The cold weather and season are not so kind to people with fibromyalgia. A sudden change in weather can be challenging for them. As the weather gets cooler and cooler, the fibromyalgia sufferers face more pain.
Bellow, we have discussed how fibromyalgia and cold weather affects fibromyalgia patients. And some ways to cope with the cold season and keep ourselves warm.
How Do People With Fibromyalgia Are Affected By Cold Weather
The Cold affects people suffering from fibromyalgia badly, they get cold and they hardly get warmed up. Which results in heavy muscle and joint pain, which gets worse every second. Any day with below 60 degrees can be painful, and when there are other conditions combined, the day gets even worse. But the cold mostly and heavily impacts the fibromyalgia condition.
With all these conditions and the cold along with fibromyalgia come together, it is hard to stand. You are shivering badly, and your pain levels reach a point where it is impossible to bear the pain. But you have to still get up, and keep going, the pain will last only a few days of the cold. People with fibromyalgia, who know that they have to be strong during this time, usually remain silent. They don’t get help, they try and keep silent about their health and they are resentful and moody most of the time because they are so tired to be strong.
Research findings of Fibromyalgia and Cold Weather
Most researchers agree that fibromyalgia is a disorder comprising of central processing with neuroendocrine, and neurotransmitter dysregulation. Those who suffer from this disorder experience pain increase due to abnormal sensory processing in the central nervous system.
Studies show that multiple physiological abnormalities present in the fibromyalgia patients are increased levels of substance O in the spinal cord. Low levels of blood flow directed to the thalamus area of the brain. HPA axis hypofunction and there are low levels of serotonin and tryptophan, and other abnormalities in cytokine function.
In a study, there was a great increase in the number of sensory nerve fibers within the blood vessels of the skin. Especially on the palms of the fibromyalgia patients. This research is by a team led by Dr. Frank Rice, a neuroscientist and the president of Integrated Tissue Dynamics (INTiDYN). Along with a pain specialist Dr. Charles Argoff, a neurologist from the Albany Medical Center in New York.
The research found that in the hands and the feet, the blood vessels act as diversions. Which helps in speeding blood flow and regulate body temperature. So, with the increased nerve fibers, the patient feels the regulation of blood flow as pain. The study concluded that with the cold, the blood vessels attempt to increase the speed of blood flow. Which results in increased pain.
In another study, it was revealed that when a cold breeze blows across a muscle who is already energy-deficient, it will throw it into a response of stretching up or shortening.
Tips for Surviving Fibromyalgia From Cold Weather
It’s time to be ready and take on the cold weather with fibromyalgia. A few ways are mentioned below, with which you can increase your body temperature during the cold season and cold weather.
Take a Warm Bath
Taking a warm bath or hot bubble bath is a therapy for fibromyalgia pain, even in the normal days. The researchers say that taking a warm bath after spending a cold and chilly day will help recover from the pain faster. They believe that it has an effect of warming your bones and it takes away all the cold inside your body.
Dress in Loose, Warm Layers
Some clothes are tight to the skin, which in fact, slows down the blood flow and increase the pain. Dressing in layers that are loose and they keep your body warm will help you reduce the pain. They allow you to adjust in every weather, it gets hot outside, you can just remove a layer. It’s also necessary to have gloves, scarves, and hats no matter how you look in them in hot weather.
More importantly, if you are feeling cold, you can bundle up as required and as needed. Wool stuff is more recommended because it keeps the muscles warm and relaxed and keeps the skin sweat-free.
Use Hand Warmers
You can buy hand warmers from stores, they will relax you and ease fibromyalgia symptoms. Place them inside your pockets and put your hands in them when needed. Moreover, this keeps your whole body warm too. Because proper blood flow is necessary to all over the warm body.
Managing days where you must be outside in cold, damp weather is a challenge for some of us with fibromyalgia. But by taking a few precautions and warming the body back up after it has been chilled, you can decrease your level of pain and the duration of the overall discomfort.