January 31


Top Nine Reasons for a Fibro Flare

By Sue Ingebretson

January 31, 2012

Artificial Dyes, autoimmune, Chemical Sensitivity, chronic illness, Fibro, fibromyalgia, flare, flares, food additivies, Nutrition, Stress, symptoms, Trauma


I just read a chat room thread yesterday that surprised me. I know it shouldn’t, but it did.

The person writing the question said that she’d tripped over a rug in her son’s room and fell. Later she was achy and sore and then a few days later, went into a full-blown fibromyalgia flare. She wondered if the flare was related to the fall.

I don’t blame her for asking the question; the problem is that she has to ask it at all! There’s still so much MISINFORMATION out there, that people really don’t “get” fibromyalgia and autoimmune/chronic illness responses.

In a nutshell, here ‘tis!

Anything that worsens your symptoms,

can cause a flare.

Here’s a quick list of what may bother you and play a role in a symptoms flare:

  1. ) Foods that don’t “feed” you (processed foods, fake foods, foods to which you have an allergy or intolerance)
  2. ) Physical trauma (no matter how major or minor)
  3. ) Unhealthy thoughts (what’s spinning around in your mind?)
  4. ) Relationship difficulties (drama, worry, anxiety, etc.)
  5. ) Lack of fitness/muscle tone (the body needs daily movement!)
  6. ) External toxin exposure (pesticides from the lawn, laundry soaps, scented candles, perfumes, etc.)
  7. ) Internal toxin exposure (dentistry, pharmaceuticals, immunizations, chemical dyes/food additives, etc.)
  8. ) Infections (have you had a cold or flu lately?)
  9. ) And, of course, an over-arching theme of stress…no explanation required

I’d like to note that it’s rarely one thing.

We typically have some sort of “incident” that happens, but when we really think about it, we can see how a set of circumstances combined to cause the flare. In the instance of the woman mentioned above, her fall could definitely play a role in her symptoms flare, but maybe she was worried or anxious about something, too? After all, we’re more likely to trip and fall when we’re distracted or rushing around. In all likelihood, she had other things going on in her life that worked together to cause her flare.

Here’s another important point I’d like to make. A flare is one way that your body has to get your attention. A flare makes you slow down. A flare makes you care for yourself and get some rest. A flare is your body’s way of saying, “Are you listening to me?”

So … can we prevent flares?

You bet! Take the first step and listen to what your body needs. Take care of yourself! Take advantage of what you learn each time you feel worse, and take the steps you need to make it better. Drink water. Breathe deeply. Do yoga and tai chi. Make sure prayer or meditation is part of your daily life. Care for your body, mind, and spirit. Make self-care a priority.

In other words …

don’t give the flare room to bloom.

Got a question or comment? Let’s hear it!


Click HERE:   https://rebuildingwellness.com/stop-pain-guide/

  1. I love that – “Don’t give the flare room to bloom”! It’s so perfect an analogy, because the flares *do* feel like they bloom quickly from a budding state… (ha, that’s kind of funny, because I heard from one of my readers this morning who has her own chronic pain site called ‘Nip Chronic Pain in the Bud’ – synchronicity!). I have to admit, though, I’m still not sold on the whole “these bad choices *cause* the flares” – but I do absolutely buy that they make flares worse, at a minimum.

    1. Thanks for the great info and comment, Annie! Love synchronicity when it happens 😉 By the way, I don’t think of doing things that are less than healthy for me as “bad” choices. They’re simply choices. Making choices that help to build me up are always desired and reward me in the long run. Hugs and great to hear from you!

  2. Great summary, would just like to add that internal toxicity can include metabolic byproducts from imbalance of healthy bacteria. For instance, yeasts in the gut have their own metabolic waste that add stress on our systems. I often find in my practice that individuals will correctly identify food allergies, but miss the bacterial overgrowth problem, and 1. hit a plateau, sometimes contributing to poor compliance with diet change 2. actually experience a bad flare-up because of bad bacteria dying too fast and overloading your capacity to detox 3. Succumb to cravings due to stress as your body transitions from SAD diet to a healthy diet. 4. Do great for 4 weeks but then the new changes hit you emotionally 6-8 weeks into a change, and you resort back to past habits.

    #2/#4 are things that fibromyalgia patients need counseling on so they know what to expect. They also need a health professional who knows to expect these things as well so they know how to manage through them!

