CFS & Fibromyalgia Symptoms Flare In Cold Weather

The weather is as unpredictable as our ME/CFS and Fibromyalgia symptoms can be.  I find that I personally struggle the most with symptoms flaring when the weather and temperatures are at extremes – either really hot, really cold, really humid, really windy, or really damp.  The past couple of days have been particularly painful days due to the cold weather here on the East coast and with the high winds that we have had.  I was out this morning running several errands and I was in and out of the car a lot, and in and out of the wind and cold a lot.  By the time I got home, my pain levels were extremely high and an extra pain pill was on my lunch menu for today. 

Now that my thyroid levels are under control, and with my weight loss, I really mind the cold even more.  The past few winters I wouldn’t wear a coat much of the time because I was always so hot.  Now I am really feeling the temperatures and it is bothering me  a lot more than I remember it in years past.  My knees hurt, my back hurt, my elbows hurt, my head hurts, and my teeth even hurt.  I have pain in every area of my body – my toes even ache. 

I am extremely grateful right now for my physical therapy appointments, my heating pads, my neck massager and warmer, and all of my other gizmos that help to keep me comfy and cozy with all of this pain.  I also have pain cream that I rub on and pain patches that I have been using so that I’m not always dipping into the meds. 

Along with the increase in pain comes the increase of fatigue.  Pain is exhausting and it takes a lot out of a person.  I need to live somewhere that is 70 degrees all year round and my body would love it.  This weather we have here is just too hard on my body.  How are you getting through the winter months?  Are you seeing an increase in pain and other symptoms?  Please let me know in the comments!

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  1. Danease Gresch says:

    I’ve had more pain this year since the weather turned very cold and we got 6 inches of snow on the ground. I think mine is a combination of the holiday stress and the weather. I get extreme low back and leg pain and weakness in my legs. I’ve had more digestive disturbances (possibly also due to eating rich foods during the holidays) and fatigue. I’m much worse in the morning. I usually do not start feeling human until about 11am even when I feel I am sleeping well. A strange occurrence last night – I got up to go to the rest room and was barefoot. My feet hit the cold bathroom floor and once I got back into bed they felt like needles were going through them. It was a really weird sensation. My temp. gauge in my body is all over the map as well. Hot one minute, freezing the next. It regulates during the day but morning and late evening is the worst.

  2. I am so happy to have found this. I have Fibromyalgia for 14 yrs since my husband passed away. I just moved to Wisconsin from Texas. The humidity in TX was horrible to tolerate, I had to stay in the house most of the day and shop at night. I’ve been in WI just 4 mos. now and the past month I’ve had such awful pain all over. My legs hurt so bad I can barely touch them, my knees both hurt and it just seems like my entire body got stuck with a needle. My hands and fingers, neck and shoulders, etc., I guess there isn’t any part of me that does not hurt. I have two friends that have been helping me with unpacking, however, they just don’t believe me that I hurt so awful and how much I want to sleep. I just get so tired from doing a few small things in the house. They actually have been making me stressed out because they don’t believe me that I hurt. I will stay in touch and I’ve read quite a few comments here and am so happy to join all of you. Thank you for sharing your pain with others, I will be back again, maybe tonight again. Bless you all and hoping tomorrow will be a day of a little less pain.
    Barb in Green Bay, WI

  3. at barb.. i think that is the most stressful when people don’t believe u that your in so much pain. i do have gone thru that. with friends and family members. i have been dignosed with oa, ra, lupus, fibro, 4 herniated disc, spinal stenosis. so i have flare up all the time. so its really really depressing. but i do feel your pain. the cold is terrible. my husband got me a hot tub to sooth my aches some times it works and other times is makes it’s like a card game. some times u win some times u loose. what medications do the dr’s have u on

  4. Just came across this site and think it’s wonderful! Have been disagnosed now for about 10 years and just really live with the pain. I have other diagnoses as well, and it just makes the hurt so bad all the time, it seems. I’m taking morphone tablets (which I hear are different than the liquid) as well as savella. Other meds are for other ailments. I was diagnosed by a pain specialist and do not feel I get the attention I should be getting. I have a good relationship with my doctor, though, considering how long I’ve been seeing her. Not sure what to do. I feel I could use a change in meds ’cause I’ve been on the same things for many months now, but she’s not willing to consider this. Would appreciate it if someone could write back.
    Ana Maria

  5. I have Fibromyalgia and when it is real cold in the winter mine really acts up. I have found that exercise really helps. Yesterday when I started to ride the bicycle I really was hurting and couldn’t continue, so I stopped and went to do my exercises and it really helped. I stopped hurting and after I was done with the exercise I even walked on the treadmill for 10 minutes. Exercise really does help. I just started exercising this year and I can tell the difference. I only take an over the counter pain tablet. I also have knee pain, Doctor told me that I will have to have knee replacement sometimes in the future and exercise has helped with that. Don’t get me wrong, I still have some pain, but not as bad.

  6. Julia Walker says:

    I have suffered with Fibromyalgia for about 6-7 years now, and the weather has always been a major factor in how severe my pain will be! I can pretty much tell you without watching the weather, when it will storm, at least a day in advance, if not 2 days ahead of the storm!! I can’t hardly function if it’s storming, humid, humid and hot, and the cold weather seems to bring me to my knees!! My hands immediately go numb, and the pain will then start! I also suffer chronic fatigue! I’ve suffered a really bad flare that has lasted, so far now, a week and a half! It acted like it was going to ease on up today, and started back up again tonight. I also know how devastating it is, @Barb, for someone you care about, to tell you your pain is in your head! It’s disheartening!! Why would we want to make up this type of pain, and continue with it day in and day out, for year after year??? I was told Cancer Patients don’t hurt as bad or as often as I do! Really?? How would they even know that to be true, when they’ve never battled cancer themself!?! Anyway, I’m physically and mentally beaten down, so I’m going to try and rest. I just was happy I found this website, because it seems like a feiendly atmosphere, and I feel I now how somebody I can talk to, who understands what I’m going through, because nobody understands it! May you each be blessed with a day filled with less pain! Goodnight, and sweet dreams! 😉

  7. Ann Donner says:

    It is so heartening to read the above comments because I suffer terribly with cold since having this. I am at the point where it even seems to affect my breathing in the cold. So I have to spend part of the winter in the south to stay healthy and I really should live somewhere where the year round temps are moderate! The cold simply takes it out of me and it takes months to recover from it. Have had this since 1982, I have learned many coping skills. Cold is my nemesis, though! I weaned myself off all pain meds years ago. I get plenty of rest, and eat as well as I can and exercise as much as possible to my limits. I stay clear of stressful events as much as is possible.
    I surround myself with good people who do not judge. I have not been able to hold a full time job since having fibro. I had part time work until I recently retired. I had to completely change my career due to this.. However, I never let it get the better of me. Adaptation and being able to change are key. Best of luck to all. I have had this so long I have tried many many things. It has been a great lesson for me in letting go and staying in today. And staying warm sure helps!

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