Although it may not be possible to completely eliminate fibro fatigue, it can be controlled through the use of medication and changes to your daily routine. Try using the techniques below to get a better handle on your fatigue:
1. Learn what triggers your fibro fatigue.
Understanding the underlying cause of your fatigue makes it easier to fight back against it. This type of fatigue can be caused by a number of factors including:
– The foods you eat
– Your surroundings
– Your emotional state
– The amount of stress you are experiencing
– Your sleeping habits
To identify your triggers, begin tracking your fatigue in a dedicated journal or through an app on your phone. Keep track of everything that you eat, what time you get out of bed, what time you go to sleep, and any activities that you participate in.
Once you compile several weeks’ worth of data, go back and search for patterns. For instance, do you notice that you are most fatigued after eating sugar-laden snacks? Do your energy levels drop if you don’t work out in the morning?
Based on your findings, make adjustments to your lifestyle to minimize your exposure to triggers.
2. Get consistent exercise.
When you are dealing with pain or exhaustion, the thought of exercising can be overwhelming. As it turns out, however, it is one of the best ways to combat fatigue. The pain from fibromyalgia may also be reduced through regular exercise.
When you exercise, you increase your strength and add muscle to your body. This can lead to an overall improvement in your health. Exercise also causes your body to release endorphins, which can make it easier to sleep while at the same time giving you more energy during the day.
A 2008 study conducted by Trusted Source took a look at how strength training and aerobic training affected fibromyalgia patients. According to the study, patients who did either type of exercise experienced a reduction in their symptoms, including lower pain levels, better sleep, less fatigue, less pain from tender points, and lower rates of depression.
If you are just getting started, consider implementing a walking routine. Try to get out for 30-minute walks each day. Over time, gradually increase the duration and intensity of your walking.
To start building muscle, try lifting weights or taking advantage of resistance bands.
3. Make dietary changes.
Although there are no exact diet recommendations for people with fibromyalgia, the majority of patients benefit from eating healthy, nutrient-rich foods.
A healthy diet should include fresh fruits and vegetables, healthy fats, lean protein, and whole grains. Skip processed foods, including foods with added salt or sugar. Fried foods should also be avoided. Keeping your weight in a healthy range may also help minimize your symptoms.
Some foods may make symptoms of fibromyalgia worse. Try avoiding the following foods:
– FODMAPs (fermentable oligosaccharide, disaccharide, monosaccharide, and polyols)
– Foods that contain gluten
– Foods with chemicals or additives such as aspartame
– Monosodium glutamate (MSG) or other excitotoxins
By doing your best to avoid foods like these, you may see an overall improvement in your energy levels.
4. Follow a calming routine at bedtime.
Although sleeping well isn’t a cure for fibro fatigue, getting better sleep can help minimize your symptoms.
Creating a calming routine that you can perform every night before bed can make a big difference in the overall quality of your sleep. When putting together your bedtime routine, consider the following:
– Going to sleep and getting up at the same time each day can lead to better sleep.
– Caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol can all make it harder to sleep, which is why they should be avoided.
– Buying a better mattress could lead to better sleep.
– The temperature in your room should be relatively cool and the space should be as dark as possible.
– Avoid using electronic devices with screens for an hour before going to sleep.
– Electronics should be kept out of your bedroom.
– You shouldn’t eat greasy foods or a heavy meal before going to sleep.
– Taking a warm bath can relax you, making it easier to sleep.
5. Get other health problems under control.
Fibromyalgia often occurs along with other health problems such as depression, anxiety, insomnia, and restless leg syndrome (RLS) patients can also suffer from Fibromyalgia weight gain. Conditions like these could worsen the fatigue that you feel from your fibromyalgia.
Your doctor will make recommendations specifically for you based on the other conditions that you have as well as your long-term health history. Some of those recommendations may include:
– Using Ambien, Intermezzo or other types of sleeping pills to overcome insomnia
– Taking multivitamins to fill any nutritional gaps
– Taking an antidepressant like fluoxetine (Prozac), milnacipran (Savella) or duloxetine (Cymbalta)
– Combating anemia with iron supplements
6. Minimize stress as much as possible.
Constantly dealing with pain can increase your stress levels. Higher levels of stress can worsen fatigue. Try using stress-relieving techniques like meditation, yoga, tai chi, or qigong.
Trusted Source conducted a study where 53 female fibromyalgia patients participated in a yoga program for eight weeks. The study found that the participants saw a reduction in fatigue and pain while also experiencing elevated moods. The study had the participants do yoga anywhere from 20 to 40 minutes a day for 5 to 7 days per week.
Trusted Source also reviewed seven studies in 2013 to evaluate how effective therapies involving meditative movement were for helping fibromyalgia patients. Some of these therapies include yoga, tai chi, and qigong.
The study found that therapies like these could be extremely beneficial for minimizing fatigue, depression, and sleep disruptions in fibromyalgia patients. People who participate in these activities may also enjoy a better overall quality of life.
If you can’t get a handle on stress on your own, consider scheduling an appointment with a mental health professional.
7. Look into alternative treatments.
When it comes to complementary and alternative medicine, many treatments are lacking evidence.
According to Trusted Source, massage therapy may be beneficial. A study of 50 female fibromyalgia patients discovered that manual lymph drainage therapy (MLDT), which is a type of massage, could do a better job of minimizing anxiety and morning fatigue than a standard massage. Additional research is still needed to verify whether or not this is true.
If you want to give MLDT a try, look for a local massage therapist who specializes in providing this treatment for fibromyalgia patients. You can also do your own self-massage with the lymphatic drainage massage techniques outlined here.
Balneotherapy, which is the practice of bathing in water that is saturated with minerals, may also be beneficial. An older study conducted by Trusted Source found that study participants who stayed at a Dead Sea spa for 10 days noticed an overall reduction in the following:
– Pain and stiffness
– Sleep-related issues
Many people also claim that acupuncture is beneficial when it comes to minimizing pain, reducing stiffness, and lowering stress levels. Trusted Source reviewed a number of studies from 2010, however, and found that the evidence was lacking for these alleged benefits.