You think its cold? Try living with fibromyalgia!. The cold goes right down into our bones and getting warm takes much longer. The cold makes our joints aches and stiff and our muscles throb with pain. Winter is the hardest time for most of the people living with fibromyalgia.
One of the most widespread complaints from people with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome is how dreadful cold climate can be. The cold seems to get into our bones and make everything tighten up and ache. At the same time, many of us are heat responsive, and some are responsive to both heat and cold.
This makes it hard to manage no matter the weather or climate you live in. To manage the symptom, it takes paying attention to your environment and how it’s impacting your body, and thinking ahead for those times when you know you’ll be dealing with extremes. The cold can make our skin injure, and when we get frozen it can be absurdly tough to warm back up.
Winter can be a difficult time for many people because of the cold weather, minimal sunlight, and shorter days. But what’s surprising, is that weather that’s a bit on the cold side can actually be somewhat comforting for people with fibromyalgia. Most will say that the warm and humid months are bad for their pain Cold weather is less likely to make one sweat and can have beneficial effects on the pain centers in the brain.
On the other hand, if you have ache and other fibromyalgia symptoms, you might feel unenthusiastic effects in areas with tremendous cold in the winter or when the temperature fluctuates a large deal. “A cold breeze blowing across an already-energy-deficient muscle will throw it into shortening, and shortened muscles are the primary and key cause of pain. If you feel like your fibromyalgia symptoms are bad in the winter, you’re not unaccompanied.
We have asked a question What thing you should have to survive this winter with fibromyalgia ? from our Facebook community “Living with Fibromyalgia and Chronic Illness“. Hundreds of people participated in the conversation and share their thoughts with us.
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Here are few of their suggestion:
1. Heated body wrap and Heating Pads.
2. Liquid collagen.
3. Debbie – Strong Will & Determination to Survive it! Along witha good Support Group ( like this one) to vent & learn from. Someone close who believes in u & your pain. These will give u a good mindset. Not to forget Pain Meds (if they will give them to u) along with Fleece, Aspercreme & Heated Blanket. Most of all for me is to still remember to say my prayers every night & know that God still has a plan & purpose for my life.
4. Warm ankle boot slippers – Loren
5. Beki and Zara – Painslayer and heat packs. its by m.c.c ( motorbikers.cosmetic.company) all the products are natural and were made for fibro pain. It really helps sooth the aches and pains and can be used in so many ways. I have pot by my bed, one down stairs and small pot in my bag.
6. Kristi – Tiger balm,heat pads,lots of layers of clothing,try to elliminate christmas stress by getting prepared early oh and stock up on food because if its too cold to move you have food in your belly
7. Judy – Hot cammomille tea (warm and ease stomach).
8. Paula – Lots of blankets. Pain meds. Hot tea. Heated blankets. “Heat32 degrees” undergarments
9. Laura – Got a new car with heated seats and steering wheel. It is bliss. Elizabeth added Me too! Whoever invented heated seats and steering wheels are saints!. Ann also added Oh my, just got car with heated seats. Have to drive for my job, helps so much!
10. Beth – Wheat bags galore, some very warm socks, and lots of cups of tea xxx
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11. Laveta – Hot tub twice a day for 20 minutes
12. Heidi – A heated mattress pad. A remote car starter. A warm office and home. Very little time outside in the cold. A lot of positive self talk
13. Kendra – Epsom salt and aleve
14. Kathy – Voltarine cream (Diclofenac Sodium Gel). my doctor prescribes it for me. I swear by it, it’s my miracle pain relief especially before and after work.
