Common Triggers for Fibromyalgia Flares

Common Triggers for Fibromyalgia Flares

Many things can cause fibromyalgia symptoms to flare, and our lack of control over those triggers is frustrating. I wish it was as simple as mind over matter, but I haven’t figured that out. Anticipating triggers can help with how we respond to them. 

Stress is a huge trigger, and the causes of our stress are limitless, from catching a cold to losing a loved one.

Then there’s the issue of compounding multiple stressors. Last month, my mother was hospitalized with acute kidney failure, my daughter’s boyfriend was killed in an accident, and my marriage hit a rough spot.

Thank God, my life is not always that stressful. The combination of those events caused me to get sick, exacerbated my physical and emotional pain, and was frustrating because I couldn’t be in three places at once. 

Overdoing it can be another trigger. Moms are particularly guilty of this as they keep up with their children’s activities and schoolwork. Maybe you have a demanding job where you’re not able to take breaks to refresh yourself.

Many of us want our home to look good and overextend ourselves to make that happen. Soon, we’re running on fumes. We need to pace ourselves and be mindful of what our body is telling us. Become a good steward of the energy you’ve been given.

Poor sleep — need I say more? Because of the stress I’ve been under recently, my sleep has suffered. I’ll often fall asleep around 8:30 p.m. and be wide awake at 1:30 a.m. Although that’s not normal for me, there are people who feel fortunate to get two to four hours of sleep on a regular basis.

Weather changes can have a huge impact on our symptoms. It’s fall where I am and the cooler temperatures, although welcome, are already increasing my pain. The best seasons for me are spring and late summer. 

If we are aware of what triggers our flares, we can make accommodations to keep the severity to a minimum. 


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.


  1. Sue says:

    I’ve been suffering something awful the last three weeks, I think because of season change . Seems as though happens in spring and fall that I suffer terribly . Anyone else.??

  2. Marsha A. Rodriguez says:

    I’m wondering if others have problems with life changes big or small? Or if it can cause a flare up? We are trying to downsize to a smaller home since it’s to hard to keep up & 2 people don’t need 4 bedrooms & 3 baths at least we don’t.
    We had always planned to do this after the kids were on their own but that was pre fibromyalgia. Now that we have started the process I’ve been miserable & have had more flare ups than normal. Any suggestions ?

    • Robin Dix says:

      Marsha, maybe just take it slow. When we sold our home and moved: my sister, my daughter, and my husband did most of the work. I mostly supervised from bed lol. But yes, I think anytime there are stressors – both good and bad, our bodies are apt to flare

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