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Regarding a Fibromyalgia Flare, how do we identify the Triggers?

Keeping a journal is the single best way to identify your triggers. So, what kinds of things should you write down? Here are some of the most common flares:

  • Stress: What’s going on in your life? Is everything going well in your relationship? Any problems with your kids? Is your job hectic or overwhelming? Are you moving, remodeling, or redecorating? Have you lost a loved one recently? Think about anything out of the ordinary that might be causing you stress.
  • Sleep: Try to make your bedroom a place for intimacy and sleep…and nothing else. Make sure you take time to wind down for at least an hour before sleep…no devices. Write down the time when you turn off the light and get ready to sleep, and when you wake up in the morning. If you can’t sleep, write that down. Estimate how much sleep you get every night.
  • Diet: Write down the food you eat. Don’t worry about the amounts or calories, just the types of food so that you can notice if there’s a pattern related to, for example, dairy or caffeine or gluten.
  • Weather: Extreme cold, humidity, and barometric pressure changes can trigger a flare, so jot down the weather. Intellicast offers a graph presentation that includes barometric pressure.
  • Activity: Overdoing it and, strangely, not doing enough can both trigger flares. We fibromites have difficulty properly oxygenating our muscle tissue AND flushing lactic acid from our bodies, making us feel weak and sore. Overdoing it can exacerbate this. However, not moving around enough can cause stiff, tense muscles. It’s best to pace activity with equal rest breaks…15 minutes of chores, 15 minutes of rest, etc.
  • Overwhelm: Fibromyalgia includes both hyperalgesia (pain amplification) and allodynia (ordinary, non-painful things are experienced as pain). Sudden, loud noises and bright lights can be painful, as can any type of sensory overload. (Personally, I can’t walk down the cleaning aisle in the store unless I’m holding my breath; the smell is overwhelming and nauseating.)
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Over my 16 years with fibromyalgia, I’ve found a few non-invasive things that have helped me immensely. Some of them are a bit pricy, others are homemade, and still, others are absolutely free.

  • This memory foam mattress topper allows me to remain comfortable during sleep. It eliminates pressure points, yet still provides support.
  • The memory foam bed pillows I made from these zippered pillowcases and this loose memory foam perfectly cradle my head and neck whether I sleep on my back, side, or tummy.
  • This TENS unit helps relieve muscle tension and reduces my pain level. You do have to be careful to not stick the pads on or near tender points!
  • Make a heating pad from uncooked long grain rice. I began with a simple one made by filling, then knotting a tube sock. Then, I sewed a larger one from a pillowcase. Double-stitch stripes the length of the pillowcase about 5″ apart, creating “tunnels.” Fill each “tunnel” with a half-cup of rice, then double-stitch about 5″ up from the short end, enclosing the rice. Repeat until you reach the opening of the pillowcase and double-stitch it closed. When you want heat, toss it into the microwave for a couple minutes, shake it up, and apply. (I use a second pillowcase as a sham to keep it clean.) Be extremely careful not to overheat it, as it will burn your skin.
  • Practice Jacobson’s progressive relaxation technique. I find it helps to play some soft instrumental music in the background.
  • Do gentle stretching exercises daily.
  • Try to avoid processed and fast food as much as possible. (I’ve found it helps to cook larger batches of meals that can then be split into portion sizes, vacuum-sealed, and frozen. Obviously, this doesn’t work for everything, but it’s great for things like beef stew, spaghetti sauce, soups and stews, chili, and lasagna.)
  • Try to avoid chemical cleansers as much as possible. (I clean with either bleach or white vinegar, watered down as necessary. It’s helped me a lot to rid my house of those multi-chemical cleansers. The smells of them alone were overwhelming.)
https://fibromyalgia-6.creator-spring.com/
https://fibromyalgia-6.creator-spring.com/

Click here to Get this or Visit Fibromyalgia Store

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