Fibromyalgia Prevention

Written by the Healthline Editorial Team | Published on October 6, 2014
Medically Reviewed by George Krucik, MD, MBA on October 6, 2014

Fibromyalgia Prevention

Unfortunately, there is no way to prevent fibromyalgia. However, proper treatment and a few lifestyle changes can help reduce the frequency and severity of your symptoms. Rather than preventing the syndrome, people spend their time preventing flare-ups of symptoms. If your doctor diagnoses you with fibromyalgia, there are many things you can do to prevent the aggravation of your symptoms.

Get Adequate Sleep

Lack of good sleep is both a symptom of fibromyalgia and a cause of flare-ups. Poor sleep creates a cycle of more pain, which makes it harder to sleep, which causes more pain, and so on. You may be able to break the cycle by going to bed at the same time every night and practicing habits to improve sleep.

Try relaxing one hour before bed by shutting off the television and other electronic devices. Reading, taking a warm bath, or meditating are all good ways to unwind and prepare for deeper sleep. Your doctor may prescribe a sleep aid if you have persistent problems falling or staying asleep.

Reduce Emotional and Mental Stress

The symptoms of fibromyalgia get worse with stress. You can reduce flare-ups by minimizing those things that cause you the most stress. Eliminating stress inducers like unhealthy relationships or tense work environments is one way to do this. Some stressors cannot be avoided. When you cannot eliminate the source of stress, learning coping techniques can help minimize the effects of stress on your body and your mind.

Positive stress busters include:

  • meditation
  • relaxation
  • acupuncture
  • deep breathing techniques

Moderate intensity exercise is also a good way to blow off steam in a healthy way.  

Some people turn to alcohol and drugs in order to handle stress. This type of behavior is counterproductive. It can make symptoms worse or increase your risk for potentially dangerous health complications as a result of frequent alcohol or drug use.

Get Regular Exercise

Regular, moderate exercise can keep the muscles and joints healthy. Don’t go overboard. Rigorous fitness plans can make your symptoms worse. Walking is a good way to stay healthy and active without strenuous effort.

Eat a Balanced Diet

Some people with fibromyalgia find that certain foods make their symptoms worse. Gastrointestinal issues, such as irritable bowel syndrome, sometimes accompany this syndrome. You can reduce flare-ups by eating a balanced diet and avoiding aggravators. Common aggravators may include:

  • caffeine
  • fried foods
  • foods high in sodium

Monitor Your Symptoms

Keeping a diary about your symptoms can help you pinpoint those things that cause flare-ups. Listing information about what you ate, how you felt, and what you did on certain days will provide insight into what’s aggravating your symptoms. This diary can also be a useful tool for your doctor in prescribing treatment for your condition.

Because each case of fibromyalgia is unique, you may find other approaches work better in lessening your symptoms and reducing flare-ups. Talk to your doctor about available treatment options and lifestyle changes to create a treatment program that suits your specific needs. 

Know the Fibromyalgia Tender Points

Fibromyalgia Treatment Options

Drugs That Treat Fibromyalgia

Diagnosing Fibromyalgia

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Show Sources

Questions and answers about fibromyalgia. (2014, July). Retrieved from http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Fibromyalgia/default.asp

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