    1. Perfect addition and thanks so much for your input! We value it highly. Feel free to leave your info. here as a resource.

    2. Dr. Rinehart ~
      Please, how does one identify and then solve the bacterial overgrowth problem? Thank you.

  3. I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia in 1991after suffering with symptoms for 2 years. I have been taking amytryptaline since that time and feel well except if I have an emotional trauma which will cause me to relapse for about two weeks.

    I am trying to come off the medication by taking half a pill a night and then every second night. Already I am feeling the telltale signs arising. Not many people mention that they take this medication which has worked for me…..has anyone got any advice about a less toxic drug to help with the symptoms. If I don.t take amytryptaline, I just don,t sleep and therefore don,t have the benefit of cell repair.
    Any thoughts would be appreciated.
    Acupuncture and homeopathy etc. Don,t work for me.


    1. I use this drug as well. It worked well for a year or two now. Now I’m starting to notice it is not working as well as it once did. I’ve also added a diagnosis of IBS recently. I’m wondering if that is making the difference?

    2. Although I’m so blessed and grateful to not be as badly off as a lot of other folks, it’s a difficult adjustment period when your mind is still willing, but your body can’t do a lot of things that “just yesterday” were everyday activities. Because chronic pain and fatigue and new limitations caused by the Fibromyalgia can put us into a funk, to help keep me positive, my doctor also prescribed Bupropion a couple of years ago. It made a big difference for me.

      About four years ago, my new doctor prescribed Amitriptyline for sleeping, Diclofenac for inflammation, and Gabapentin (neurontin) for nerve pain. After perhaps a year and a half I suspected that I was allergic to the Diclofenac, so it was discontinued. Having been unable to sleep without constant waking for many years, the Amitriptyline was a welcome relief and enabled me to sleep. And sleep. I usually slept 12-16 hours and more without waking – once, 26 hours! I was groggy all the time when I was awake, unable to come up with lots of regular words when I spoke, and my thoughts, movements and memory were extremely slow. Apparently that is “brain fog” and I suspected the Amitriptyline also contributed to it, so it was gradually discontinued as well. The “brain fog” lingers, but has eased up now, some two years after both meds were discontinued, although I have to work really hard everyday to remember things and I have to write a lot of notes and lists. I now sleep about 10-14 hours, including a nap. The Gabapentin started failing me during the second half of 2011, so my doctor discontinued it and prescribed Savella. I’ve been on it for about six weeks and so far it seems to work fairly well.

      I am 64 and was run down and dragged by a drunk driver when I was 31, but didn’t get a rheumatologist’s diagnosis until about three years ago. Working fulltime jobs (sometimes two at a time) while raising two wonderful children alone may have taken its toll as well. My “light” was going out so I retired at 59 because of the Fibromyalgia, although I wasn’t financially ready to do so. My children took me in. And I’m a little better now that I don’t have to meet a schedule, cook or keep house. I hope my story helps you, and I wish you well. Please talk to your doctor about weaning off one drug and titrating to another that may be a better solution for you. Good luck!

  4. Thank you for the wonderful information! There’s alot that I did not know about. Wow, most anything can send us into a flair up.

  5. This is great! The one thing that I would add is wearing polyester instead of natural fibers. Great list! Thank you for putting it out there!

    1. Great add, Jen. I know a lot of people who are super-sensitive to clothing and its breathe-ability factor!

      1. wow… that is so me! Had no clue others felt the same way about “plastic” clothing. So sensitive to “harsh” clothing. Only cotton and very soft fabrics for me.

        1. Dawn – that’s why it’s so great to share here! We find the quirky things we thought were weird, are really not weird at all. At least, not compared to everyone else here! Thanks for joining the conversation.

          1. I have the same problem with clothing. Some days I try on several different things just to be able to tolerate it. Especially bad in winter when we have to wear heavier clothes….I hurt more in cold weather and heavier clothing hurts too. Soft, comfy clothing is a must!

          2. I agree, Rebecca! I also have problems with purses, backpacks, headbands, and more. I bet I’m not the only one….

  6. After falling twice straight down, with no reflexes/hands coming up to break my fall, my awesome neuro said at times my MRI showed my anxiety & flare was bad enough the combo turned into me falling, like a stiff locked up tree, right on my face…incredible what flaring can do-especially when I fall ‘normally’ all the time.

