Fibromyalgia and Weather Change

by Cinda Crawford on March 26, 2010

in Fibromyalgia,Learn How to Heal Membership,What do you do if you're really sick?

Fibromyalgia and weather change is a subject near and dear to many of us.

If you’re like most Fibromyalgia folks, when a weather change is coming, you feel uncomfortable at the least -or- in absolute, undeniable agony at worst.

Plus, since Fibromyalgia symptoms can vary from hour to hour, there is no predicting how you will feel at any one point in time. That makes planning your life darned tough, especially during any seasonal weather changes, like the ones we’re going through now.

Does this sound like you?

I bet it does. I remember feeling like this a lot when I was so sick. My life was unpredictable. Feeling trapped in an endless “weather change” cycle added to the sadness and frustration that I struggled with. When I had something I wanted to do, I would question if I was wise to attempt it at all. At times the fear of letting myself or others down threatened to get the best of me.

So what elements about the weather do you think are at fault? These pesky weather factors that affect so many people? AND, what can you do about them?


MP3 File


(This audio is 4 minutes 17 seconds. Listen to it here or download!)

Many people find they have more symptoms with changes in temperature, air pressure or precipitation. They may experience those symptoms as:

  • Feeling more tired (fatigue)
  • Sleeping more poorly (sleep dysfunction)
  • Additional, specific pains, like migraine headaches
  • All over, more generalized pain, like muscles aches

Flare-up episodes of one symptom or several can seem to come from nowhere. These type of symptom and pain flares can be found among people who suffer with osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis, too.

What are these weather factors that affect so many people? There are basically five.

1) Barometric pressure: Barometric pressure is a measurement of the weight of the air in your environment. When the weather is warm, sunny and the barometric pressure is high, most people feel better.

But when a weather front is moving in and the barometric pressure suddenly drops, a Fibromyalgia person suddenly feels horrible! It’s also why we occasionally can laugh at ourselves and say that we can predict the weather. :-) Note: barometric pressure dropping usually proceeds the actual weather change itself.

2) Temperature: Whether it’s hot to cold or cold to hot, wild temperature changes can really trigger symptoms. “Change” is the word to notice here. Note: most Fibromyalgia folks are comforted long into the warmer month by their heating pad and sock buddies.

3) Humidity: When there is a high concentration of moisture in the air, we say it’s humid or sticky. I’ve found any elevated degree of humidity brings about sweating and interrupted sleep for me. Low humidity is generally more comfortable for everyone, except a few can suffer from an increase in headaches and stiffness, while also enduring all over body pain.

4) Actual precipitation: When any type of moisture is falling from the sky, you have precipitation. Rain tends to bring on the most symptoms, but don’t discount snow, ice or sleet completely. That’s probably because precipitation events are often accompanied or preceded by changes in barometric pressure.

5) Wind: Here’s another culprit that is a partner in crime with barometric pressure. They are like two inseparable buddies, except maybe at the sea shore. If you’re inland and the wind is blowing, you may experience more fatigue, headaches and muscle aches when the wind is blowing.

I think the really tough thing about all of these 5 factors is thinking that there’s so little you can do about them because they still affect your life, whether you’re indoors or out. Here a few more abc’s to keep in mind that may help:

a) Turn up the heat if you’re cold, but do it too much and you’ll tend to dry out your nose, mouth and lungs, setting you up to be more susceptible for allergy symptoms, colds and the like. Try adding a fraction of moisture to your heat. The added moisture will make your room actually feel warmer to the skin and you won’t run up your heat bill any further.

b) Turn on your air conditioning. Beware that lowering the temperature around you may cause your muscles to ache. A person who is chilly tends not to move much. That’s a human reaction. Then that lack of activity exacerbates your symptoms, partially because the lymph fluid in your lymph system will back up and be stagnant when you don’t move around enough. To solve this problem, put on enough clothes in an air conditioned environment to keep you warm and able to move around!
c) Stay out of the wind. Either stay in for the day if it’s really windy outside or at least put on a jacket or coat with a hood. I find that if I cover up my head, that that act alone keeps away a world of sin and hurt.
d) Dress in layers. Whether you’re hot, cold, dry or sweating your face off, having layers of clothing that you can put on and take off is a powerful tool. Sometimes you can’t change the environment you in very quickly, but you can look out for yourself in this powerful way.

During the years I was so sick, I really only had one wardrobe. My summer clothes weren’t too cool and my winter clothes weren’t too warm. I simply had my basic wardrobe set up where I could put on or take off layers of clothing as needed. It really worked for me, saved on my wardrobe bill and meant I had fewer clothes to manage on a daily and seasonal basis.

