What you should read First

What you should read Second.

Start with "Fibromyalgia Definition"and and then move on to the rest of the posts of dated April 24th

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Dehydration and Fibromyalgia

Summertime can make a healthy person wilt faster than fresh spinach in a frying pan, but add fibro to the mix, and your aches and pains might go into overdrive when you put them in a hot environment. Of course, there are those fibro sufferers who walk outside on a hot summer day and say "ah," in relief, too. However, even those people who would rather be hot than cold can suffer if they are not careful. Too much sun, too much activity in the heat, and the knots in a fibromite's muscles can have them saying "uncle."

One of the biggest problems that we experience is dehydration. Between the medications and supplements that we take, and our illness causing our muscles to cry out for nourishment, we are often borderline dehydrated anyway. Add to that sweating in the heat, and you have a recipe for disaster. If you are ever outside and feeling lightheaded in the summer, get inside where it's cool and drink a tall glass of water fast! People with fibromyalgia can get dangerously dehydrated very quickly, and you may not recognize that headache as a warning of dehydration, because we suffer from headaches so often anyway!

Drink as much water as you can stand during the summer- preferably a gallon a day, if you can handle it. (I know it sounds excessive! But trust me, your kidneys will thank you.) If you hate water (like I do) add a slice of lemon or lime to it. It'll add a refreshing flavor to the water, and zero calories. Tea is not a good substitute- as a diuretic, it goes through you too quickly. Soda, too, is not a good substitute because of the sugars. (Even diet soda is made with high fructose corn syrup- a complex sugar.) If you absolutely can't stand plain water, and don't like my idea of adding the lemon or lime slice, the vitamin waters and flavored waters out there are decent substitutes- just check the label and try to avoid the ones with high fructose corn syrup.

While we do need sunlight for the vitamin D that it gives us (and being out in the sun is the best way to get it- I'll go into that in more detail in a moment), it's simply a good idea to avoid getting sunburned. I recommend a good sunblock, but I also do recommend getting outside and getting as much sun as you can. It does more for you than just give you a healthy supply of vitamin D. It can help fight off the depression that plagues those of us with fibromyalgia, and being active, even in a small way like taking a walk in the sun, is very good for you. It gets you up off the couch, gets your blood flowing, and lifts your spirits. Recent research suggests that part of the pain of fibromyalgia is from poor blood circulation in the muscles- so that walk outside in the sun might do you more good than you think!

I do, however, recommend moderation! Being outside in the sun, with the sun's rays warming your muscles might loosen up some of those old knots enough that you might start thinking "hey, I feel good!" and you might want to start doing more. Don't. Take your gentle walk, perhaps go swimming or do some other gentle activity that is very low-impact, and then rest. Be gentle with yourself, and don't push your limits, because you may end up paying for it!

One other thing that I recommend is having a lot of loose-weave clothing to wear. Drawstring linen pants or shorts, loose pull-over tops, and the like. Things that are comfy, cool, and easy to wear will make it easier on you to get dressed, and also will keep you cooler in the heat.

Overall, having fibromyalgia can be rough, but you can make it through even the dog days of summer easy as pie if you just know how.


  1. I enjoyed your post. You are so right about the dehydration. My FM increases with pain in the heat of summer. Happy New Year!

  2. Excellent advice. I'm here in Texas and agree, when it's hot and humid my muscles feel much worse!

  3. i've had FM for 8 yrs now and thanks to your post I now know why im always dehydrated.

  4. Thank you, this was very helpful to me