

***

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.

32 comments

  1. Val Whitney says:

    Hello to the lady above, how long have you had fibromyalgia?,I would like to chat to you,if you want to. I bought a book on what foods to eat,and it is helping a lot to ease the pain,also has your Doctor prescribed any medication for you.hope to hear from you kind wishes Val. x

  2. George says:

    Don’t waste your time with acupuncture. The procedure has never been shown in randomized clinical trials to do anything other than possibly provide a placebo effect. You are better off spending your money on more worthwhile things.

    • Charlene says:

      I tried acupuncture years ago when I was in my worst throws of pain. I found it to be very helpful for me. I think it is like with so many other things we do to help eliminate the pain, not everything works for all of us. I would highly recommend acupuncture to anyone and have on quite a few occasions.

  3. Shary Kraft says:

    Hello Robin, Have you ever tried Cranial Electrotherapy Stimulation for sleep? It is a handheld device with electrodes you clip to your earlobes. In the US you need a prescription. You can get more info at alpha-stim.com. I have been using it for a couple years now. My sleep has improved immensely. I only experience insomnia a few nights a month. I have had fibro for 16 years. As for chronic fatigue I understand completely. My Dr says exercise. She just doesn’t get how the extreme fatigue affects my ability to get through my day let alone take a walk. I move as much as I can without overdoing it. Take care and God bless.

    • Robin Dix says:

      Shary, that sounds really fascinating! Why is it that everyone thinks that if we exercise more we’ll have more energy…for a normal person, yes, but for us fibromites, it can cause post-exertional malaise.

  4. Angie says:

    I remember as a child sometimes (mostly in winter) my mother would layer the blankets on top of me. And I always slept better with that weight on top of me. I firmly believe I had fibro as a child. I had so many symptoms that I do now but back then brushed off as growing pains.

    Anyway…..I’ve been thinking of trying the weighted blankets. Think I would benefit.

  5. Jennifer says:

    I have tried acupuncture, and one session did give me pain relief, but it did not help fatigue. I don’t mind needles, and didn’t find them uncomfortable, but I did find it uncomfortable to have to remain still on my back for 45 minutes. If I’m going to spend money, I’d rather spend it on a massage. One thing that does work for me are vitamin IV drips. Most doctors won’t prescribe, but there is a franchise called Restore Cryotherapy in my area that offers them (they are pricey, but I used my HSA to reimburse myself). I had a mix of vitamin C, B-complex vitamins, glutathione, and magnesium. Some of these were for muscle issues. I had energy and did not have any post-exercise flares for 3 weeks afterwards. I also highly recommend beginning a daily qigong practice (lots of free practices online). It can be done seated and involves breathing and slow movements.

  6. PAMELA FITTS says:

    Super B Complex works for my chronic fatigue. I’ve been taking it daily since 2012 -I wish I’d found it years earlier. Now, if only they’d make something that would let me sleep six solid hours at night instead of waking up every hour or so…

  7. Karen DiGaetano says:

    Reading your article I noticed that it could have been I who wrote it. Fatigue, rib pain, pain and sleeplessness all me. I am trying acupuncture. I think it helped some so far. Only had 4 sessions, so to early to see if it really helps. I just bought a weighted blanket too. I love it, however, I have to use a fan too as it gets me sweating. I am so glad I am not alone in this.

  8. Based on my experience with 4 different acupuncturists, I’d say it’s worth a try. I’ve had mixed results, depending on the symptoms I was having at the time and on the individual provider.

  9. Deana Blythe says:

    Robin,
    Thanks for sharing your experiences, I have had a six-week course of acupuncture twice due to this illness (from 2000) and on both occasions, they have worked wonders. Pain-free and better moods and energy levels, unfortunately, they did not last very long and I couldn’t afford to continue the treatment, for me it seemed that I needed to have ongoing treatments, but maybe after a period it would have had better long term results. I also have received acupressure treatments for a short time which were helpful too. I wish you well with your course of treatment and would be interested in how you get on.
    With the sleep issue, I find that I go around in circles when I am having trouble sleeping, the less sleep I get the worse getting to sleep gets, the only way I have found that helps is to get as much sleep during the day as I can, in short naps. It seems to me that the more sleep deprived I am the worse the problem is but as I make up any sleep, it becomes easier to get to sleep at night, but this is an ongoing problem, which I deal with as I can. I wish you all the best.

    • Robin Dix says:

      Deana, you find that by taking naps during the day you find it easier to sleep at night? I’ve always been worried that if I napped during the day is have a harder time sleeping at night. I agree that sleep deprivation makes everything worse

  10. Lindsey says:

    I have tried many things over the years for fatigue. I’ve had FM since middle school, that I can remember. It doesn’t seem to mater how much or how little sleep I get I’m always exhausted. The only thing that has helped me is Kratom. It gives me enough energy to concentrate on a project at work or get something done at home. It doesn’t last long but it’s better than nothing. Do your research first. There’s a lot of negative news out there for Kratom but it’s the only thing that’s helped me. Not only for fatigue but for pain as well. I used to take pain medication but that stopped working after awhile. Good luck to all.

  11. Chelsea F says:

    Hi Robin!
    I was just diagnosed with fibromyalgia and was very lucky that my specialist listened to my plea to not stack on more meds (I already take gabapentin and I loathe it). She referred me to acupuncture, so Kaiser is going to pay for it for me! Yippee!
    On a side note, she also referred me to a psychologist that specializes in chronic pain for behavior modification therapy… really hopeful about that!!

  12. Annette says:

    I have trued Acupuncture and it did help. There is actually little pain to it (unlike dry needling). With acupuncture to work you have to make a commitment to the series. One treatment will be of no help.
    For sleep I used gaba for over 8 years and it helped alot. Then it suddenly stoped working. Increasing the dose didn’t help me sleep but gave me a gaba hangover.
    I have been wondering if a weighted blanket would help but I have not tried it. Let us all know

    • Robin Dix says:

      Annette, I tried 21,17, and 15lb weighted blankets. Although they all made me feel can and snug, by the middle of the night it was causing more pain. It was worth the try

Leave a Comment

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