What brings on a fibro flare?

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Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 2568
   Posted 12/21/2009 5:59 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi. I'm used to having lupus flares but now believe that some of my lupus flares are really fibro flares. At my last appointment with a rheumy I asked her why, if my lupus is quiet, do I feel so bad. She told me I need to see a psychiatrist. So I changed rheumys. When the new one examined me he was shocked at how much fibro pain I had and put me on lyrica which has helped a lot. He also prescribed lortab.

I recently had foot surgery and since I cannot get on my foot for a month, I've been spending my time in bed reading, kntting, and watching tv. But my fibro has come back with a rage. I've been taking very strong pain meds which I would think should mask my fibro pain.

Could it be lack of exercise? I'm on a scooter and can't even walk to the bathroom. My diet is lousy because I've lost my appetite. I just can't imagine why it hurt so bad. I go back to my new rheumy in a couple of weeks but in the meantime I thought I'd see what you experts have to say.

I need to come here more often and learn more about fibro.


SLE, fibro, renauds, restless leg, hiatal hernia, double vision, migraines, costocondritis.

prednisone, plaquenil, leflunomide, neurontin, synthroid, triamterene, actonel, niaspan, lyrica, tri-est, cymbalta, acifex

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 173
   Posted 12/21/2009 7:01 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Pat
Hope you can feel better soon.
Here is some info for you about flares.
Someone on the board/wall asked about Flareup causes found this pretty complete. I know their are others such as chemical sensitivities, feel free to add to this list. :)

What triggers Fibromyalgia?
Doctors argue that emotional or physical triggers can cause a flare in fibromyalgia symptoms. A flare, short for flare up, usually is accompanied by constant pain and lethargy. Patients suffering from a fibromyalgia flare often cannot sit, stand or lie down comfortably for any length of time.

Flare ups can be triggered by strong emotions including depression, anger or stress. Fibromyalgia flares can also be triggered by physical issues ranging from too much exercise to the beginning of an illness. Cold, damp weather or extreme heat, anything that places stress on the body, can also act as triggers for a flare up.

Humour is always the Best Medicine!
Fibromyalgia, DDD, 2 herniated Lumbar discs, OsteoArthritis Lumbar, Migraine, Dysthmic Disorder, Anxiey, Panic Attacks, OsteoArthritis Knee, Carpal Tunnel both hands, Currently Double Depression

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 846
   Posted 12/21/2009 8:34 PM (GMT -7)   
Pat, I do hope that you will feel better soon!

For me, lack of exercise definitely brings on a flare. I went to visit my sister this summer, an eight hour drive. Then all week visiting different relatives would be at minimum an hour in the car one way. And when we stayed at her house, we just sat and talked. Near the end of the week, I was feeling pretty miserable, so my dh (bless him) forced me to go for a walk. I did feel better after that, but it took me a long time to get back to the fitness I used to do. But that being said, if you do more than you can handle, you will also feel worse. It's a fine line of knowing your body and what your limits are. Another flare waiting to happen for me is damp, cloudy weather, or when a storm moves in.

There are some stretching exercises in the fibro 101 thread at the very top of the page. Many of those you can even do sitting down. Maybe you could give those a try and see if it helps?

Oh, and good for you for firing that first rheumy!
fibromyalgia and possible trigeminal neuralgia
50 mgs amitriptyline daily, T3s for facial pain (really not appropriate med) and now tramacet

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2009
Total Posts : 159
   Posted 12/21/2009 9:21 PM (GMT -7)   
I would just like to add this wonderful piece of information.
Absolutely nothing can bring on a flare!  I have analyzed this DD for almost 40 years now and I have come to this conclusion.  Yes, damp, cloudy weather, hot, humid weather can bring one on.  Overdoing--exercising, not exercising--stress, physical or emotional--yes, all of these.
But, for no reason I can fathom fibro can flare when it darn well feels like it!  You know how a car can go from 0 to 60 in so many seconds?  Well, my body can go from 70 to zero in 3 seconds.  Not much fun at all. 
So, you just have to go with the flow.  Just because the body has pooped out on you for the present,  you still have to try to rest, eat right, take your suppliments, get up and move around some, stretch, and go with the flow.  This too shall pass.  And tomorrow will be better.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 2568
   Posted 12/22/2009 2:20 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for all the info and advice. I've never been one to journal but it might be something for me to think about. I had a major stressful event a couple of days ago. Wonder if it was that.

