Effect Of Dehydration on Fibromyalgia Sufferers

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Dehydration

The human body is a bio-electrical water machine that requires a quart a day for every fifty pounds of body weight. The blood alone is made up of a large percentage of watery serum. The lymph fluids which transport waste and nutrients, comprising four times the volume of blood in the body, are made from the water we consume. Every cell that makes us who we are literally owes its life to an adequate supply of clean, fresh water.

Dehydration is common among everyone.  Instead of drinking water, people drink a coffee, soda and tea which can all act like diuretics.  But staying well hydrated is critical for everyone and if you have fibromyalgia, it can help manage your symptoms.  Dehydration can increase pain, make it difficult to lose weight or even put it on, cause hormones to go out of balances and more.

It is important to know the symptoms of dehydration so you can keep it from getting worse.  Some of them can be hard to distinguish from your regular symptoms. They include:

  • Dizziness
  • Weakness
  • Headache
  • Dark, possibly strong-smelling urine or inability to urinate
  • Vomiting & Nausea
  • Dry mouth & nose

An average human body is eighty percent water and the muscles are seventy-five percent water. It is the most abundant nutrient in the body, not to mention the most important. Nearly all body functions are about fluid balance, and even small changes in fluid balance can affect our performance and daily life if this fluid is not replaced.

Effect of Dehydration on Fibromyalgia

Summertime can make even a healthy person wilt faster than an egg in a frying pan, but add fibromyalgia to the mix, and your pains and aches might go into overdrive when you put them in a hot environment.

Dehydration is one of the biggest problems that people with fibromyalgia experience. They are often borderline dehydrated between the supplements and medications that they take, and the illness causing their muscles to cry out for nourishment. If you are ever outside and feeling lightheaded in the summer, then get inside where it is cool and have a tall glass of water at your earliest. People with fibromyalgia can get dangerously dehydrated very quickly, and they cannot even recognize that headache as a warning of dehydration, because they suffer from headaches so often anyway.

Dehydration also reduces the neurotransmitter serotonin. A reduction in serotonin is linked with increased pain, insomnia and depression and is a major cause of fibromyalgia.

How to prevent dehydration in summers

Staying hydrated is one of the most important things you can do to help manage your fibromyalgia. Be sure to drink a lot of water, and do not wait until you are thirsty before you drink. Dehydration can lead to actual thirst. Carry a water bottle around and sip from it often.

Continue drinking water throughout the day. If you hate water, you can add a tablespoon of cranberry juice with mint, or another juice you like. It will add a refreshing flavor to the water. Tea is definitely not a good substitute- as a diuretic, it goes through you too quickly. Soda is also not a good substitute because of the sugars.

A basic guideline for daily water intake is 8-ounce glasses, but try to drink more. It purifies your body, which can help your muscle to recover from flare-ups. Water will also:

  • Improve Your Energy
  • Increase Mental Clarity
  • Reduce Headaches and Dizziness

Try squeezing fresh lemon in your water for added health benefits. Lemon water has been shown to help with digestive problems, alleviate cold and flu symptoms and can even aide in weight loss.

 

Related Article: Best Summer Drinks For Fibromyalgia

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Heat Sensitivity in Fibromyalgia

Changing seasons can wreak havoc on the pain levels and the overall sense of wellness of people with fibromyalgia (FM). Temperature sensitivity is a common fibromyalgia symptom. Most people with FM report being quite sensitive to heat and/or cold.

Summer is in full swing, and the thermometer is climbing. But while many people look forward to warmer temperatures, those with FM may face the turning of the seasons with a sense of fear.

Some FM patients know they can expect a flare-up in fibromyalgia symptoms from high humidity and heat; others struggle during cold weather months. Whether you tend to be sensitive to cold or heat, temperature fluctuations can cause your disease to flare and your pain to increase.

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Extreme heat and severe cold 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.

Much of the research suggests abnormalities in the autonomic nervous system, which deals with homeostasis (your body’s ability to keep temperature and other factors within normal ranges) and our bodies’ reactions to different situations, including the “fight or flight” reaction.

Medical experts aren’t exactly sure why heat has such a damaging effect on some FM patients. Studies, however, have provided some clues:

  • FM patients become dehydrated easily, which can lead to pain, headaches, and fatigue.
  • Problems regulating body heat. As body heat rises, FM patients suffer muscle pain and fevers, and are also more likely to have heat stroke and heat rashes. For example, sunlight shining through a car window onto your arm may cause burning pain in you.
  • A lack of sleep often can make FM symptoms worse, and hot, warm nights make sleep difficult.

High humidity seems to worsen these symptoms, possibly because it makes the heat feel even more oppressive. Patients with a sensitivity to cold also report feeling worse in humid, clammy conditions.

Related Article: Handling Summer with Fibromyalgia

Above all, humidity hits FM patients the hardest despite their normal tendencies. Researchers speculated that this is a result of the weather, in either hot or clammy condition, feeling more oppressed. Given the biometric reasons above, FM patients are also mostly vulnerable to weather fluctuations, along with drops and rises in the barometric pressure, since their bodies scramble to adjust.

 

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References:

  • Heat Sensitivity and Fibromyalgia by Naomi Prex Arba,MD via Fibromyalgia Resources
  • Dehydration & Heatstroke With Fibromyalgia & Chronic Fatigue Syndrome By Adrienne Dellwo via Very Well
  • Handling summer with fibromyalgia by M G Rana,MD via Fibromyalgia Resources

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