15. Debra- Heated blanket, Hylands Leg cramp medicine, 5k Vitamin D, Vitamin B6, Fish Oil, Magnesium, calcium citrate malate, Vitamin C. Thrive, Frankincense, Lemongrass, Lavender, Lemon, Copabia, Oregano, Thyme And Peppermint Pure Essential Oils. As little stress as possible, but that’s hard when your 62 and have to work till I’m 67 to retire as I am single and alone. I feel like and the Drs have said I need to stop working. How does one pay the rent with not working? I rely on my faith minute by minute every day to get me through. Hot tub when I’m able to get in and out of it. Comfy soft pj’s and socks and my fascia blaster for my sciatica issues, a memory foam topper for my mattress at least 4” depth is a must for the hips. Drama free friendships.
16. Patricia – My favorite item to survive the winter is my bean socks. I take knee socks fill them with dried beans. Heat them in micro wave 2-3 minutes. They conform to my body and I can put them on different spots.
17. Nicolette – Rice bags, heating pad, warm gloves, space heater (with a remote). Hoping to get a remote car starter next month.
18. Amie- Plenty of minerals, especially magnesium malate. It helps heal the nerves and tissues and relaxes the muscles. Also using probiotics and greens helps with digestion. If the pain is bad and pain meds unavailable or not working, Kratom works well and is safer than many other things. Turmeric and ginger are also very helpful. Other than that, staying warm and comfy with heating pads and blankets and comfy pajamas. Soft, warm clothes are a must. And have uplifting music and faith and you can get through anything. God bless everyone
19. Jacquiline – Create a box with all your favourite things that u need to help u through winter…. Mines is… Your medication,bottle of water, a book or magazines,paper n pen, heat products, cosy PJ’s,nice cuddly throw, cosy sox/gloves,iPad or tablet, Aromatherapy oils, box of tissues, a relaxing candle and lastly a big box of your favorite chocolates
20. Deede – Has anyone ever heard of and tried drinking water Hester with Thyme? Maybe add some honey for flavor? Is this good for inflammation? I’ve never been diagnosed with fibromyalgia but pretty sure I have it. I fit right in with all the pains and symptoms
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21. Michelle – Epsom salt soaks .. I dont know what makes these soaks feel so good but I love them. Kerrie Added Nice hot Epsom salt bath always helps me in the winter, unfortunately just moved to a house with a super shallow bath tub. So a hot tub may be on my Christmas wish list this year. Heather Added Epsom salt for a warm bath to relax sore muscles. Vitamins D and magnesium. A good heating pad. Lotion like working mans hand cream .
22. Charlette –Hot water bottles. The more the better. One each for your feet, back, tummy and sides.
23. Jessica – Compression clothes (i-e socks, leggings, sleves ect…)
24. Shannon – Heated mattress pad. It’s like a giant heating pad for your whole body! It’s the best idea I’ve ever had. I have RA also and it makes my mornings way less stiff and I get moving faster. You can buy them at Walmart, amazon or even directly from vendors. I googled them and found a cheap one. Duel controls is nice though because my husband doesn’t always want heat.
25. Connie – Love my large deep heat heating pad, horse lineament (yes, actual horse lineament for my muscle pain), Advil, I own lots of different pajamas so I can feel as comfortable as I can. I practically live in my pajamas. I am currently taking Plum Flower “The Great Mender” teapills to help with pain and mobility. Would not want to be without them either. They have seemed to really help my back pain and left knee pain a lot and my
muscle pain moderately. Have only been taking them for a month but have noticed some relief in those areas of my body already and I have been able to do more things until a weather change causes a flare. Might sound crazy but I sleep with a selenite crystal for better sleep and it actually does help me. I have tried many many things after I removed myself off from prescribed medications because the side effects were making me worse instead of better and the list of prescribed medications kept growing while my brain function kept declining. I still have fibro fog but at least I am no longer wondering if I am developing dementia/Alzheimer’s. I find that I am at a loss for words sometimes (finding the right words to express myself can be a challenge) but I was diagnosed with ADHD inattentive type so maybe that is why that happens. Another thing i would not want to be without is my humidifier and lavendar oil. It really helps with dry mouth , dried out nostrils and the lavender oil is relaxing m.