I see my new rheumy in a couple of weeks and am going to ask him to increase my lyrica. If a little bit helps (50 mg twice a day) maybe a lot will help more. What do you guys think?
SLE, fibro, renauds, restless leg, hiatal hernia, double vision, migraines, costocondritis.

prednisone, plaquenil, leflunomide, neurontin, synthroid, triamterene, actonel, niaspan, lyrica, tri-est, cymbalta, acifex

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 16481
   Posted 12/22/2009 7:01 AM (GMT -7)   
Oh, yes Pat!  Stress definitely can cause flares, along with overdoing things...whether it be working, cleaning, exercising, etc.  And, sometimes we can get a flare for absolutely no reason. 
I'm so glad you got rid of that rheumy that told you to see a psychiatrist!  Isn't that maddening!  mad  
Forum Moderator/ Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia, Crohn's Disease, Ostomy, Diabetes, Autoimmune Inner Ear Disease, Osteoporosis
God does not give us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.    2 Timothy 1:7

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 6067
   Posted 12/22/2009 7:26 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Patty and welcome. When I read you had been in bed reading etc. it made my body hurt thinking about it, staying in bed would make me hurt in no time. I can't do too much and I can't do too little without hurting. I would think the foot surgery would be enough to bring on a flare.
Get better soon!!!
luv and hugs
Forum Moderator Fibromyalgia
Fibro,Sjogrens, Anxiety, Gastroparesis, IBS, Gastritis, Allergies, High Blood Pressure, Low Blood Sodium, Osteoarthritis and Celiac
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Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 2568
   Posted 12/22/2009 10:44 AM (GMT -7)   
I've wondered about that Marlee. I see that you have celiac. Does your fibro still bother you when you're gluten-free?
SLE, fibro, renauds, restless leg, hiatal hernia, double vision, migraines, costocondritis.

prednisone, plaquenil, leflunomide, neurontin, synthroid, triamterene, actonel, niaspan, lyrica, tri-est, cymbalta, acifex

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 2835
   Posted 1/3/2010 10:13 AM (GMT -7)   

What brings on a flare?  Bending over to tie your shoe...reaching for a glass on the second shelf in the cupboard...taking three swipes across the deck with a snow shovel...carrying a bag of dog food up two steps to the kitchen...seeing a quarter in the K-mart parking lot and reaching down to pick it up.  Doesn't take much.  Oh.  And realizing you have baked a wonderful apple pie for six people and poured about a quarter cup of paprika in it instead of cinnamon.  Yum...and owie.


fibro, menieres disease, RLS, anxiety disorder, disc compression, scoliosis, spinal stenosis TMJ  Meds: valium Advil

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 4796
   Posted 1/3/2010 11:07 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Pat, I missed this post, was on vacation!  I think my fibro has a big affect on my MCTD,
and my MCTD has a big affect on my fibro. There are many times when I have a lupus flare
going along with a fibro flare. I have learned to tell the two apart.
Stress, weather and overdoing and who knows what brings on a flare. I believe that
one day they will determine that fibro is an autoimmune disease, part of the connective
tissue diseases. Just as in lupus, pacing yourself is so important and in many times flares
just happen for no ryhme or reason. Luckily, they do pass.
Donna, you crack me up as usual. Thanks for the laughsmilewinkgrin
Tressia, welcome to the forum hon. Feel free to start a new post to introduce yourself.
We are family here and love to get to know and help eachother.
Hugs, Robin

Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 1176
   Posted 1/3/2010 4:27 PM (GMT -7)   
PattyLatty said...
I've wondered about that Marlee. I see that you have celiac. Does your fibro still bother you when you're gluten-free?

Hi Pat,

I'm not Marlee, and I'm sure she's going to answer you, but for me, the answer to that question is "yes". I've been gluten free for more than a year now and I still have fibro flares. I do think that the flares are less severe than they used to be though! On a celiac forum I've been told by several people that it can take 2 years or more on the gluten free diet before you see lots of improvement in fibro and RA (I have both). Also, there are a number of members of that site who have gone completely grain free because they didn't see enough improvement just gluten free. I'm trying to go completely grain free, not easy! tongue

Best wishes,
Autoimmune hepatitis, Hashimoto's thyroiditis, lupus, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, celiac disease, asthma, psoriasis, Raynaud's syndrome, hypertension, osteopenia, sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome, GERD.

PENDING DX: Lyme disease?? Lyme ELISA positive!

Prednisone, Imuran, Plaquenil, Lyrica, Cymbalta, Darvon, Levothyroxine, Atenolol, Cozaar, Mirapex, Zyrtec, Fosamax, Albuterol, Prilosec, CPAP


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