    1. I’m so sorry you’re experiencing the type of flares you describe. It sounds awful. I hope this symptom is temporary and that you find relief very soon.

  7. Great information. I’m always looking for more info on fibro. i have been take gabepenten for a few months now. It does seem to help with the every day aches and pains of fibro. It is a med that is usually perscribed for mental issues but it has worked great for me. At first I was a little dizzy after taking the meds but that has since past. Hope this info can help some of you.Talk to your dr. and ask him what he thinks and if it will help you.

  8. Great resource here! I’m still learning what my triggers are but my worst issue now is fatigue (after the constant pain, that’s a given). That and learning how to pace myself.

    When I feel I’m having a “good” day (or moment lol) I do the little things around the house that need to be done. I’m of the mind that if it needs to be done, do it, and do it until it IS done. So I over do things. And then I crash and pay for it.

    So I’m struggling with this pacing concept. Do a little here and there. Rest. Do a bit more. Rinse, repeat. It’s so hard for a fairly active person to suddenly realize that things just won’t be the way you expected them anymore.

    1. Shannon — you’re singing our song! We all have a challenge with the pacing issue. It’s so difficult to stop BEFORE we crash. Most of us don’t listen to the small signals our bodies give us when we’re doing too much. The moment the thought pops into your head, “I wonder if I’m doing too much?” — that’s a great time to take a break. When we respect our own energy restrictions, our body says, “Ahhh, thanks!”

    2. Ditto on everything i have read. I miss my old life but trying to learn the pacing part. I am hopeful though, cuz I was fair at coping , then I was terrible and now at least have all that knowledge to slow that pendulum down. God bless everyone for sharing.

    3. Oh My Gosh, YES! That is me too. I often know I’m going to pay for it, but I can’t stop myself! I can’t NOT do it…….

  9. Oh man – I went through a bad phase where I was in so much pain I had no control over my muscles. I would fall – sometimes when I got in the morning – sometimes down the stairs – whatever. This exacerbated the pain and flares. It went on for about 2 years. Glad I haven’t been falling lately and have been able to heal a little.

    Just reading what you wrote here makes me cry. I just DO NOT UNDERSTAND FM yet I’ve had it for 10+ years. What continues to blow me away is how these symptoms are so precise, yet everyone has their own way of dealing with them. In the end, nothing seems to work 100% for most people. It would seem as though if the symptoms are the same – the cure should be too! What a road it’s been trying to find the elusive magic bullet!

    1. I totally get your logic. That’s the path I was on for years. It finally dawned on me that while the general symptoms are the same for many of us, all the other more random symptoms are different. Some of us suffer with more dizziness than others. Some with more jaw pain than others. Some with more IBS than others. We react differently to our foods, our environment (toxins), and our stress. Our remedies will be different, therefore, too. The general ones (like eating better, moving every day, dealing with stress) help everyone. They’re the great stepping stones to rebuild your health. Then the other remedies (like acupuncture, medical protocols, etc.) can be tried to see if they work. That’s why I included a list of “Miracle Cures” in my book, FibroWHYalgia. I was poking fun at the thought that there is ONE miracle cure – wouldn’t that be great? Instead, there’s a grain of truth in many, many things. The way to find out is to keep trying and keep digging for the truth — which is exactly what you’re doing!

    2. Thanks 🙂 I have tried everything. I have gone gluten, dairy and meat free and eat mostly organic, which has almost completely healed my digestive system. I had all of my mercury amalgams removed (over 50 in total – several on most back teeth) and replaced with compatible non toxic composites. I’ve tried heavy metal detox. I’ve been to every type of specialist – chiropractic, acupuncture, homeopath, naturopath and environmental doctor. I’ve received Myer’s cocktails through IV’s. I’ve tried various drugs which I did not like and had horrible side effects. I have a massage chair and an infrared sauna. I use hand massagers and heating pads and ice packs. I’ve gone for neck and back compression therapy. I’ve tried literally hundreds of supplements and take many daily. On top of that, I’ve had people who’ve believed it’s ‘all in my head’. Geez – I would have been out living my life if I weren’t stricken with this. Who WANTS to be lazy, at home, watching life pass them by?

