Do you have a hard time getting out of bed in the morning? If so, it could be due to fibromyalgia-related fatigue. Or maybe you feel exhausted during the day, even after sleeping eight or more hours.
Fibromyalgia affects millions worldwide and is characterized by widespread pain and other symptoms.
One of the most common issues associated with this disorder is extreme fatigue, making everyday tasks difficult to manage.
This blog post will discuss how fibromyalgia causes fatigue, its common symptoms, and coping strategies.
We’ll also provide diet tips to reduce fibromyalgia fatigue and explain why regular exercise can help combat it.
Finally, we’ll look at natural supplements to help fight this debilitating symptom.
What Causes Fibromyalgia Fatigue?
If you have fibromyalgia, you may be familiar with the all-encompassing fatigue that can come with it. It’s often described as a debilitating feeling of exhaustion or like you are running on empty.
It can interfere with everyday tasks and make concentrating or finding motivation hard. But what is the cause of this fatigue? Let’s take a look.
One of the most common causes of fibromyalgia fatigue is sleep disturbances. Many people with fibromyalgia wake up frequently throughout the night and have trouble falling back asleep. This can lead to unrestful sleep and less energy during the day.
Some experts believe that people with fibromyalgia experience more rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, which is when dreaming occurs, which can also cause fatigue during the day if not enough non-REM deep sleep has been achieved.
Another cause of fatigue for those suffering from fibromyalgia is pain sensitivity. The body naturally produces an inflammatory response when it experiences pain, which can lead to feelings of exhaustion in those with fibromyalgia due to their increased pain sensitivity.
Research has found that inflammation caused by pain leads to increased levels of cytokines, which are proteins released by cells to communicate with other cells in the body and trigger an immune response. Cytokines are known to cause fatigue, which could be another factor contributing to your exhaustion if you have fibro pain.
Depression and Anxiety
Finally, depression and anxiety caused by living with a chronic illness such as fibromyalgia can be another contributor to your daily fatigue. Depression and anxiety can lead to changes in appetite, sleeping patterns, motivation, concentration, and overall energy levels—all things that can affect how tired we feel each day.
Suppose you think depression or anxiety may be influencing your fatigue level because of your diagnosis.
In that case, seeking help from a mental health professional specializing in treating people with chronic illnesses such as fibromyalgia is essential.
Understanding Fibromyalgia Fatigue
A common symptom of fibromyalgia fatigue is chronic exhaustion or tiredness. This type of fatigue often feels like it goes beyond just being tired after a busy day—it’s more like all-day exhaustion that doesn’t seem to go away no matter how much rest you get or coffee you drink. You may feel exhausted even after sleeping for 8–10 hours at night.
Another symptom of fibromyalgia fatigue is cognitive issues, known as “fibro fog.” This refers to difficulty concentrating or focusing on tasks, poor memory recall, and difficulty finding the right words when speaking or writing. It can feel like your brain has gone into a fog, and everything seems more difficult than usual to comprehend or remember.
Brain fog often goes hand-in-hand with cognitive issues, but it can also include feelings like confusion, disorientation, and mental sluggishness.
Unlike cognitive issues relating to concentration and memory recall, brain fog is generally more about feeling “out of it” or disconnected from reality for short periods.
It can be challenging to determine what caused the brain fog; it could be due to stress, lack of sleep, medication side effects, etc., so it’s important to talk to your doctor if this becomes an issue.
Strategies to Help You Cope with Fatigue
It can be difficult to manage the persistent pain, but it can be even more challenging to manage the overwhelming feeling of exhaustion that comes along with it. While no one-size-fits-all solution exists, a few strategies may help you cope.
Set Achievable Goals
Setting realistic goals and permitting yourself to say “no” when necessary is essential. Many people with fibromyalgia feel overwhelmed by an inability to do what other people consider basic tasks.
This can lead to guilt and shame, so it’s important to remember that it’s OK if you can’t keep up with everyone else. Prioritize your activities and focus on the essentials, like caring for yourself and your family.
Get Enough Restful Sleep
Fatigue often goes hand-in-hand with insomnia or difficulty staying asleep, making it difficult to get enough restful sleep.
To maximize your quality rest time, ensure your bedroom is cool, dark, and comfortable; limit caffeine intake; avoid screens before bedtime; and establish a consistent routine before sleeping each night.
If you have trouble sleeping through the night, talk to your doctor about possible treatments such as melatonin or cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I).
Regular exercise has many benefits, including improved energy levels and sleep quality. Even light activities such as walking or gentle stretching can help increase energy levels throughout the day.
Before beginning any exercise program, consult your doctor about what exercises would suit you based on your needs and limitations.
Diet Tips to Reduce Fibromyalgia Fatigue
One of those things is making sure you’re eating the right foods. Check out these diet tips to help reduce fibromyalgia fatigue.
1. Eat Plenty of Protein
Protein is essential for repairing tissue and keeping your immune system strong. When you don’t have enough protein in your diet, your body has difficulty repairing itself, leading to fatigue. Ensure you get enough protein by eating lean meats, beans, nuts, and seeds.
2. Get Your Vitamins and Minerals
Vitamins and minerals are essential for keeping your energy levels up. Ensure you get plenty of them by eating plenty of fruits and vegetables.
Dark leafy greens like kale and spinach are perfect for fibromyalgia patients because they’re high in magnesium, which has been shown to help reduce fatigue.
