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Adrienne Dellwo

Cold Weather Survival for Fibromyalgia & Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

By September 21, 2012

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Fall is approaching, and while the days are still warm where I am, the nights are getting chilly and I don't expect many more days of 80-degree weather. That means I have to start making changes in my routines in order to keep myself from falling prey to a common symptom of fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome: cold sensitivity.

Do you get really cold and have a hard time warming up? Does getting chilled often lead to other symptoms (pain, fatigue, brain fog?) If so, you may have cold sensitivity. Here's some help for dealing with it:

What does the cold do to you? Has it started being a problem yet? What advice can you offer to cold-sensitive people? Leave your comments below!


Photo Doug Waters/Getty Images

September 21, 2012 at 8:34 am
(1) Whitewater says:

I have dysautonomia associated with CFS and Fibro. Mine is a love-hate relationship with cold. As the cold acts as a vasoconstrictor, my head feels brighter, more alert and less foggy when it’s cold out. But I have a horrible time staying comfortably warm. I wear shearling boots as slippers, wear fleece layers on my legs, and work hard to not let myself get chilled since reversing the chills is much more difficult than staying warm.

September 22, 2012 at 2:50 pm
(2) Rache Lynn says:

Cold is horrible. Cold weather makes life a lot more difficult for me. . If it were not for the pain in my toes, ankles, knees, fingers, wrists added to the constant back pain and bi-weekly (average) migraines I would actually adore Autumn and Winter. But the pain in my wrists and fingers, especially, make it very hard to do anything (even much exercise and stretching which aid many of the other pains.)

Summer has its issues too. It is more the humidity that affects me than the actual heat. We live w/o central air and in an upstairs apartment. So, between a too cold bedroom from a window air conditioner to a steam bath in the rest of the abode, I end up going from one extreme temp. to another. It is hard to say right now which season is worse on me.

September 24, 2012 at 1:28 pm
(3) Glenna Hamilton says:

I have fibro and Schogren syndrome. I stay cold and must bundle up.
What I wanted to add, is I have a hot paraffin bath for my hands and feet when they hurt. It stays plugged in all the time, thus it is ready any time I need it. this has been the most effective treatment I have found for my hands and feet. This is a worthwhile investment if one has quite a bit of pain.

September 25, 2012 at 11:59 am
(4) Kristine says:

Just before I opened up this article, I was telling my boyfriend that I already have major trouble getting up in the morning and it isn’t even October yet. This is my last winter in Minnesota. It’s like I loose at least half of a year every year to misery.

October 4, 2012 at 3:11 pm
(5) Jan says:

I, too, am extremely sensitive to weather changes. My ETN doctor told me preFMS I was a walking barometer w/horrible sinus infections/pain. Now it seems that the “barometer” thingy also is true for FMS. I can tell you when a front is coming in, when it’s going to rain, etc. based on my pain level. Pretty much ALL the time pain is close to 10, very seldom relief. It seems most of the pain is in the AM in my legs and feet. I see a doctor for the sleep issues and gratefully, she has given back some rest! It takes four different kinds of meds, taken at night to do this and even with all that medication, the pain will wake me up. Here in VA we are having rain, hot humid summer days still and it’s even gotten to the upper 30′s!! So my pain is constant with the changing weather. It seems whether it’s summer or winter, once the weather stabilizes, there is some relief. But, stabilization seldom happens.

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