Exhaustion is typical of fibromyalgia. In fact, approximately 4 out of 5 people with the condition suffer from fibro fatigue. Fibro fatigue can have a significant impact on an individual’s quality of life, affecting their social lives and ability to work, and it cannot be improved with sleep or rest. It is, however, possible to manage the exhaustion with some lifestyle changes and medications. In this blog, we discuss the best strategies to help fight fibro fatigue.
Exercise is one of the most effective ways to reduce fibro fatigue. It can also help to alleviate pain, prevent future flare-ups and reduce symptoms of depression. Not only can exercising improve your overall health and increase your energy, but the endorphins released during a workout can also help you get a better quality of sleep at night.
Start with simple exercises and gradually increase the duration and intensity. You may initially experience a short-term increase in pain and fatigue, but this will reduce over time. A physical therapist can help you to develop a home exercise routine with appropriate exercises such as walking, swimming and water aerobics.
Listen to your body:
Daily life can be a struggle when living with a chronic pain condition, and overexerting yourself can cause further pain and fatigue. Learning your body’s limits and pacing yourself will help you to manage your condition comfortably, preventing you from experiencing excessive pain. If you attempt to push yourself beyond your limits, you may experience increased periods of downtime and inactivity as a result,
Fatigue can be caused or exacerbated by high-stress levels. Mind-body activities and exercises, such as yoga and meditation, can help you to manage stress and decrease pain. It can also help to reduce inflammation and improve mood.
Eating healthy is important for everyone, but it is essential for people living with fibromyalgia. A nutritious, well-balanced diet can ensure you are provided with the energy you need. Try to include foods that are high in antioxidants into your diet, as well as high-energy foods, whole grains and healthy fats.
Omega-3 fatty acids are recommended as an essential part of your diet, contributing to a healthy heart, decreasing inflammation, and critically, reducing fatigue. You can either take supplements or eat foods high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as walnuts, soya beans, fish and flaxseeds.
There is also some evidence that removing foods that contain gluten, food additives, excitotoxins such as MSG can increase symptoms in those suffering from fibromyalgia and increase fatigue. Removing these foods from your diet may help to improve your energy levels.
Supplements such as D ribose, magnesium and vitamin B can also provide a significant boost in energy. Talk to your doctor if you are considering taking them.
Magnesium is essential in maintaining your energy stores, and a lack of it can result in difficulty sleeping, causing you to feel even more tired. It is recommended for women to take 310-320 mg supplements daily to prevent fatigue. You can get magnesium through different foods, including nuts and seeds, whole grains, legumes and leafy vegetables. It is recommended to eat them raw to get the full benefits of them.
Improving your sleep
Making sleep a priority can help you to manage your fibro fatigue and feel less tired during the day. However, although you may think that the extreme fatigue caused by fibromyalgia would make sleeping easy, around 80% of people living with the condition experience sleep problems.
In order to get a good night’s rest, it is recommended that you practice good sleep habits. These include taking a warm bath before bed, setting a regular sleep schedule and going to sleep and waking up at the same time every day. You should avoid using electronics before bed and invest in a good quality mattress. Melatonin supplements are also available if these strategies are not effective.
Considering medication changes
Many medications taken to help manage fibromyalgia can cause extreme fatigue as a side-effect. To help combat this, consult your doctor about potentially changing your dose or medication.
If these lifestyle changes don’t have any effect on improving your fibro fatigue, you should consult your doctor. They may be able to provide you with prescribed medication to help. They might also run additional tests to ensure that there is no other cause of the fatigue, such as an underactive thyroid or other health conditions.
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