What triggers my flares?

I am having such a hard time identifying what triggers my flares. I have read all the typical lists but don’t feel that any of them apply. I have a journal but nothing stands out. Are there any other ways to identifying flare triggers?

I have noticed that after some major stress - whether it is short in duration or not seems to immediately cause a flare up. Also, when I've been very active (I go line dancing - which is helpful at so many levels and I'm willing to "pay the price"), or haven't taken a mid-day break. Anyone else aware of these causes? Thanks for bringing this up - I've been wondering myself.

So that is basically my issue I think. I read all of these posts and think about how all of you have adapted your lives for FM. I have not done this yet. I keep blowing through each day as if it doesn’t exist. On one hand that is good in that I am not giving it power in my mind. But I may be the source of all my daily pain. Maybe if I adapted my lifestyle, I wouldn’t be in so much pain all the time. Start each day with 12 spoons and mentally acknowledge what my actions will cost me.

Well today I have spent about 7 hours doing a over all timeline of my life and all related factors that could have played a part in leading up to FM being triggered. I have written a seven page letter to my rheumatologist who is a great doctor. I have found an article that says that people with FM should have certain tests performed to determined the root cause. So I am putting together everything. My life in a timeline over the past two years, all the factors (hormonal and others), as well as all of the additional tests that I want run in order to narrow down the root cause. Hopefully, I will get answers.

Hi Kas and welcome! Please forgive me if that's the second or third time I've said it to you! I honestly forget after a while.

I am kind of puzzled by a root cause. I'm not so sure that there has been a definitive root cause for many of us. I mean, mine became much more noticeable after a minor gym accident but i honestly think it was coming on prior to that time.

I agree with all that Lovett has told you. Especially about the grieving process. We have a very serious illness and no medical person has the gumption to tell us this. For many of us, fibro is as life-changing as MS. Once that knowledge hits us, the grieving process really begins. Before the anger is disbelief - no, this can't be happening to me! I'll be okay if I just rest a bit, rest over the weekend, rest through the holiday, rest on my week off, rest in work, rest right after I get home, dang it, nothing is working anymore! No amount of rest is helping and I can't go like a tornado anymore while at work.

I must be a late bloomer with fibro because it's taken me a while to work through the anger phase. The flip side of the anger is incredible sadness. And the problem is that although our family loves us, they do not understand how we feel sometimes not even one little bit. I sometimes suspect that my dogs understand me more.

Eventually comes acceptance. It can be doled out to us in slivers. That's how mine has been working out. But it does come. We learn how to cope, how to use our spoons more effectively and how to save a few for later.

I get flares mainly when the weather is rainy, snowy or cold. Humidity also bothers me. To a lesser extent stress can bring one on, as well as my menstral cycle. Oh, and overdoing it is guaranteed to bring upon a very interesting next day or two.

I think that you're doing a great job of working on understanding your fibro. It's hard! Who wants to believe that they can no longer control their own body at times? But in the end, I think the true catalyst for fibro and flares is life. Living life does it to us, be it through our genes, an accident, stress, overdoing it; living our life does it. In other words, I don't think there is a simple answer to your question.

Gentle hugs and good wishes,

I am desperate now for answers. Every day is the same. Each morning I wake up in such dabilitating pain that my husband has to help me out of bed. We are newlyweds and there are no more smiles on my face. FM has kicked the happiness right out of me and I can see the sadness in my husbands eyes. He reads every article he can and trys to find ways to help my situation. He even found this article where these additional tests should be run. We found a connection between the onset of my FM and a business trip I took to Angola and there is a chance of a parasite living in me. But at the end of the day if FM is now a part of my life forever, I need to learn to smile again. Depression is setting in fast and I am definitely grieving the loss of my former life.

Hi Kas,

I'm sorry to hear that you're having such a difficult time. This is real - yes. But so are other things in your life. A loving husband, caring and supportive. I realize this doesn't make the pain go away - but in the long run, will be helpful. I've tried several meds and not one works for all persons. I encourage you to talk to your doctor and get on meds asap. It may require adjustments and changes, but that is okay. Two years ago, I went through a series of tests, cardiologists, sleep specialists, MRIs, etc. Though it took much time and was exhausting, I was grateful that my primary doctor was interested in ruling out various conditions. I was also provided with Balance Physical Therapy and that was very helpful. Gabapentin and pain meds help me right now. I'm grateful for them. I've just started taking baths with Epsom salt and this helps (with relaxing music) though it does take some effort to do this. I continue to learn to only do what I can, let the other things go - one day at a time - sometimes one moment at a time. Hugs and blessings to you and your husband.

I found out that there are some pain apps online that work well for logging/tracking your pain, symptoms, etc. Some of them even let you draw on a person where the pain is and track the intensity and log notes. You might find this more helpful than a basic journal.

I think if you do not know for sure try ruling things out. The wet/rainy weather does it for me. Also anytime I am having a higher period of stress. It is smart to journal. Keep doing that. Do some reading. I know there is a book (I am sorry I do not remember the name of it) but it is full of stories of people that have fibro. It tells all of their stories on how they were diagnosed and what triggers their flares. Check on amazon and put in the search engine Fibro personal stories or something like that. Maybe just keep track of the days the flares are so bad and try to remember what you did during the day.

I also believe that sometimes we just do not know why. Fibro is a complicated syndrome. I encourage the journaling and reading all you can get your hands on. I hope this helps a little for you. Take care. And contact me anytime you want I would love to chat :)