I am blessed that I live in Florida and do not have to deal with the extreme cold but any weather change can and often does affect my fibromyalgia pain levels to some degree every day, so every day is different and I am learning to take each day as it comes too ease my depression. Living this way for 19 years has and does cause anxiety and depression… on my worst days I take Kava Kava pure root to help ease that. I take omega 3 fish oil, magnesium glycinate and a multivitamin too. I think that is all of my must haves.
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Many people who deal with the daily struggles of fibromyalgia report that cold weather seems to aggravate their symptoms, causing more pain and fatigue. Here are some ways to help.
Dress appropriately for the weather
Taut clothing can often be a trouble for people with fibromyalgia symptoms, so go for lukewarm yet loose-fitting clothing. Dressing in layers can permit you to live toasty and also rapidly adjust by removing a coat if you get too warm. To help struggle the cold when you have to head outside also, make certain to have the suitable accessories, like gloves, hats, scarves, and warm boots. Lengthy underwear beneath your clothes can also have a considerable impact on reducing your pain, as well as aid in therapy. Wearing t-shirts, night clothes or long underwear made of fur can be as efficient as medication at dropping pain levels in fibromyalgia patients.
Wearing layers in cold weather is helpful for fibromyalgia patients because it allows you to adapt to the changing weather conditions, especially when you go from outdoors to indoors and vice versa. You can wear layers externally to stay lukewarm, but take off some external layers when you go in the house so that you don’t become inflamed, which may become a trigger in itself.
Be vigilant about sweat
Blot off the perspiration and change into dried up clothes as soon as possible if you discover yourself sweating in the winter. Nothing causes chills that direct to fibromyalgia symptoms more than being soaked from your own sweat.
Take a warm bath at night
Taking a lukewarm or hot shower before bedtime is a calming habit that you might decide just because it’s pleasant. Make the baths special. Keep candles next to the bathtub. But further than just being a calming pastime, a warm bath can have healing benefits for fibromyalgia patients, too. The lukewarm water will take the coldness out of your skeleton and leave you feeling relaxed. Relieving those bone-chilling winters should decrease your pain levels sufficient that you can float into a soothing sleep. Taking warm bath every night will have the secondary consequence of warming your bones and taking away any chill that’s causative to fibromyalgia ache and symptoms.
Getting exercise in the open air is excellent for everybody’s physical condition, even for people who have fibromyalgia and even when the temperatures are freezing. However, fibromyalgia patients have to use watchfulness about getting perspiring, mainly during the winter. Sweat will cool on the skin speedily when the temperatures are frozen, which can lead to feeling very cold and finding it hard to warm up once more. Go ahead and benefit from an afternoon ice skating or spade the snow if you must; working up a sweat is fine for you. Just be sure to change back into dry clothes as soon as possible.
Try hand warmers
Store-bought hand warmers that generate heat when you open them can also ease fibromyalgia symptoms. You can purchase goods in the outdoor or camping sector of the store that you pop open and use to generate heat. These hand warmers can assist your hands stay warm when you’re outside the home. Because contact to cold causes ache in the hands and fingers for many fibromyalgia victims, it’s significant to have access to liberation from the cold as soon as possible.
Say no to the nightcap
Drinking alcohol is a terrible thought for most fibromyalgia victims, particularly during the winter. Alcohol dilates your blood vessels, which can cause you to lose heat even faster than usual.
These daily strategies should help ease symptoms. However, if you discover that winter flares make you unhappy, you might need to think a move to a warmer, dry climate. Granted, this is not a solution that will work for everyone, but if your quality of life suffers for three or more months out of the year, it’s worth considering.
- what happens when fibromyalgia flares up during winter via The Chronic Body Pain
- Fibromyalgia and Winter Blues: Finding Your ‘Hygge’ by Jessie Arnold via The Mighty
For support and Discussion join the group “Living with Fibromyalgia and Chronic Illness”
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