Fibromyalgia symptoms can come and go and vary in severity. When symptoms worsen or become more frequent, it is called a flare. Though everyone’s flares differ in symptoms and experience, there are some basic guidelines helpful for getting through and managing fibromyalgia flares.
The Only Way Out is Through
Getting through a fibro flare involves preparing your mind, body, and living space ahead of time. A little forethought towards your flare care kit can shorten flare duration and ease your recovery process. Below are some helpful tips to include in your flare care kit. These can be great reminders during a flare when you can’t think at times.
- Get enough sleep- Going to bed early or sleeping in a few days a week ensures your body gets the rest it needs.
- Forgo stressful commitments– You can’t put everything off, but minimizing what you can is necessary to take care of yourself.
- Don’t overindulge– Junk food may be more accessible in a flare but only increases exhaustion. Aim to maintain your healthy diet at least 75% of the time. Slowly building up freezer meals will reduce meal preparation times.
- Remain active when possible– When you can, get your body moving gently. Don’t lay in bed all day.
- Distract yourself– Make a list of favorite movies, short stories, board games, or other diversions to help take your mind off symptoms.
Despite even the most valiant of efforts, sometimes your fibromyalgia is going to flare. There’s no rescue medication for fibromyalgia. The approved treatments take weeks to start working, and pain medications like opioids don’t work well for a lot of people. Mind-body exercises are great ways to lift your mood and ease the pain. Some examples include meditation, deep breathing, and forms of exercise that include stretching and relaxation, such as yoga.
If you can identify any factors that trigger your flare-ups, you can better prevent flare-ups, and at the very least, you’ll reduce their frequency. While some flare-ups are unavoidable, common triggers include:
- Physical or psychological stress
- Weather and temperature changes
- Hormonal fluctuations
- Changes in the body’s routine
- Treatment changes
- Lack of sleep
By knowing your triggers, you can avoid them and the flare-ups they cause. Being prepared for flares before their onset with resources and reminders in your care kit shortens the duration and eases your experience. Add in following your doctors’ recommendations, and you have a powerful trifecta at work to better manage your condition.
Until we improve options for diagnosing, treating, and preventing fibromyalgia, we remain our greatest weapon in reducing its impact on our lives. Potential new options for fibromyalgia are under evaluation in clinical research studies enrolling now at Charlottesville Medical Research. Contact us to learn how joining a study may help your fibromyalgia symptoms while you help bring safer, more effective options closer to current and future patients. Call (434) 817-2442, or visit our website today!