Changing seasons can wreak havoc on the pain levels and the overall sense of wellness of people with fibromyalgia. Not only are we sensitive to temperature changes, but also to barometric changes.
Whether you tend to be sensitive to heat or cold, temperature fluctuations can cause your disease to flare and your pain to increase. It’s interesting how I am more comfortable in an air-conditioned environment in the summer; warm rooms make me feel nauseous. And in the winter I struggle to feel warm, even if the heat is on, making my pain level decidedly worse.
If you are vacillating between hot and cold, it may be helpful to wear layers. That way, you can take off and put on as necessary to accommodate the craziness that’s part of fibromyalgia. Hormonal imbalances and certain medications can be factors as well, especially in women.
Those who are sensitive to heat can experience excessive sweating and hot flashes, and be more prone to heat stroke. It’s especially challenging if you are experiencing excessive heat internally in hot weather. Be sure to stay hydrated and, if possible, in a cooler environment.
Those sensitive to cold (like me) may feel it more in their hands and feet, but it could be all over, too. It makes winters something to dread. I have thought many times of moving somewhere that is less cold than New England. Maybe someday.
Did you know that research shows people with fibromyalgia have an inability to adapt to changes in temperature, as well as a lower pain threshold to both hot and cold stimuli? this probably isn’t news to you, as you are living it, but it’s good to know that research backs up our experience.
Another expert theory states that the thyroid gland is to blame because it helps to control body temperature. Did you know that many fibromyalgia sufferers also have hypothyroidism, which means the thyroid is not functioning properly, leading to temperature sensitivity? I have that issue. My diagnosis of fibromyalgia coincided with my diagnosis of hypothyroidism.
If your thyroid is functioning normally, low blood volume or poor circulation could be the culprit behind your temperature sensitivity.
Severe cold and extreme heat can register as painful experiences in those of us with lower pain thresholds. Perhaps that might explain why temperature sensitivity is so common among those of us who experience pain sensitivity.
Every season has its challenges; I’m either hot or cold. How about you? Do you experience this?
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.