If you have some “weather” gripes or tips, feel free to share them here, or Tweet me, or jot me a Facebook note. But, dear one, know that no matter what your symptoms are, weather related or not, you deserve to feel better. In dreaming and planning for just such an actuality as feeling better, fill out an inquiry to find out more about my new How to Heal Yourself Memberhip course today. The sign up box to get notices about it is in the top right box underneath the video. Or, if you like, you’re welcomed to learn more about it at my Get Well Health website, Learn How to Heal page.

Thanks so much for joining me at the Health Matters Show blog and podcast today. I’m Cinda Crawford, your host. Now remember… don’t let the weather get you down!

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{ 4 trackbacks }

Fibromyalgia And Barometric Pressure | Fibromyalgia Pain Help
09.09.11 at 3:06 pm
How to Heal Fibromyalgia – Weather Change Questions and 5 Tips That You Need to Know to Survive | Migraine Symptoms
05.02.12 at 2:04 am
Afibro Organización » La sensibilidad a la temperatura en la fibromialgia
01.06.13 at 6:45 pm
BAAF - Badalona Asociación Afectadas de Fibromialgia
02.24.14 at 10:43 am

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

1

Jean 04.27.11 at 5:36 am

I have fibromyalgia. We are in the middle of tornado season. When the symptoms start my family knows we are about to have extremely bad weather. I try to stay active but there is a point when all seems to fail. The pain is so horrible I want to crawl in a hole & not move. I try really hard to keep moving & to keep my mind busy. When most people have an “ok” day, that for me is a wonderful God blessed day. Thank you for your website. Have a good day.

2

Cinda Crawford 04.28.11 at 8:04 am

Hello Jean, I hear you…I really do. My thoughts have been with Fibro folks lately because extreme weather changes can be so very, VERY TOUGH! I believe this happens because of the sudden barometric changes that occur when a storm is approaching. It’s a sure predictor that a storm of some kind is on its way. The barometric changes “change” the fluid (and maybe the gases) inside of the body, probably within the small spaces between or inside tissues and joints. This puts pressure on them and the pain comes. One thing that I found to relieve this phenomena rather well and rather quickly was to get into warm water for awhile. Water pressure puts subtle pressure on these affected areas and that often helps me. Exercise may help some because the movement helps to normalize this, too.

Best wishes, thanks so much for your comment and visit the blog again soon! Thanks, Cinda

3

cindy lohse 05.15.11 at 1:48 pm

I missed Church again due to my whole body aching and full of unexplained movement and discomfort. 2nd day in a row that I woke with charlie horses on top of both feet. I wish my family better understood the last minute changes I have to make. My 12 year old son is my massage theripest. He doesnt mind one bit and always offers to do the job. For this I am extremely grateful.
My Husband prays for me but doesnt realize there are so many other people with this horrindous problem. He doesnt understand the coping part of it, or that I may some days have to not follow through with things and sometimes I have a fog to where its either hard to concentrate and very often hard to remember things. This is quite flusterating for me because I need him to know that I dont plan on being this way when I am and that I dont like it one bit. It is not due to me being lazy or procrastinating. It simply my body is in dramatic pain.
I know that God is an understanding and loving God, I used to feel bad when I couldnt make Church and be there with my family. Now I know that it is ok that I cant make it sometimes. So I worship here at home and I serve him everywhere else I am (:
I am currently taking Lyrica which has done wonders for me, I wish I could have been taking it a long time ago. I take 2-3 Vicodine to help me at night to sleep. Whats scary is that 1 used to do the trick, then 2 now sometimes 2 doesnt help at all.
I live in Oregon, so rain is happening all the time…..I find that the more upset I get with things the worse my fibro is….do you find this to be true as well? My nerves just crawl.
My family has talked me into applying for disability benefits as I dont think I could hold a job, I cant even get simple things done around my house like I need to. I love working, I am a people person. Ive been in customer service for almost 20 years. So this adjustment is very tramatic for me as well.
I do my best to exercise and get out and about, but often I do to much and this can set me back as well???
My prayer to be answered would be that my husband know all there is to know about fibro so that he understands my situation better.
Thanks for the ear Cinda, Im headed back to bed with some socks on
God Bless you and your website for folks like me (:
CIndy Lohse
Salem Oregon

4

Cinda Crawford 05.16.11 at 2:34 pm

Hello Cindy, all I can say is…I hear you, gal. This is such a tough illness. May I encourage you to have your husband listen to my interview with Dr. Charles Lapp last week. We structured it the way we did so that families and caregivers could better understand what was going on and to learn the things that they don’t know! Go to: http://www.askdrlapp.com/seminar. When you get there, put in the password “drlapp”, that all. Just (small letters) drlapp. It’s 53 minutes and it is fantastic, even if I do say so :-), ha! While you’re there, sign up on my seminar list and I’ll send you out notices every time we have an event or anything important.