      In the end, I spent thousands and almost drove myself crazy trying to alleviate these symptoms. No matter what I do, I still ‘feel’ the weather, as though I have arthritis throughout my whole body, and yet although there may be a small amount in my neck, I was diagnosed by a rheumatologist with Fibromyalgia.

      The frustration with this syndrome can drive one insane. I’m finally learning how to live with it. It’s a very debilitating illness and while it’s a relief it’s not life threatening – it can sometimes suck the life out of you!

      1. I feel your pain ! I have tried most of things you have throughout the yrs except for having the mercury amalgrams removed. . Recently I read an article about “spinal stimulation” that is performed by trained personnel but not available in my area. I live in small town an hr away from most things. I would love to have an indoor pool to exercise. That and to move to albuquerque where the weather is much kinder to my body. Thanks for sharing. HOPE is a great thing !

        1. Yes, hope is a wonderful thing and because so much of what we contend with is arbitrary, there’s a great reason to be and stay hopeful about our futures.

      2. Speaking of sucking the life out of you, how many times have we thought we’d be ‘better off dead’? You are on the money about weather… any change in barometric pressure puts me down and my body cannot handle humidity at all, and I live in the very humid south.

        1. Pat — sorry the humidity gets to you! I’m glad you understand the impact of barometric pressure, temperature, and humidity levels.

      3. Over a period of about 2 years, between my reg dr, my rheumatologist & my dentist – it was discovered I was having a “reaction” to all below the tooth roots work : example root canals . It was not easily detected, it’s was more of a rule out one thing at a time till it came down to previous dental work I had done. I’ve had fibro for 17 years. Long story short = I had to have all my teeth removed , along with any previous below the gum foreign matter.
        I’m finding out thru different articles I’ve read , that there are a lot of people having toxic reactions to ,especially, root canals. Just saying ~ check into yours, if you have any. Most people do fine with them but others not so well.

  10. I was diagnosed with fibro in 2002. I was in an emotionally abusive marriage to a total drunk. Stress? I left him in early 2003 and all of my symptoms went away, and I thought, “No, they must have been wrong. i didn’t have it after all. ” Until early 2004, when I was diagnosed with narcolepsy, I didn’t have any problems. Narcolepsy causes sleepiness, not fatigue or pain. so I asked my sleep doctor what I could do about the fatigue and pain. He told me I needed to check with my GP because fatigue and pain aren’t part of narcolepsy. then I got a real diagnosis (again) of Fibro. so in 4 years, I was diagnosed with narcolepsy, fibro, IBS, edema in my legs, chronic back pain, and depression. According to my rheumatologist, narcolepsy and fibro are the two opposite sides of the same coin. over 50% of people with narcolepsy also have fibro, 30% have IBS, 30% have TMJ, and 30% have fibrofog. So I have diagnoses here that look like the black bowling ball you ask a question of, turn it over to get the answer. lol. Stress definitely has a lot do with it. Add stress to any of the reasons and it is twice as bad.

    1. Lee Ann — you sure have been through the wringer! I’m so sorry to hear your story and the trials and tribulations are so similar to many others. We all seem to share much of the stress although it comes from different directions. I’d be happy to connect with you if you’d like to email me from my website.

  11. Can anyone tell me more about a Fibromyalgia diet? I tried a diet that limited yeast. I felt much better with the exception of IBS symptoms. The IBS was so bad that I couldn’t stick with the diet. My energy was so much better. My upper respiratory symptoms were also better, but the IBS symptoms were unbearable. Yet another frustration!

    1. Krista — it sounds like it could be helpful to have a conversation about your particular questions. Feel free to email me from my website so we can set something up. Thanks!

    2. You might try taking a probiotic. The one I take is MegaFood’s Mega Flora…which I choose because it had many different strains in it and also because it was the only one that had a particular strain that helps the body make vitamin D & K which I felt would be helpful due to my no longer seeming to make vit D. I have been on long term antibiotics and it helps keep things perfectly regular. The suggestion I was given was to take it at night when stomach would be empty for a long time.

  12. On the pacing idea, I’ve recently (not arrived, however) started doing housework for 10 min. then 10 min. of rest and/or doing some trigger points while resting or a favorite relaxing thing. I start in one room of the house and ask myself what the one thing that is most ghastly to look at. I work on it for 10 min. then rest 10 min. Then go to the next room for 10 min./ rest 10 min. Sometimes I will continue on for 20 min. working or resting. It seems to have helped me and helped me feel like I got more done. I look at accomplishment as an amount of time spent rather than looking at accomplishment as something completed. I get a lot of interruptions, though, with kids and spouse and whatever else comes up but keep going back to where I was when I can.

