Advertisement

How does fibromyalgia cause temperature intolerance?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiologist (Heart Specialist)
Among the many mysteries of fibromyalgia is why some people become very sensitive to cold temperatures. For some reason, cold drafts or a drop in the temperature outdoors causes their symptoms to worsen. According to the Fibromyalgia Network, exposure to cold air is one of the most common triggers for flare-ups of symptoms. If you notice that a chill can worsen your pain and other symptoms, packing a warm sweater could be an important part of managing your fibromyalgia.
Fibromyalgia can cause temperature intolerance or sensitivity, but experts aren't certain why.

Some people with fibromyalgia feel unusually cold compared to others at an otherwise normal room temperature, while others may say that they feel unusually warm. Often, temperature sensitivity occurs in the hands and feet, and it can sometimes cause changes in skin color.
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiologist (Heart Specialist)
Among the many mysteries of fibromyalgia is why some people become very sensitive to cold temperatures. For some reason, cold drafts or a drop in the temperature outdoors causes their symptoms to worsen. According to the Fibromyalgia Network, exposure to cold air is one of the most common triggers for flare-ups of symptoms. If you notice that a chill can worsen your pain and other symptoms, packing a warm sweater could be an important part of managing your fibromyalgia.
One study found that people with fibromyalgia felt pain from cold temperatures that weren't painful to people who did not have fibromyalgia. Healthy people reported pain when the water temperature was 1 to 7 degrees Celsius (33.8 to 44.6 degrees Fahrenheit), but people with fibromyalgia could only tolerate a temperature of 13 degrees Celsius (55.4 degrees Fahrenheit). In this study, imaging tests showed that the pain-sensing pathways in the brains and spinal cords of those with fibromyalgia were abnormal. Because of this, the nervous system could not access the natural pain-numbing ability of the brain, making the cold water feel painful.

Continue Learning about Physical Effects of Fibromyalgia

What are the physical effects of fibromyalgia?
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MDDr. Mehmet Oz, MD
The physical effects of fibromyalgia are different for everyone, but all folks with fibro have one...
More Answers
What causes face and jaw pain in fibromyalgia patients?
RealAgeRealAge
Although less common than other coexisting conditions, temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ) dev...
More Answers
Why are people with fibromyalgia more sensitive to pain than other people?
National Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain AssociationNational Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain Association
Fibromyalgia (FM) is a chronic pain state where changes in the way the brain recognizes pain signals...
More Answers
How does fibromyalgia affect the body?
Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)
Fibromyalgia affects the body in various ways. People with fibromyalgia experience chronic, widespre...
More Answers

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.