There are many things that can throw us into a fibro flare. Oftentimes we don’t even know what might cause us to flare until it happens. As such, it might be a good idea to keep a journal on what causes a flare and the severity of it. You can use your journal not only for our own reference, but also to share with medical professionals. Below is a list of five things that can cause me to have a fibro flare.
Fibro Flare Triggers
1. Stress: It comes in all forms and affects each of us differently depending on our current life circumstances. Some major stressors could be a loss of a job, pregnancy, labor and delivery, moving, divorce, loss of friends, the death of someone we care about, starting a new job, etc. Some not–so–major stressors could be difficult co–workers, arguments, lack of sleep, unpaid bills, or high expectations of others. Learning how to handle our stress in ways that are healthy and self–compassionate are super important. Prayer, meditation, and positive self–talk can all help.
2. Changes in Hormones: Hormones affect all of us at some point. Some hormonal changes can happen during a woman’s cycle, pregnancy, delivery, and postpartum. Hormones can also be influenced by adrenal insufficiency, thyroid disease, or prostate issues. Some may also experience a decline in progesterone and estrogen in perimenopause and menopause. Hormones affect the function of everything in our bodies, so it stands to reason that noticeable changes can bring on an FM flare.
3. Changes in Temperature or Weather: Changes in weather or temperature can bring on flares, some worse than others. Heat, humidity, cold, and dampness can wreak havoc on our systems. Rain, snow, and tropical storms all make us flare to some degree. Personally, I find the cold of winter to be the worst for me. I love spring for that reason – it’s warmer, there’s no humidity, and it comes with the joy of watching things come back to life.
4. Injury or Illnesses: Not only does illness or injury make us unwell, but it also can cause major FM flare–ups. It’s so hard when we’re sick on top of our ongoing fibromyalgia symptoms. It can cause us to overwork ourselves while still trying to get tasks done (instead of taking care of ourselves), which is a precursor to a flare. Auto accidents, falling, breaking bones, and surgeries all conspire against us. Some of us started showing our symptoms of FM following one of these traumatic incidents in our life.
5. Traveling: Traveling can be hard on us physically, mentally, and emotionally. Traveling by air with early arrival times, uncomfortable seating, and long layovers can definitely spark a flare. Trains, buses, and cars can be uncomfortable and long, depending on how far you are traveling. I personally have a very hard time sitting for any length of time due to tailbone issues, so the pain from that can definitely put me in a flare. Plus it’s physically exhausting to travel.
What kinds of things put you in a flare? Do you ride it out or are there things you do to combat them? Please share so others can learn and not feel so alone.
Note: Fibromyalgia News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Fibromyalgia News Today, or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to fibromyalgia.