Bless you and keep in touch, Cinda

5

Missy 08.29.11 at 11:44 am

I get the feeling of nerves jumping all over in my body,with the feeling of weakness,dizzy and lack of energy.Does anyone else feel this way?e

6

Cinda Crawford 08.31.11 at 12:42 pm

Nerves “jumping” might be a little different, but surely weakness, dizziness and lack of energy are common. What does you doctor say about your nerves? Cinda

7

Misty 03.23.12 at 9:49 pm

I can relate to everything here! Fronts that move in cause extreme pain widespread and fatigue,not to mention the awful headaches. Some days are better than others though and as for holding down a job its just impossible!! I wish more people understood this condition, including my husband. Its so frustrating trying to plan anything or get anything done…even the smallest tasks seem next to impossible at times. Muscle weakness, headaches, fatigue, achy all over, just to name a few. Thanks for a site where we can all be assured:)

8

Cinda Crawford 03.27.12 at 1:58 pm

You’re welcomed, Misty. Thanks for your comment. This is an issue everyone faces who has active symptoms. It’s always just around the corner! People do need to understand. When your friends, family and co-workers don’t or won’t, it makes the Fibro person’s like that much tougher……………. and the weather is a bad enough foe. Best wishes & stay in touch on the Health Matters Show. Cinda Crawford

9

Christine 04.09.12 at 8:30 pm

Today is miserable. It is warm and sunny, in the upper 60s, very windy, the barometric pressure has dropped and there’s rain expected tonight. I ache all over, feel so swollen up and it’s painful to move my arms or walk. I feel very heavy as well. I tend to have more trouble with the barometric pressure than I do the rain, is that possible?

10

Cinda Crawford 04.09.12 at 11:27 pm

Thanks for your comment, Christine, but sorry you feel so badly. I used to really suffer with barometric changes…really any changes in the weather. And when it was super cold and wet, yikes! I would be so-o-oo miserable. Tell me, are you moving forward and trying any new things that help? If not, give me a shout sometimes and we can talk about what might help you. Sending you good, pain-less wishes and hugs, {{Cinda}}

11

Nancy 07.16.12 at 2:58 pm

I have both CFS and FM. It started about 2 – 3 years ago. Whenever the barometric pressure drop below 30.00, the FM pain is worse, I will be very fatique, and my brain becomes foggy. I was not able to function at all.

When the air pressure drop during the night, I am too fatigue to get out of bed. When the air pressure drop during the day, I become sleepy, my brain will be gone, and the muscle pain get worse.

The lower the air pressure drop, the worse the syptoms. When a tornado, storm, or snow is coming. I am so fatique that I cannot get out of bed and have to stay in bed all day.

My doctor said that when the air pressure drop, there is less oxygen in the air, causing lack of oxygen in the blood thus causing fatique and brain fog. There is no cure.

He said jokingly that the only way is to buy a hyperbaric oxygen chamber, which is an expensive and large medical equiment, put it in the home. Whenever the air pressure drop, get inside the chamber and sleep for a . The hyperperbaric oxygen chamber will force oxgyen into the blood.

He offer such therapy for people who had a stroke, brain injury and some other illness. The problem is that I cannot function when the air pressure let alone drive to his clinic and the treatment is expensive.

This problem mades my life dependent on the air pressure. How frustratiing and delibilitating!! Does anyone have the same problem? If so, how do you deal with it?

12

Cinda Crawford 07.16.12 at 3:49 pm

Hi Nancy,

I used to be very affected by barometric changes. I called it, being supersensitive. It would cause such pain & agony! I suffered for years with those symptoms and overall malaise that it would create.

Truthfully, dear, nothing relieved it for me until I healed from Fibro and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Nothing. But when I did get well, those symptoms simply went away. I haven’t had them since and I thank God for that. If you’d like to know more about how I got well, get on my Get Well Health website and research Sacred Cellular Healing. Once I got well, I developed a technique for helping people just like you and it’s been very rewarding for me and my clients. The work can be done over the phone or via video, either one.

Let me know if I can help. Sacred Cellular Healing is something a person can usually do as a set of healing sessions and then they’re done. I like that. It means you not only do not have to keep on suffering, but also you don’t have to keep on paying!!

