Living with fibromyalgia can be a frustrating experience. Some days, you may feel fine, while other days, you may experience widespread pain and overwhelming exhaustion. Fortunately, many people with fibromyalgia find that being attentive to their bodies and adopting some simple lifestyle changes can help minimize their symptoms.
One of the easiest ways to track day-to-day fibromyalgia symptoms and triggers is to make a fibromyalgia diary. That could involve putting pen to paper, or just jotting down important notes in a digital format. (And don’t worry about penmanship or grammar – this is just for you!) After a few weeks of documenting your daily experience, you should have a better understanding of what makes you feel better or worse.
The cause of fibromyalgia is unknown, but what is known is that symptoms can become worse based on a number of factors, such as:
Make note of what seems to make your symptoms worse, then attempt to change what you can control. For example, if stress contributes to your fibromyalgia pain, explore some ways to “decompress” – do some deep-breathing exercises, try yoga, or take a hot bath. Write down which activities seem to make you feel better.
Some of the “comfort foods” that people turn to in times of stress may create a temporary boost in happiness, but the downside of rich, fatty, sugary, and/or processed foods is that they can aggravate health problems, including fibromyalgia. The next time you indulge in a comfort-food meal, pay attention to how and if it affects your symptoms.
One habit that can be quite difficult to break is avoiding exercise, due to pain and fatigue. Regular exercise helps minimize fibromyalgia symptoms, but when you’re not feeling well, you might have trouble finding the motivation to get up and get moving. And if you’re not getting enough exercise, you may feel even worse.
Use your diary to not only track your exercise, but also to motivate yourself (for example, write an inspirational note that you’ll see when you open your diary tomorrow).
While you may be able to manage your symptoms on your own, it’s a good idea to seek a professional evaluation of your symptoms and have regular medical checkups.
At Center for Pain Management, we understand the frustration fibromyalgia can cause. Contact us to schedule a consultation with one of our pain management specialists: (317) 706-7246.