15 Triggers to Avoid If You Have Fibromyalgia

At times you feel like you have a craving for exploring through a minefield, when you are having fibromyalgia. Your symptoms are, sometimes, aggravated because of apparently interminable number of “mines” that causes your fibromyalgia to flare-up. Your one slip can affect you badly for days, as you try to recoup from your pain or the harm that has caused, so better proceed with caution.

As you try to explore the fibromyalgia minefield, these threats, when understood and when you got to know how to deal with them will give you help. There are a modest bunch of dangers that all fibromyalgia sufferers ought to know about, while everybody has different response to the numerous threats and triggers. 15 different are mentioned below that can cause your fibromyalgia symptoms to flare-up.

#1: MSG (Monosodium glutamate)

In many processed foods available at grocery stores as well as in some fruits and vegetables, MSG — a flavor enhancer is found. The sensitivity to pain is increased in fibromyalgia sufferers by the activation of neurons due to MSG and other food additives. Researchers at the Malcolm Randall Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Florida, while studying about fibromyalgia patients found that, “After the elimination of monosodium glutamate (MSG) or MSG plus aspartame from diet, all had complete, or almost complete, resolution of their symptoms within months.”[1]

The study inferred that, “Eliminating MSG and other excitotoxins from the diets of fibromyalgia patients offers a benign treatment option that has the potential for sensational outcomes in a subset of patients.”

Potential health problems linked to MSG

Frozen dinners, Chinese food, canned vegetables or soups, tomatoes, potatoes, mushrooms, parmesan cheeses and more are included in common foods containing MSG. Check the label for MSG or Monosodium glutamate when you are doing shopping. Other names are also given to it or other ingredients that have a high MSG content yet aren’t required to say so much. Following are the ingredients on food labels:

  • Glutamic Acid (E 620)2
  • Glutamate (E 620)
  • Yeast Extract
  • Anything hydrolyzed
  • Caseinate
  • Gelatin

#2: Weather

Almost 92% of fibromyalgia sufferers have a saying that their symptoms are affected by weather. Extremes in temperature (too hot or too cold), barometric pressure changes and rapid changes in weather are the most well-known weather phenomena related with flare-ups of fibromyalgia symptoms. It is clear by the overwhelming reports from real sufferers that weather can assume a part, while research on the actual effects of weather is restricted.

Fibromyalgia can be less affected by the weather by taking extra precautions to battle with the effects of weather (i.e. staying hydrated in extreme warm). And moving to different climates may help in case of extreme issues. In fact, Lyne Matalana, President of the National Fibromyalgia Association once remarked, “I know people who have packed up and moved their families because they felt another piece of the nation would be more agreeable for them. It can be that serious.”

We know above all that we urge to pace ourselves, as people are coping daily with the symptoms of fibromyalgia. Even so, for people having fibromyalgia has still having this biggest trap. May be it’s because we think we are having a fine day and still our body can afford more exertion. Or maybe we can’t think that our body’s limit is about to end for exertion but for whatever reason we keep doing all the things.

Over-exertion can have an enduring negative effect on your symptoms, whatever the situation is. Gradually, the pain will make up for long time and it may take a lot of time to recover than when you have had not pushed your limits. It can literally take a ton of training to actually perceive your limits and pace yourself, so it is really important to be aware of your body and its limits. Of course, there are so many days when your body can’t allow you to move in any way, so it isn’t a problem to “pace yourself”.

#4: Sugar (Simple Carbs)

Carbohydrates that are made up of one or two sugars are simple carbs. They seem like fast source of energy, but this is just a temporary boost and typically trailed by a crash in vitality levels. Simple carbs should be limited or eliminated from our diet, since fibromyalgia patients are very sensitive to changes in blood sugar.

Other negative health results like nerve damage can occur due to the over-consumption of sugar. Our nerve cells are swelled as water is drawn into them because of the over-consumption of sugar. At the same time, the outer layer of the nerve cells gets less flexible, causing them to crack and tear because of sugar. And the ultimate result is that we can lead to nerve damage, often resulting in pain, numbness or tingling in the extremities.

Here are some of the most common simple carbs you’ll want to avoid:

Hey Sugar!

#5: Caffeine

There’s a decent possibility you battle every day with fatigue and exhaustion, if you suffer from fibromyalgia. These are the common symptoms for many fibromyalgia patients. You feel like the things such as coffee or energy drinks to be the blessings, as they get you through the day. Yes, these things do give an appreciated lift in energy, your fibromyalgia can be worsen by the drinks having caffeine and in many cases have an opposite effect on your energy levels.

Health Effects of Caffeine

#6: Diary

A lot of fibromyalgia sufferers are lactose intolerant, which can prompt to symptoms like bloating, gas, pain and cramping. Try going without dairy for a few weeks to check whether you see any improvements, if you speculate you might be lactose intolerant. If you are in a habit of taking dairy and can’t eliminate dairy completely, try to avoid pasteurized dairy products and devour only raw, organic dairy foods.thi is more tolerable for some fibromyalgia patients.

