Fight Fibro Fatigue
Fibromyalgia Syndrome (FMS) has a lot in common with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS). As a matter of fact, the two often appear together and since the symptoms can overlap, diagnosis can take a long time. The primary symptom that is common to both syndromes is, of course, fatigue. Although a few FMS sufferers have escaped the exhaustion and fatigue that usually accompanies FMS, most people with the syndrome find that the fatigue can be debilitating and demoralizing.
Often, people who were at one point physically active find themselves too tired to move. They have to limit their activities and their involvement in things that aren't essential to life, simply because they don't have the energy for them. There are a few factors that may come into play regarding this common symptom of fibromyalgia, not the least of which is lack of quality sleep. People with fibromyalgia tend toward insomnia, the inability to sleep that leads to a lack of restorative sleep. They can't fall asleep in the first place, so an adequate, restful sleep is elusive.
Fibro Fatigue - Is There Another Problem?
Fatigue may be associated with more than insomnia. It is possible that anemia is the cause. A low blood count can leave a person feeling drained and void of energy. Usually iron deficiency is the problem when it comes to anemia and it can be addressed with the use of supplementation in most cases. Thyroid problems have a similar affect, leaving a person wondering how it is they become exhausted so quickly. Adrenal fatigue usually develops as a result of periods of intense or lengthy physical or emotional stress. The overstimulation of the adrenal glands leaves them unable to meet the needs of the body. A few of the symptoms of adrenal fatigue mimic fibromyalgia:
· excessive fatigue and exhaustion
· non-refreshing sleep
· overwhelmed and unable to cope
· feeling rundown
· no energy, low stamina, slow to recover from exertion
· brain fog
· poor digestion
· sensitivity to cold
· low immune function
There are other symptoms as well, but it is evident that adrenal fatigue can be the cause of physical fatigue and fibro-like symptoms. That is why it is important to have the correct tests run by the doctor to determine if there is another underlying cause that could be contributing to the fatigue along with the fibromyalgia.
Fighting Fibro Fatigue
Often, by improving sleep, those with FMS find some good relief from fatigue. When a person is fatigued the world just doesn't look like a great place. The lack of energy can cause depression and frustration. Being tired often leads to not feeling well also as the immune system is affected. Pain levels rise when the body is fatigued and moods plummet. The overall health of an individual is grossly affected by the lack of restorative sleep.
In order to effectively treat sleep issues and the attendant fatigue, a person with FMS must be proactive. Visit a sleep clinic to be checked for snoring. Snoring and sleep-related breathing issues are often implicated in poor sleep. Other possibilities that may lead to snoring and breathing problems include: allergies, respiratory problems, large tongue and big tonsils.
Relieving Fibro Fatigue
Some self-help tips for better sleep and ways to deal with fatigue include:
· Lifestyle changes that include cutting out caffeine, alcohol and smoking.
· Make the bedroom sleep-friendly by keeping it dark, cool, have comfortable bedding and relax before going to sleep.
· Don't nap because it can throw off the circadian rhythm, robbing nighttime sleep.
· Stress reduction is imperative. Yoga, Pilates, meditation, visualization, biofeedback, and other ways to deal with stress help to normalize blood pressure and heart rate so a person feels better.
· Exercise is necessary to manage pain and also to promote a positive effect on mood and to gain more energy to fight fatigue. Even though it can be painful and difficult, ultimately the value exceeds the discomfort. Water exercises are easier on the joints and exercise reduces stress, making life easier to deal with.
· Maintaining moderation is important. When people feel better they tend to do more and push harder - this can backfire. Overdoing it can lead to fatigue, poor sleep and muscle pain. Keep intensity of exercise programs low and build up slowly. Set a regular schedule for activity and stick to it.
· Use medications to help with pain and sleep. When the body is worn out, pain levels go through the roof. The use of appropriate pain and sleep medications can make all the difference in the world.
· Alternative therapies like massage and acupuncture have been proven helpful in many cases.
Fibro fatigue is something that comes along with the package for many people who suffer with FMS. Learn more about the various symptoms and how best to deal with them in this section of our site.