Weather and Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia syndrome can be a very difficult condition to have to deal with. After all, not only does it cause relentless fatigue and muscle pain, but it is also associated with dozens of other symptoms, including depression, dizziness, and nausea. If you have been suffering with fibromyalgia for a while now, then you may have noticed that your symptoms tend to get worse during certain seasons and weather changes. A large percentage of fibromyalgia sufferers claim that weather directly affects their symptoms and pain levels, but can this really be true?
How Does the Weather Affect Fibromyalgia Symptoms?
Many fibromyalgia patients claim that changes in the weather directly affect many of their symptoms. In fact, many fibromyalgia sufferers claim that their symptoms vary according to temperature changes, changes in air pressure, and changes in precipitation in their part of their world. Most fibromyalgia sufferers claim that they experience changes in:
- sleep patterns
- muscle pain
- the number of symptom flare ups
Who is Affected by Weather Changes?
According to a study performed in 1981, a large percentage of fibromyalgia sufferers may actually be sensitive to changes in the weather. In this particular study, 90% of patients claimed that weather was one of the most important influences on their fibromyalgia symptoms. And fibromyalgia sufferers aren’t the only ones to experience weather-related symptoms. You may also find that the weather exacerbates your symptoms if you have:
- rheumatoid arthritis
- multiple sclerosis
What Weather Factors Affect Fibromyalgia Sufferers?
There are five major weather factors that appear to affect fibromyalgia symptoms. These include:
- Temperature: Rapid changes in temperature can sometimes trigger a fibromyalgia flare or help to ease fibromyalgia pain. Cold weather tends to make fibromyalgia symptoms worse, while warmer weather tends to ease those troublesome symptoms.
- Barometric Pressure: Barometric pressure is a measurement of the weight that is exerted by the air all around us. On beautiful sunny days, barometric pressure tends to be quite high, but during a storm or similar weather front, barometric pressure drops suddenly. Fibromyalgia sufferers often find that these changes in barometric pressure can trigger muscle aches and pains.
- Humidity: Absolute humidity is a measurement of the amount of water vapor present in each unit of air. When absolute humidity is low, fibromyalgia sufferers often report headaches, stiffness, and flares in widespread pain.
- Precipitation: Precipitation is the term used to refer to any type of water that falls to the ground from the sky, including rain, sleet, snow, or hail. Precipitation is often accompanied by a change in barometric pressure, and therefore may exacerbate your symptoms of pain and fatigue.
- Wind: Whether it’s a light wind or a gale-force wind, wind generally causes a decrease in barometric pressure. This means that wind can trigger fatigue, headaches, and muscle aches in fibromyalgia sufferers.