#7: Lack of Sleep

Fibromyalgia sufferers find hard to sleep. On one side, it is so difficult to sleep because of the symptoms of fibromyalgia– and often sleep problems like insomnia occurs. On other side, sensitivity to pain increases due to lack of pain and aggravate a portion of symptoms of fibromyalgia. It is an endless loop that can be hard to break.

Cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia in patients with chronic give better (and all the more enduring) alleviation from a sleeping disorder than some prescription medications, according to a recent study published in JAMA Internal Medicine.[2] Regardless of whatever approach you take, if you are suffering from fibromyalgia, it is really essential to get the best night’s sleep possible (under the circumstances).

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#8: Long Naps

Fibromyalgia is often linked with the difficulties arising in sleep and the resulting fatigue, so it is necessary for the sufferers to take naps during the day. While it is necessary to take a nap, but it is best to abstain from taking long, frequent nap. Researchers found a correlation between longer daytime naps and an increase in the severity of symptoms in a study of over one thousand adults suffering from fibromyalgia.[3]

woman napping in bed

Keeping in mind, shorter naps throughout the day is the best approach that may help for your body rest and revive without increasing your symptoms.

#9: Depression

Depression is also raised by fibromyalgia, same like the sleep problems discussed earlier. In return, depression can worsen the symptoms of fibromyalgia. This harmful cycle can pull us down unhealthy mental, physical and emotional paths. Depression is real and it has a strong affect in everyone’s walk of like, as it is a bit taboo in our society. This cycle can be unbroken and you can lead to a happier, healthier life in every aspects, if you seek professional help from a certified counselor or therapist.

#10: Stress/Anxiety

Let’s be honest – there’s no keeping away from stress, especially in case of having a chronic illness like fibromyalgia. While stress all by itself isn’t generally a bad thing – the consistent life stress with a chronic illness can actually lead to chronic stress. Not only the symptoms of fibromyalgia are aggravated due to chronic stress, but other negative health outcomes are also occurred like high blood pressure, diabetes and more.

There can be a huge difference in your health if you find ways to constructively manage your stress. Look for the ways to maintain and release your stress, either it is through mindfulness techniques such as deep breathing and meditation or doing some relaxing hobbies to relax your mind.

#11: Sensory Overload

From some things, fibromyalgia patients are often really sensitive such as loud noises, odors, bright lights and more. Excess of these senses can lead to headaches or migraines, among other things. Your unwanted flare-up of symptoms can be stopped if you avoid the situations where sensory overload may occur.

#12: Cold or Illness

Even the people with perfect health can be affected by the common cold – so it can be out and out dreadful for the people having fibromyalgia. Our immune system can be more susceptible to common illness such as cold or flu, because our immune system has already being so overworked. If you have fibromyalgia, and some common illness has stroked you, it will take longer to recover and will impact your work, family as well as social life. Your immune system need to be very strong to protect you from the germs, so eat healthy nutrients.

#13: Smoking

It is very clear that you ought to avoid smoking. There are seemingly endless negative health results due to smoking. If you have fibromyalgia, you have strong reasons to kick this habit. Fibromyalgia patients who smoked reported that, “Significantly more pain, numbness, patient global severity, and functional difficulties than non-smokers”[4], according to a study by the University of Illinois College of Medicine.

Woman breaking cigarette in half

#14: Sitting For Too Long & Poor Posture

You’re not the only one, whether you sit at a work area throughout the day for work or you end up sitting the day away elsewhere. In fact, according to estimation by JustStand.org, the average person sits for 7-9 hours a day (and some sit for considerably longer – as much as 15 hours a day).[5] In fibromyalgia sufferers, if your sitting is combined with poor posture, it can lead to greater pain, stiffness and tenderness. Your circulation in the body cuts off by sitting and poor posture, thereby the fresh supply of essential oxygen and nutrients to different systems in the body are cut off.

Poor posture infographic

You should sit with a good posture at least and should take frequent breaks to stand and stretch your body, if you can’t escape sitting for most of the day.

#15: Lack of support from family or friends

We put this point on last, as there’s not necessarily proof or hard facts that show that a lack of support can actually affect you negatively on your fibromyalgia – but it is an experienced fact that how much support we receive from our family or friends does (whether for good or for bad). For anybody battling with family or companions who think their indications are in their mind or are generally unsupportive, the absence of support can take a troublesome circumstance and make it harder.

Our high-anxiety life can be added up by another layer of anxiety due to the lack of support. Our symptoms can become worse and leads to more pain and suffering – both physically and emotionally. Just seek support through other means if you ever find yourself in this situation. Join (either online or in your hometown) a fibromyalgia or chronic pain networking/support group, if needed. You can likewise coordinate with other fibromyalgia and imperceptible disease sufferers via web-based networking media and through websites.

If you find any opportunity, try to educate interested friends and family (without becoming defensive or argumentative), it can help change the tide of support and open their eyes to the truth of your condition.


[1] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/11408989/

[2] http://archinte.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=2363024 ;http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=189099 ;http://archinte.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=217394

[3] http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2474/16/13

[4] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12455822

[5] http://www.juststand.org/tabid/816/default.aspx

Source: fibromyalgiatreatmentgroup.com

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