    I also read recently on pacing, one should first practice it on enjoyable pursuits rather than work. So an enjoyable activity followed by rest, etc. I always did housework, rest, housework, rest. Never thought of pacing with things I enjoy!

    Also, I’m not sure how, maybe someone has a tip but not to blame ourselves for flareups. When I get really, really sore it feels like I have worked out or ran a marathon when I hadn’t done anything like that and I find myself saying, “what did I do to myself” because it really feels like I did something to myself the way working out too hard would for anybody.

    take care!

    1. Love your comments, Kara. I try to never play the “blame game” for any reason. Is it every useful? Blaming has no positive purpose. Rather, take each situation, see what you can learn from it, and move forward. We area all human, making daily decisions. Sometimes they’re good, sometimes not-so-good. But what counts is doing the best we can each and every day. Staying positive is a BIG part of staying healthy and well. A positive frame of mind helps us to not only feel better, but to make better, healthier, decisions. Thanks again for your feedback!

  13. I notice my biggest triggers are stress and the weather. I live in Ky where it is sunny one day and snowy the next, which can put me in bed. I’ve not figured out how to deal with these kind of flares.

    1. LaTasha – that’s a wonderful point! You’re very right. We are often at the mercy of weather changes and that’s not something we can have any control over. However, I can say that the healthier you are the smaller the impact. I used to be very aware of barometric weather changes. I felt it in my bones/joints/muscles. I now have a very minor awareness of the same thing. I might think, “My knees hurt today, I wonder if rain is coming.” The difference is in the level of impact rather than trying to predict the flare coming at all. I pray for your continued healing and let me know if you have any other questions!

  14. Hi Sue, just found your site. Lots of good comments. I am in England where dr’s.
    look at you blankly if you mention FM.
    Was lucky to be sent to Rheumatologist for CFS, who diagnosed me with FM immediately. His best piece of advise was ” never do more on a good day than you are capable of doing on a bad” I listen to my body and if a chore becomes too difficult, I stop and do something I like doing. I find that 20mins. of
    housework is enough to earn a break, either reading of crafting or just a short walk to readjust the body. The only meds, over here are strong painkillers or
    steroid injections. (not an option for me!!)
    One good thing for everybody is to let off steam, so thanks Sue for being there. I am sure there are a lot of people who benefit greatly from your hard work.
    Will watch your space from now on

    1. Marion — what a wonderful comment, and thanks so much for your input. It’s wonderful when we can share our own successes and encourage one another. I’m happy you’ve found this nifty place with great info. and great company. I love it when I find I sell books in the UK and worldwide. It’s such a great feeling to know how connected we all are to the solutions that are all around us. Feel free to check out http://www.FibroWHYalgia.com. And, thanks again. I look forward to hearing more from you!

  15. is this still a live site? I just stumbled upon it and there aren’t any posts since March. I was dianosed a few years back with fibro but I refused to believe that’s what it was…I may be in partial denial now…but after looking at several websites i am starting to believe it. I am a white male, 44, and in what appears to be a huge flare. This is the worst I have felt in years. My main pain is like wind blowing and sand hitting and stinging your skin. Right now it is just my torso and arms that have that sensation…arms are and tops of my hands are really bad…
    Earlier, while trying to rest at lunch (OK, sleep), it felt like someone had a hot needle and they were sticking it repeatedly ½” into my cheek just below my eye…then both my legs felt like they were being pushed apart by someone really quick. I bashed one into the door and one into the console
    I am sorry…I will stop now…I hate when I get like this…I guess my question is, what meds do you take when stuff like happens? I am taking Lyrica, Cymbalta, Fentanyl Transdermal System, Daypro, Trileptal, Vicodin, and Ambien CR to sleep…

  16. Thank you – I will check it out…I am about at my wit’s end…I rarely took an aspirin before I turned 40. How do I know fibro is what it really is? Or does it even matter?

    1. Kevin – I completely understand your frustration. It’s my stance – and this is just me — that the symptoms are what’s important. Not the name we give them. I believe in figuring out WHY we got sick – and then implementing the action needed to rebuild and get better. While, of course, you want to rule out diseases that your doctor can detect, chronic conditions take root-cause based treatments to heal. I think you’re on the right track by reaching out and learning what you can about your symptoms.


