FIBROMYALGIA & THE WEATHER – IS THERE A CONNECTION?
Updated: Oct 19, 2020
Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition that commonly causes widespread pain and fatigue. According to the NHS, symptoms vary from person to person, and can change depending on factors such as how stressed we feel and how active we are.
If you suffer from fibromyalgia, you’ll know how difficult it can be to get a diagnosis. Thanks to the wide range of symptoms and the lack of sufficient tests, a person with fibromyalgia often sees more than ten healthcare providers before they receive confirmation of their condition. Unsurprisingly, this causes a lot of frustration to those suffering from this already distressing syndrome.
How does the weather affect fibromyalgia?
Unfortunately, there has been little research into the effects of the weather on fibromyalgia. However, in a large online study of over 2500 people, a stunning 80% insisted that changes in the weather do indeed have a negative effect on their symptoms. In fact, weather changes came in ahead of documented triggers like sleeping difficulties, strenuous activity and mental stress, coming second only to emotional distress.
While triggers and symptoms can vary from person to person, Fibromyalgia Syndrome advises that there are some specific weather patterns you can look out for:
Cold weather can make the pain and stiffness of fibromyalgia worse.
High pressure can trigger headaches and pain.
Low pressure – or even changes in pressure – can bring on pain, stiffness, and the dreaded ‘fibro-fog’, causing cognitive and memory problems.
What can we do?
Being prepared for the weather means you can think ahead and plan how to combat its effects. But when you’re suffering from extreme fatigue, pain and fibro-fog, the last thing you want to be doing is analysing the weather forecast and working out how you’ll be affected and when.
Enter Weather Flare!
The Weather Flare app is tailor-made for people with long-term health conditions like fibromyalgia, showing you potential triggers like temperature and humidity at a glance.
With Weather Flare, you can see how the weather forecast is set to affect your fibro and plan your schedule accordingly. And if you’re heading out, Weather Flare can also map out your journey and let you know if there’s anything you need to be prepared for along the way.
When you suffer from fibromyalgia, we know how hard it can be to get the care you need. Because Weather Flare keeps track of your triggers and flare-ups, you’ll have a simple way to show your care providers what you’re experiencing, hopefully leading to more effective treatment and management.
We’re currently in the beta testing phase of the Weather Flare app and we’re trying to make it as helpful as possible for people with chronic conditions. We’d love your feedback on what’s working for you and what we could improve. Download the beta Weather Flare app now on iOS and Android to give it a try and let us know how you find it!
Help us crowdfund to finish building the Weather Flare app. The finished version will learn how the weather is affecting the user’s condition/s and produce a personalised weather forecast showing good, bearable and tricky days. https://igg.me/at/weatherflare/x#/