Winter and Fibromyalgia Symptoms:How the Weather Affects You

by Cinda Crawford on December 10, 2010

in Fibromyalgia,Health Matters Shows,Living and Surviving,What do you do if you're really sick?

It’s that time of year when Fibromyalgia symptoms can be darned tough and how the weather affects you is a high priority concern. These are two issues that virtually rule a lot of peoples’ lives. Are you one of them? If so, know that this happens because changes in the weather tend to make Fibromyalgia folks feel a lot, lot worse.

Today I have a few questions to get you thinking, plus some great ideas that will hopefully help. Before you leave here today, be sure to check out blog post #1 and post #2 that I wrote this week on these topics. Hopefully, these ideas and approaches will help you manage your Fibromyalgia symptoms.

Have you felt the rain, sleet or snow yet on your skin? Do you feel it in your bones? Does it feel ominous? Foreboding? D-d-dangerous?

Has the winter’s chill seeped inside you and made your muscles ache like you’ve been beat with a stick?

Do they throb so badly you want to scream? HELP!!

Oh, Comfort, where art thou?


MP3 File

(7 minute 12 second audio- listen or download!)

Today’s big question:
Why do changes in the weather
affect my Fibromyalgia symptoms so much?

Unfortunately, no one absolutely knows why weather affects Fibromyalgia symptoms so radically. It may be the cold temperature, the varying humidities or other factors. It could be the wind or lack of clean, fresh air in our homes (because we’re trying to keep “winter” outdoors). All we really know is that “winter” does affect a lot of people with Fibro. You can really suffer when the weather begins to change and settles in for its long winter’s nap. Bah hum bug.

Consider the following explanations and ideas. Managing these factors may help:

  • You experience a change in sleep cycle

Weather, particularly cold temperatures, but sometimes hot ones, too, can alter and affect the way that you sleep. If your sleep pattern is disrupted and you begin sleeping less deeply and/or worse, there could be a dramatic change in your symptoms and flare-like episodes.

  • You experience a change in your body’s circadian rhythm

Your body’s internal clock operates by what is known as your circadian rhythm. When the seasons change or the weather gets a lot worse and there’s not as much daily sunlight, your body perceives this change. That’s when your circadian rhythm can get thrown “out of whack” because you’re not getting the benefit of regular sunlight. We human beings need sunlight to keep our circadian rhythm operating properly and to get our daily quotient of Vitamin D from sun rays naturally. If you’re staying indoors for the most of the day, you really feel this as being more fatigued and achier. You don’t want either of those increased symptoms.

  • Your body may create more pro-inflammatory cytokines and that will make you hurt worse!

For some as yet unexplained reason, there seems to be a relationship between low temperatures outside and your body producing increased levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines on the inside. Many of these cytokines are related to increased pain and when they are present in abundance, you will hurt! To keep these pro-inflammatory cytokines at the lowest levels possible may entail more than one approach, but in my clients I have that they get relief when they keep their immune systems optimal and as balanced as possible. How is the question and I have an answer. :-)

Thanks for stopping by the Health Matters Show today. I hope these ideas and tips help you out a bit in the coming cold, wintry days. Managing your Fibromyalgia symptoms is not impossible.

Cinda Crawford, host of the Health Matters Show

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1

Ganesha 12.10.10 at 9:19 am

Thank you for posting this info! My husband has only suffered with fibro for a year (it was brought on by being hit in the back by a car), and he’s been really achy and irritable and sleepless. I sent him this link to help him to understand why he feels like he does.

2

Cinda Crawford 12.10.10 at 12:49 pm

You’re welcome, Ganesha. Have your husband sign up for the RSS feed to get the Health Matters Show blog regularly -or- the podcast which he can listen to in i-Tunes. Fibromyalgia is not just a women’s issue. MANY men suffer with it, too. I think it’s really hard for men to talk about. They’re afraid if they do say how badly they feel, they won’t appear to be macho and tough. That’s just not true. We women who know about this illness know how much anyone can and usually does suffer. Fibromyalgia truly can bring anyone to their knees!

Best wish. Keep in touch :-) Cinda

3

Kristine 12.11.10 at 2:55 pm

Yep, cold winter weather is bad. I live in MN where we are having a major blizzard as I write this. The “wind chill” is far below zero today, and winds are gusting up to 50 MPH. Can’t even go outside! I made a big decision over the past few weeks. I am moving to AZ within six months. I am about to turn 58 years old, and I am tired of being sick for the entire winter every year! I have FM, CFS, Osteoarthritis and RA. I take Percocet every 4 hours 24/7 just to be able to move around, but it doesn’t take the pain away completely…just makes life a little easier to bear.

Krissy

4

Cinda Crawford 12.14.10 at 4:12 pm

Oh Kristine, although I’m sure Minnesota is a fantastic state, I can’t say that I blame you for moving away. Heat not cold, right? I hope Arizona works out well for you. The moving process itself can be a bear. Plan carefully and get lots of help. I am happy to help you try to lower your symptoms with what I do, Sacred Cellular Healing. If you’re interested~ :-) I’ve been well for years now! Take care, hon. Cinda

5

Sharron Clemons 12.21.10 at 3:41 pm

Oh Kristine, although I’m sure Minnesota is a fantastic state, I can’t say that I blame you for moving away. Heat not cold, right? I hope Arizona works out well for you. The moving process itself can be a bear. Plan carefully and get lots of help. I am happy to help you try to lower your symptoms with what I do, Sacred Cellular Healing. If you’re interested~ :-) I’ve been well for years now! Take care, hon. Cinda

6

Nona Mills 12.22.10 at 1:09 pm

Thank you for posting this info! My husband has only suffered with fibro for a year (it was brought on by being hit in the back by a car), and he’s been really achy and irritable and sleepless. I sent him this link to help him to understand why he feels like he does.

7

Kari Shaffer 12.23.10 at 10:28 pm

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Cinda Crawford and SueIngebretson, Robin Thomas. Robin Thomas said: HealthMatters: Winter and Fibromyalgia Symptoms:How the Weather Affects You: It’s that time of year when Fibromy… http://bit.ly/eAo4kW [...]

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