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Adrienne Dellwo

Smoking Makes Fibromyalgia Symptoms Worse

By January 28, 2009

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NEWSBRIEF: Two unrelated studies show that smoking cigarettes and using tobacco in other forms appears to make fibromyalgia symptoms more severe.

In a Mayo Clinic study, people using tobacco in any form had higher pain-intensity scores on the fibromyalgia impact questionnaire, had fewer good days, and missed more days of work.

In a Turkish study, cigarette smokers with fibromyalgia had more severe symptoms and higher rates of anxiety and depression.

Related Content: Fibromyalgia Symptoms; Get Help Quitting at About.com's Smoking Cessation Site

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Comments
April 23, 2010 at 4:22 pm
(1) edwards29 says:

I got sick with CFS in 1974 after 4 years of smoking high-tar-and-nicotine cigarettes, a pack a day. I felt short of breath (later found out it was anxiety due to muscle locking), so I cut down to about one cigarette a day for 9 years; I just couldn’t stop completely. Everytime I took a drag, I felt weak and shaky and remained so for many minutes afterward. When I complained to my internist, he said it was an allergy to cigarettes; another internist said it was just normal fatigue caused by smoking. I knew it was something else. When I finally went on Nardil in 1983 and found great relief, I reverted to my pack-a-day habit, but always felt bad after smoking. After many, many attempts to quit over the years, I was finally able to quit completely in 1999. Now, my CFS has become so bad, I think that if I smoked a cigarette I would die. I often wonder if I’d be this sick if I hadn’t smoked all those years.

March 26, 2011 at 7:35 pm
(2) Karin says:

It seems that the Americans blame smoking cigarettes for everything. I don’t believe there is a direct connection between CFS and smoking tobacco. I have fibromyalgia and was a smoker for a long long time, but not really addicted to it, just a bad habit of mine. After I stopped nothing really happened – I am as tired as always, no matter how much I sleep – and I met lots of CFS and Fibros in my life, and most of them were non smokers, I mean they never touched a cigarette in their life.
I am German, living in the US and since I came here (my husband is American) I don’t even have health insurance. I just have to cope with my pain, fatigue and all the other syndromes without any medication. I didn’t die yet (LOL)

May 30, 2011 at 2:23 am
(3) Trae Wilson says:

Actually Karin, if you know anything about fibromyalgia, you know that serotonin levels are low in this disease and the body is sensitive to any stimuli or depressant of the body. That being said, you should also know as a smoker that nicotine stimulates the production of serotonin in the body. Now put sensitive neurons with a neuron stimulate and what do u get? More pain…like ice on a bad tooth.

September 8, 2011 at 1:56 pm
(4) Lisa says:

I was diagnosed with Fibro last year. I just quit smoking a week ago and I must say my symptoms are much less severe since I quit smoking. I have to agree with this study. I feel so much better and my pain levels are minimal even during low pressure fronts during this past week.

May 30, 2011 at 2:27 am
(5) Trae Wilson says:

Serotonin levels are low and extremely sensitive in fibromyalgia patients. That being said, nicotine is a serotonin stimuli, therefore stimulating the already sensitive neurons is gonna cause an increase in the symptoms of FMS

December 27, 2011 at 12:22 pm
(6) Carrieann says:

It’s a pleasure to find such ratnioaltiy in an answer. Welcome to the debate.

December 19, 2012 at 8:13 am
(7) Mutlu says:

I am a FMS patient, too. I must say that my symptoms are directly linked to smoking. In the past, I had quit smoking and during that that time my pain levels had dramatically decreased. When I started again, the pains started again. I am still smoking suffering the pain. No chance, I have to quit forever.

December 19, 2012 at 8:15 am
(8) Mutlu says:

I am a FMS patient, too. I have severe pains in my back and chest. I must say that my symptoms are directly linked to smoking. In the past, I had quit smoking and during that that time my pain levels had dramatically decreased. When I started again, the pains started again. I am still smoking – suffering the pain. No chance, I have to quit forever.

December 25, 2012 at 6:56 am
(9) citation machine says:

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info for me. And i’m glad reading your article. But wanna remark on few general things, The site style is ideal, the articles is really excellent : D. Good job, cheers

February 23, 2014 at 12:29 pm
(10) Dawn says:

hi all, just want to tell you my exsperience. I am 32 and had mild fybro and coped ok with it, i was a heavy smoker 30 a day! Gave up with e.gigeretes for 8 wks and my symptoms stayed the same, however i started smoking again, 30 a day and now my fybro is exausting, ive lost my job i dont sleep because the pain is that bad. 6 months after! I have decided today to give up smoking using Eciggy, i will keep you all updated about my better or worse symptoms. Take care all and wish everyone some rest from pain x

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