Many, if not most, fibromyalgia sufferers are familiar with sudden hot flashes and night sweats, the uncomfortable fluctuations in temperature that can strike suddenly, and interfere with everything.
Because problems with internal temperature control can worsen other fibromyalgia symptoms, it’s important to get control of your body temperature before it affects your activity level, concentration, and quality of life.
Fibromyalgia and sensitivity to heat and cold
With fibromyalgia, volatile body temperature usually doesn’t indicate a fever, and hot flashes or chills often strike without any other symptoms.
Some experts suspect that the thyroid gland is to blame, as it helps control body temperature. Many fibromyalgia patients also have hypothyroidism, which means the thyroid doesn’t work as well as it’s supposed to, leading to temperature sensitivity.
There is no consensus on what is behind temperature sensitivity in fibromyalgia patients, but some suspect that low blood volume, or poor circulation, could be to blame in cases where the thyroid is functioning normally.
Severe cold and extreme heat may register as painful experiences in those with a lower pain threshold, which may also explain why temperature sensitivity is so common among those with pain sensitivity.
In fact, up to half of all patients complain that they always feel hot or cold.
Strategies for coping with night sweats and fibromyalgia hot flashes
Temperature sensitivity can be difficult to predict and control, but there are some steps you can take to ease sudden discomfort and persistent distraction.
Sudden episodes of heat or cold can disrupt your sleep, and your daily routine, so try to go ahead with some preventive measures and a good plan of action:
Relax with autogenic AT training (a relaxation technique based on autosuggestion)
Specific techniques can help you train your body to respond to your verbal commands, in order to control physiological responses such as blood pressure and body temperature.
The technique consists of six standard exercises to promote deep relaxation, which you learn over the course of several weeks or months, and continue to use regularly in times of physical or emotional stress. The effects of AT on body temperature are measurable and undeniable, but only if you stick to it.
Check your medication
Some pain relievers used for fibromyalgia can also help decrease temperature sensitivity, so talk to your doctor about drugs that work to reduce certain nerve signals.
In some cases, steroid medication can help.
If a thyroid condition is at the root of your temperature sensitivity, you may need to take synthetic hormones to restore balance.
Some pain treatments can also help reduce your sensitivity to hot and cold, too, others can make things worse.
Allergy medication, blood pressure medications, muscle relaxants can prevent sweating, while migraine drugs, and some decongestants, decrease blood flow to the skin, which also leads to accumulation of heat. To be prepared
It may seem obvious, but having extra layers of clothing to keep you warm or cold, and helpful tools to keep you cool, can save you a lot of hassle.
Keep a warm blanket and jacket in your car if you’re prone to shivering, and you may want to grab an ice pack or frozen water bottle each morning so you can soothe any hot flashes you feel during the day. day.
get in the tub
The key to regulating your body temperature safely and effectively is to gradually lower it (or raise it, if you happen to feel cold).
A great way to get back to a comfortable temperature is with a hot bath, the water shouldn’t be too hot or too cold, or it can shock your system and make you feel worse.
Prefer room temperature or lukewarm, and try to relax while you’re in the tub (or shower), for 10 to 15 minutes. sleeping with layers
The only thing worse than waking up with a layer of sweat is having to get up to uncomfortably remove hot pajamas, or heavy blankets.
Prepare for the worst before bed by making your bed in several layers (some temperature-regulating, if possible) and dressing in soft, airy clothing.
The easier you can remove a layer when you feel hot, the better your chances of getting a decent night’s sleep, without too many interruptions.
It is important to consult your doctor about other possible illnesses that could be masked by your fibromyalgia, as temperature sensitivity can indicate a number of underlying illnesses.
Once your doctor has made sure there are no other symptoms to treat, you can work together to create a plan that includes helpful medications, behavioral therapy, and compensatory strategies to regain control over your physical comfort.
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