You take care & contact me back if I can help you. You welcomed to ask for a “free” 15 minute consult!
Best wishes,
Cinda Crawford

13

kb 08.22.12 at 5:29 am

I have dealt with fibro for about 12 years, since I was 17…started with just CFS type stuff then fibro as I got older …typical story, multiple specialists and tests. Weather changes (heat to cold, cold to heat, storm fronts, rain) all do something different to me and consistently. Sun hat and “arctic ties” help shade me and keep me cool. Hot showers first thing in the morning on cold days help loosen my body when it’s stiff. Id encourage anyone with fibro or chronic fatigue to check their vitamin levels and to avoid as much manmade chemicals and preservatives,etc. as possible. It is amazing when you eat only natural whole foods how much you will notice that the large majority of things in your food are modified from their original intended forms. How in the world can we expect our bodies to know what to do with such horrible, seemingly innocent but truthfully harmful toxins? I remember the first time I realized “carmine” was a dried and squished red insect used by the US to color food (its often in red sauces like sweet and sour, or on imitation krab…or what about sulfur dioxide, toxic gas from volcanoes, being used to preserve food such as fruit…the list is endless). I encourage those with fibro to think very carefully about what is put into their body….if simple weather changes can have a negative impact on your body, how much more things you were never intended to ingest??? Also, vitamin D in higher doses (I take 4,000 IU a day of D3…I know of people who take much much more), extra B vitamins (I take 5,000 mcg sublingual B12 and a B complex), and also probiotics to help overall intestinal and digestive health…all of those things can help drastically (of course you will want to make sure you have talked with your dr. or homeopathic dr. though…but I know my score for b12 was 1500 and 200 to 900 is normal – dr. said that’s perfectly fine. My D was low as it is OFTEN in people and I can tell when its low as I get more depressed and fatigued). I have heard from many fibro patients though that all of those things help and drastically improve fibro. I do have to say that I think it can be easy, understandably so (been there, done that time and again) to get in a funk and feel depressed and helpless. But, sometimes when you are searching for “cures” and help on the internet, it is easy to get sucked into more feelings of self pity and less true solution focus because it can be such an overwhelming “disease” with sometimes seemingly little solution and little support (from family, drs, you name it). Everyone seems to have their own idea, me included, of what helps or doesn’t. I would encourage those with fibro to do their best to not rely fully on drs or anyone else to make you better…but to find what works for you and treat your body well. And above all, try try try to be positive and solution minded and to treat your body with nothing but respect. It amazes me how totallllly different I feel when I am careful about what I eat (as in knowing exactly what goes in my mouth and that it is healthy and whole and that I take my many many vitamins) vs. when I am not as mindful of it and more relaxed. Again, I don’t claim to know the “cure”…but in my own search to figure out what helps, those things have provided the most dramatic benefit for not just myself but many others I’ve heard of. If no one has ever told you about doing an anti inflammatory and/or elimination diet, that also has provided relief to many (not all of course, but its worth diligently trying) and info. can be found online or from a rheumatologist (or at least that’s where I got it from) or homeopathic dr. probably. Good luck on your journey!

14

Cinda Crawford 08.22.12 at 2:57 pm

Dear KB, what a great comment. You really included a lot of great ideas in one place. Anyone can search the Health Matters Show website for terms like vitamin D, supplements, diet, etc. and find a lot of data and some great interviews from people in nutrition, naturopaths, etc. I, too, used an elimination diet once and it helped point out the foods that I was so reactive to and the ones that caused me untoward symptoms. I’m better now and don’t have to be that restrictive (e.g. I ended up with 5 allowed foods on my diet back then!), but even today, I do feel better when I eat better and watch everything I put in my mouth. I guess I’m saying that when I treat my “self” as a temple, my body honors me back.

And one last thing…Bravo that you feel better! I am firm believer that there are many ways to improve your health and help your body, mind, and spirit get over horrible illnesses like this one. You’re welcomed to return soon and keep us informed about what you’re discovering.

Fondly, Cinda Crawford

15

marilyn kantor 11.21.12 at 7:13 pm

Many thanks to the sisters in fibro hell! How can one explain to the family what this is all about, It’s impossible. I am a sufferer of over 25 years and continuing to get worse. It helps soooooo much to hear your stories of weather related pain and suffering. I feel very sad for you, yeat somehow comforted to know I am not alone. Just knowing someone understands offers amazing relief. The worse part is when you finally have a few good days and hope springs up to be knocked down each time at the mercy of the weather. When I was younger it seemed easier to handle. Now after a bout with cancer of the thyroid I seem much worse yet. Love and much wellness. I will pray as I always do…for all of us God Bless.

16

Cinda Crawford 11.21.12 at 11:23 pm

Hi Marilyn, great thoughts. Fibromyalgia is underforgiving, no matter whether you had it 25 days or 25 years. If you get a moment and you’re on Facebook, check out a recent note I did entitled “Barometric Pressure Changes Blues“. I share an idea that worked for me when I was so bothered by symptoms.

Hang in there and let me know if I can help you finally get over Fibro. I did after having had it for 15 years…so it is possible.
Many {{{hugs}}}, Cinda

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