While many people look forward to the rising temperatures of summer, if you suffer from fibromyalgia you can be forgiven for not quite sharing in this enthusiasm. Just as cold weather can cause your symptoms to flare, heat may also bring its own set of challenges. According to Lynne Matallana, founder and president of the National Fibromyalgia Association: “A lot of studies have shown that patients have sensitivity to pain with both temperature extremes… I know people who have packed up and moved their families because they felt another part of the country would be more comfortable for them. It can be that intense.”
The website fibromyalgia-symptoms.org, identify the following five weather factors that can affect fibromyalgia patients:
- Barometric Pressure
So, what are some of the common complaints for fibromyalgia patients relating to the hot weather?
According to our internet research you may experience a combination of the following:
- Heat sensitivity
- Swollen hands and feet
- Other overheating symptoms such as a red face, excessive sweat, headaches, nausea and dizziness
- Dry mouth and throat
- Pain increase and fatigue
- Interrupted sleep patterns
However, as the sun puts his hat on, it’s important not to panic; the heat need not ruin the summer ahead for you. By following the advice we have collated on your behalf, you can minimise the impact of soaring temperatures on your symptoms and still enjoy the many benefits of the season:
- Stay hydrated
Ensure you drink enough water, smaller amounts at regular intervals is best
- Maintain a healthy diet
Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables, yoghurts and wholegrains and try to avoid spicy and fried food
- Don’t over exert yourself
Rest when you feel tired and don’t push yourself too hard
- Wear comfortable clothing
Avoid figure-hugging garments and remember that natural fibres, such as cotton, will help your skin to breathe.
- Keep some lozenges handy
Try sucking on a boiled sweet if you feel dizzy or have a dry throat
- Stay in the shade
Try to organise your schedule to avoid going out in the afternoon sun, if possible. If you do find yourself caught in the sunshine, ensure you protect yourself with sunscreen, shades, and a sunhat/scarf/umbrella.
- Try a cooling vest
Popular with athletes, cooling vests have also found favour amongst sufferers of chronic pain as a useful means to cool the body down when its feeling overheated
- Take a cool soak in the bath tub
This may be just the ticket to ease the pain caused by swollen hands and feet
Have you experienced problems associated with the high temperatures of the summer months? Do share any helpful tips you may have for cooling down in the heat.
We do not endorse any research, studies or sources mentioned within our blogs and comments. Furthermore, we do not endorse any medical advice provided, and would strongly recommend anyone seeking medical advice to contact their local healthcare provider.