Fibromyalgia Treatment

How is temperature sensitivity treated in fibromyalgia?

A Answers (2)

  • ACeleste Cooper, Rheumatology, answered

    This is a good question and a tough one to answer. It seems our internal thermostat doesn’t have a very broad spectrum for comfort.

    If you have Raynaud’s as a comorbid condition, it is important to protect your fingers, toes and nose from the cold. Failure to do so doesn’t only cause numbness and color changes and pain with re-warming, but can cause long lasting effects causing neuropathies on the tiny nerves that surround the capillaries.

    It is known among all my family and friends, that I will always be overdressed by comparison. They actually laugh at me, but have come to expect it and know why.  People do stare at me when I walk into the doctor’s office looking like I am dressed for the North Pole in the middle of the summer. But the fact of the matter is that we must be prepared.

    Always carry a jacket with you even in the summer months, because all stores, grocery in particular, keep the air cranked up on high. Others are comfortable at these temperatures and welcome them, the fibromyalgia patient does not. I keep a heavy blanket in the trunk of my car in case the car breaks down in cold weather. It is about always being prepared.

    It is important to avoid chilling if possible, as that can activate myofascial trigger points, which are now thought to have more than a casual connection to FM and may be present in all FM patients.

    Be sure you don’t have an underlying comorbid conditions, such as hypothyroidism, which can also cause cold intolerance or adrenal stress which can cause night sweats.

    If you have night sweats, it is very hard to control what to do, because they hit at will and it is hard to control. Discuss them with your doctor to see if there might be another condition present that is causing them that can be treated.

    All blogs, posts and answers are based on the work in Integrative Therapies for Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and Myofascial Pain: The Mind-Body Connection by Celeste Cooper, RN, and Jeff Miller, PhD. 2010, Vermont: Healing Arts press

  • AMehmet Oz, MD, Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease), answered
    If you have fibromyalgia, you may find that you are particularly sensitive to cold and heat. In particular, you may feel cold at temperatures that others find comfortable. Not everyone with fibromyalgia has these symptoms, but they are not uncommon. Relaxation techniques, especially autogenic training, have been shown to help people with fibromyalgia feel warmer in their limbs. There are no specific medical treatments for temperature sensitivity, but treatment that reduces your fibromyalgia symptoms, including pain, may also help reduce your sensitivity to heat and cold.

    You can also develop coping mechanisms, such as bringing an extra layer of clothing to work or on trips, and making sure you don't sit next to drafty windows. If you've been diagnosed with fibromyalgia, it's your right to have a workplace that accommodates your medical needs, including a temperature that is comfortable for you.
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