Fibromyalgia can be tricky to live with. I learned to listen to my body, and I want to share my tips on how to manage the symptoms.
I first have to state that I'm not a medical practitioner or anything close to that. This is just my experience—how I managed to live with fibromyalgia.
The first time I had a major fibromyalgia flare was after I had just finished my many pneumonia antibiotics and anti-malaria drugs . I walked from hospital to hospital trying to find out what was going on with me, and all I got was more and more antibiotics and anti-malaria pills until I eventually observed that the medicines weren't making me feel any better. Soon after, I stopped taking them.
I then did what almost everyone does - visit "Dr. Google" and looked up my symptoms online.
My Pain Correlated With Extreme Temperatures
I searched, "Muscles aching in the evening and when it's cold," and got "fibromyalgia" in return. That's the information I went to the doctor with. He confirmed that indeed I was suffering from fibromyalgia. My blood tests were perfect, but I just wasn't okay. Mild pains during the day and horrible aching in the evenings. I could not enjoy cold showers any more. My body detested two things: cold and hot temperatures.
My Other Symptoms at the Time
- Urge to urinate frequently
- Neck pain
- Plantar fasciitis
- Back pain
- Neck pain
- Elbow pain
- Calf pain
- Low libido
- Painful sex
- Chest pains
- Stomach cramps
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Most people stick a leg out from under the blanket at night, and I never quite understood why until now. It instinctively cools the body when it's too warm, so I started doing this more often. I found I had to keep on regulating my body's temperature. When my neck hurt I'd wrap a scarf around it and be fine. When my leg hurt while wearing leg-warmers, I'd take them off and I'd be okay.
Before I knew what was ailing me, I would wear warm clothes even during warm weather because one of the doctors had told me that I just had a bad flu, so I imagined that I should keep warm. But keeping too warm would make my body ache all over. It was terrible. I found that the best trick for me to manage my pain is to regulate my temperature.
Other Ways I Managed My Fibromyalgia Pain
I Distracted Myself
I found something to do. The symptoms seemed to be more present when I was idle. Do chores. Go shopping. Meet new people. Move around. I realised that my pains miraculously disappeared when I kept busy. As soon as I sat down to relax, the symptoms would sit down with me.
I Listened to and Obeyed My Body
Do not overdo anything. The symptoms can be absent the whole day and you might end up doing too much out of excitement of being pain-free, but that will only cause more flares. When you are having a good day, enjoy it. When it starts aching keep warm, or keep cool. I found I always go from one temperature extreme to the other.
I Avoided Wheat and Sugar
I don't know the science behind this, but I observed that a great day could easily go bad if I indulged in wheat and sugar. In fact, looking back, all the bad days I had were also days when I ate some wheat and sugar. I probably made it worse by overindulging. This may be different for you, so pay attention to what you eat. Some foods can trigger flares.
I Started Walking
You already feel fatigued. So, inasmuch as you may want to jog, run and lift weights, your body might disagree with you. But walking is gentle on your body. I found that walking at least 40 minutes everyday made my symptoms disappear. The walks took away all my pains, including my plantar fasciitis and lower back pains. I walked five times every week for 40 minutes and not only got a hot body but regained my health too. Makes me wonder if fibromyalgia is associated with weight gain.
Have you found tricks to manage your fibromyalgia symptoms? Share them below and help out your fellow patients!
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.