3. Avoid Processed Foods
Processed foods contain additives and preservatives that make you tired and sluggish. To avoid processed foods, focus on eating whole foods close to their natural state. This means sticking to the grocery store’s perimeter, where all the fresh food is located.
4. Drink Plenty of Water
Staying hydrated is essential for everyone but crucial for fibromyalgia patients. That’s because dehydration can amplify pain levels, leading to increased fatigue. Ensure you drink plenty of water throughout the day to keep yourself hydrated.
5. Limit Your Caffeine Intake
Caffeine may give you a temporary boost of energy, but it can also lead to a crash later on. If you do drink caffeine, make sure you limit yourself to one cup per day, so you don’t end up feeling more tired than before.
6. Get Enough Sleep
Getting enough sleep is crucial for managing fibromyalgia symptoms because it’s during sleep that your body repairs itself. Shoot for seven to eight hours per night, giving your body ample time to rest and recover.
7. Manage Your Stress Levels
Stress can make fibromyalgia symptoms worse, so it’s crucial to find ways to manage it effectively. Some stress-relieving techniques include yoga, meditation, and deep breathing exercises.
If lifestyle changes aren’t enough to manage your stress levels, talk to your doctor about other options, such as medication or counseling.
8 . Exercise Regularly
Exercise is essential for everyone, but it’s crucial for people with fibromyalgia. That s because exercise releases endorphins, hormones that boost mood and alleviate pain.
A moderate exercise routine is best, so you don’t overexert yourself. Start with 30 minutes of exercise thrice weekly and increase as tolerated.
9 . Try Supplements
Some supplements may help reduce fibromyalgia fatigue. These include omega – 3 fatty acids, magnesium, vitamin D, B – vitamins, S – adenosylmethionine ( SAMe ), 5 -hydroxytryptophan ( 5 – HTP ), coenzyme Q10 ( CoQ10 ), ribose, NADH, L – glutamine, L – carnitine, herbs such as ashwagandha and turmeric. Talk to your doctor about which supplements may be right for you.
How Regular Exercise Can Help Combat Fibromyalgia-Related Fatigue
Here’s a look at why regular exercise is crucial for managing fibromyalgia and how it can help improve your quality of life.
The Benefits of Exercise for Fibromyalgia Patients
Exercise is highly beneficial for people living with fibromyalgia.
It’s easy to assume that because physical activity can be painful and draining, it should be avoided at all costs.
However, studies have found that moderate exercise can help reduce pain levels, improve sleep quality, boost energy levels, and even alleviate depression symptoms associated with fibromyalgia.
Furthermore, regular exercise helps build muscle strength, making everyday activities more manageable and less taxing on your body.
Starting slowly is essential if you’re new to exercise or returning after a long hiatus due to illness or injury.
Begin with low-impact exercises such as swimming or walking before gradually increasing the intensity of your workouts over time.
Also, remember that your body needs rest and recovery days just like any other athlete does—so don’t overdo it!
Types of Exercise for Fibromyalgia Patients
Here are some examples of exercises that could benefit those dealing with this condition:
Yoga: Yoga combines stretching, breathing exercises, and relaxation techniques—all of which are beneficial for managing stress associated with fibromyalgia as well as improving flexibility and balance
Pilates: Pilates combines core strengthening exercises with stretching
Tai Chi: Tai Chi is a slow-paced martial art form with gentle movements to increase strength and balance.
Swimming: Swimming is an excellent low-impact aerobic activity
Walking: Walking is one of the most accessible forms of exercise that you can do anywhere at any time;
Weight Training: Weight training builds muscle strength while also providing an aerobic workout
Cycling: Cycling is another excellent low-impact aerobic activity that also strengthens muscles without putting too much strain on joints or muscles affected by fibromyalgia
Stretching: Stretching helps improve flexibility and range of motion in joints affected by stiffness or pain related to fibromyalgia.
Natural Supplements for Fibromyalgia-Related Fatigue
Some natural supplements may help combat fibromyalgia-related fatigue. Here’s what to know about these natural remedies.
MSM is a sulfur compound found in fruits and vegetables and in many foods like eggs, garlic, onions, and coffee.
Studies have shown that MSM can help reduce inflammation and improve joint mobility in people with fibromyalgia.
It has also been found to reduce muscle spasms and pain. In addition, MSM may help improve energy levels and reduce fatigue associated with fibromyalgia.
A form of magnesium supplement easily absorbed by the body. Magnesium plays an essential role in energy production, so supplementing with magnesium citrate could help combat fatigue associated with fibromyalgia.
Additionally, magnesium helps relax muscles which could help reduce pain and stiffness associated with this condition.
5-HTP is an amino acid derived from the seeds of the Griffonia simplicifolia plant, which is used to make serotonin—a neurotransmitter responsible for regulating our moods and sleep cycles.
Studies suggest that 5-HTP supplementation may help improve mood and sleep quality and reduce overall pain levels in those with fibromyalgia symptoms. As such, it might also effectively reduce fatigue associated with this condition.
Living with fatigue caused by fibromyalgia isn’t easy, but there are ways to cope with this symptom. Remember not to push yourself too hard – prioritize activities based on importance, and don’t forget about self-care!
Ensure you get enough restful sleep by creating a calming pre-bedtime routine, regularly exercising, and talking to your doctor about medication. With these strategies in mind, you’ll find relief from fatigue soon!