  18. As someone recently diagnosed with fibro (but suffering for years prior to this) I struggle to identify a bad flare up. It sounds ridiculous but I always want to blame it on something else so thank you for posting this and providing this info. There is so much unknown about fibro and I am gaining so much knowledge from reading about others with this condition. I am learning first hand at the moment how bad a viral infection can affect your fibro. I am floored with fatigue and my pain has been off the scales, so much so I have taken strong painkillers for the first time in my life. I feel like all of this has been the culmination of not listening to my body and doing far too much for too long.

    1. Donna — it sounds to me like you’re following the path that so many others have before you. The overwhelm of a chronic health challenge can sneak up on you, and before you know it, everything seems to set off a flare. I think you’re already on the path to healing since awareness of this fact is the first step. Please be kind to yourself. Be patient with your progress. And … keep sharing! Thanks so much.

  19. Sue … In reading your list of nine, I see the “Internal Toxin Exposure” includes immunizations. In my case, I have been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, IBS, Migraines, and 9 inoperable Degenerated Discs. I have a battery w/”wires” implanted in my back/upper hip for pain mgt. (a TENS-like unit that “distracts” me, in the most simplistic of terms). I’m on morphine tabs for pain & take Cymbalta, Topamax, etc. I’m wondering whether flu & pneumonia inoculations are ill-advised for me/others with Fibro? ALSO pls know:
    reading everyone’s comments has been very enlightening for me ~ this mysterious illness is now less an enigma, thanks to Pinterest & such generous people as you, Sue! The wealth of information that I am just beginning to find is uplifting: I feel I’ve only scratched the surface & am encouraged to forge ahead … it’s definitely something to do in those “sleepless” hours now. What a Godsend you are Sue ~ literally. And to now know that so many others share … and care.

    1. Kathleen – thanks so much for adding your comment! It’s definitely not what you’d hear from the mainstream medical world, but all immunizations and medications, for that matter, have some sort of negative side effect for those of us who are super-sensitive to toxins. They do (the immunizations in particular) have added chemicals, neurotoxins, and toxic heavy metals that are VERY hard for us to process. I certainly can’t – and never would – suggest what you should do. I can only pass on my own experience. I believe that part of my fibromyalgia development was due to THREE Swine Flu immunizations I received in the late 70s in Iowa. Then later in life, as I was tracking sympom flares, I did notice a correlation with immunizations. I have not had a flu immunization since the mid 90s and I’d fight to my last breath should anyone try to give me one. That said, I am as healthy as they come since I eat well and consume plenty of vital nutrients. I’ve created a strong immune system through nutrition, fitness, and stress management. If you’d like to discuss this further, feel free to email me on my website. And, thanks again for your thoughtful comment!

      1. I am just coming across this post. My name is also Kathleen and I too, was vaccinated against Swine flu in 1976. I lived in Michigan at the time. I also can tract back many of my fibro symptoms to that time. In addition to pain, I developed what seemed to be allergies…cats,dust etc, whereas I had no problems before the vaccine. I suffered from severe chronic sinus infections that never seemed to clear. The last flu shot I had was in the 20 yrs ago because getting the vaccine would through me into terrible flares. In the twent years since my fibro was diagnosed by a rheumatalogist ( lost count of how many doctors I saw between late 1976 and 2006), I had not read of any one else connecting the dots between Swine flu vaccine and fibro. I actually read the post twice because I couldn’t believe it at first! I still struggle with pain and other health issues. I was diagnosed with Lyme disease in 2008 and also at that time tested high with heavy metals including Mercury and lead. I’m sure the swine flu vaccine was preserved with thimersol…that what was used at the time. In fact, even contact lens solution had thimersol in it. I started wearing contacts in 1967. I did some detox for the metals but need to be tested again. I also had my amalgam fillings removed. I didn’t have many.
        Currently, I am trying hard to get healthy. I am working on coming off the narcotics I needed for pain control during the Lyme treatment. I don’t have far to go. One step at a time!

        1. Kathleen — I’m so glad you found this blog! It’s always nice to hear similarities in the experiences of others. While there were surely other contributing factors to the beginning of your symptoms, it’s interesting to study how vaccines and medications affect our central nervous system. They increase the tendency toward becoming super sensitive to our surroundings (inside and outside). So, the key is to reduce the things that create the ultra-sensitivities and help the body to start the healing process. You’re on the right track and please keep us posted on how you’re doing!

    2. I as so delighted to come across this website on facebook, reading everyone, stories, has mad eme feel not so alone, I have so many sythmons as well ibs, sensitiveto nose, smell noises, insomnia, I had 3 falls in 7 years, and was also in an abusive relationship for years, I have deteriating disks in my spine on the waiting listto see specialist in may 2014, have been waiting since july 2013, just love all the support hopw ican keep goingto the site in the future, god bless you all.

      1. Great to see you here, Janet! Be sure to poke through other posts too, to see how you can be supported further by this Rebuilding Wellness community!

  20. Hi, I found a link to this topic on Pinterest (thank GOD for Pinterest!) and wanted to let you know that, 2.5 years later, I found the article and the comments very helpful. I plan to follow you around like a little lost puppy, though I’ve been diagnosed for about 15 years now (symptomatic for many years before that). I do a lot of research and have made some significant life and lifestyle changes with mixed results, as I’m sure most of us with FM have done. I’m adding you to my “helpful” list – thank you so much for this info and just for being there for people who need what you have to offer.

    1. Jyl — I love it when I hear about those who keep researching for solutions. That’s exactly how we can find answers! There’s much to be found here and we collectively share our thoughts and ideas. So glad you’ve joined us!

  21. Hi sue…
    I stumbled upon this site and am so glad I did…
    Listening and reading about other people’s symptoms
    And ideas and situations has given me a wealth of information
    However I do have 1 specific question for you….
    I started on acupuncture yesterday as I have read often that it
    Can be quite helpful in dealing with the CafS/ FM that I suffer so
    Much with…however, instead of a positive result I am much worsen
    Off now than I was before yesterday’s treatment!!! Driving home, I
    Stated feeling lightheaded and nauseous, and at night a major and
    Painful flair up of the Fibro symptoms began..so much do that it prevented
    Me from sleeping. Today the flair up pain is intense as well as stomach hurting
    From IBS…can 1 acupuncture treatment for 30 minutes actually CAUSE an
    Intense flair up? Wondering if you have ever heard of this before..

    1. Lynda — thanks so much for asking such a great question! While, I’m definitely NOT an expert when it comes to acupuncture, I do know that ANY new treatment or new protocol can cause a flare. It doesn’t necessarily mean that the treatment is not going to work for you. I’d contact the practitioner right away and ask for their expertise. You may find that they can adjust the methods, the locations, or other aspects of the treatment to suit your needs. It’s important for them to know your reaction so that they can assess what needs to be done. Also — sometimes we can react and feel worse, but then it gets better. When I first had chiropractic adjustments many years ago, I sometimes felt worse afterward. However, the benefit came through in my persistence to keep on trying. However, I was clear with my practitioner about what was going on and he adapted his techniques and worked with me to determine whether I should continue. In the end, you get to decide what’s best for you, and don’t let anyone make you second guess your own best judgement. Again — thanks for the GREAT question! —– Sue 😉

  22. Hi, I’ve only recently been diagnosed with FM. I am a mail carrier for the USPS and there are days I am finding it very difficult to finish my days. There are days that the medications I am taking are working and than all of a sudden I will get a flare which will consist of fatigue and excruciating pain that will radiate from my back to my chest as if though I am having a heart attach. I have sharp pain that will just stab me in random places as well a nerve twitches. Are these normal symptoms of FM my Dr. Currently has me on cymbalta, celobrex, as well as gabapentine.

    1. Debra – thanks so much for leaving your comment here. It helps the whole RebuildingWellness to hear about symptoms we experience. Your symptoms are definitely familiar for many of us here. I personally had horrible chest pain for many years and found the diagnosis of costochondritis to be helpful. It helped me to finally have a name for it after being sent to (and rejected by) various cardiologists. Twitching muscles, stabbing pain, and radiating pain are also common. For many of us, our systems become over-active, and over-reactive to many things. While I can’t comment on the medications you take, I can suggest that you pursue removing the foods, activities, and exposures that cause this over-reaction problem. I’m happy to help. You may email me here on my site. Again, thanks so much for joining the RebuildingWellness community and I hope you check out the other resources available here.

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