Artificial Sweeteners & Fibromyalgia Flares: Is there a Connection?

First of all, what is fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia is considered one of the most common musculoskeletal conditions. In fact, it is surpassed only by osteoarthritis.

In fact, it is said that over 12 million Americans are afflicted with it, and most of those are women between the ages of 25 and 60.

Women are ten times more likely to develop fibromyalgia than men. Even though it is common it is often misdiagnosed, and is widely misunderstood both by those who are suffering from it and the medical community at large.

The characteristics of fibromyalgia include fatigue, widespread joint and muscle pain, and several other symptoms.

Ultimately, fibromyalgia can lead to social isolation and even depression because it’s simply no fun being out with friends and being in pain.

Fibromyalgia is a Syndrome

Fibromyalgia is actually a syndrome, which is actually a set of symptoms. When these specific symptoms present together, they imply that there is a disease/disorder already present in the body or that there is an increased risk of developing this disease/disorder.

When it comes to the syndrome of fibromyalgia, the following symptoms often will appear together.

  • Anxiety and/or depression
  • Lowered threshold of pain on the tender points
  • Fatigue that can be incapacitating
  • Widespread pain throughout the body

Fibromyalgia Flare-Ups

A fibromyalgia flare-up is a period of time where the number and/or intensity of the fibromyalgia symptoms are increased.

The first two symptoms that are typically notices in a fibromyalgia flare-up are worsening fatigue and pain.

However, other symptoms such as an increase in cognitive dysfunction, poor sleep, and even digestive disturbances can be experienced as well.

A fibromyalgia flare-up can last for a day or two, but they also may continue for several weeks or months. The long flare-ups are the most difficult to deal with because you may fear that they’re never going to end and let you get back to normal life.

However, when you begin to feel a bit discouraged during one of those long fibromyalgia flare-ups, it is very important that you remind yourself that the flare-ups are indeed temporary.

Eventually, the signs and symptoms will begin to subside and you can begin to feel normal again.

The best way to prevent fibromyalgia flare-ups is to figure out what it is that is causing them, and whenever it is possible, avoid those triggers.

You should keep in mind that it may take up to 48 hours after exposure to the trigger for the fibromyalgia flare-up to happen.

Common Fibromyalgia Flare-Up Triggers

It has been said that there are ten common fibromyalgia flare-up triggers. They are as follows:

Changes in weather

One of the most common fibromyalgia flares is the weather changes. When a new front passes through, changing the barometric pressure, many with fibromyalgia will experience a change in symptoms- particularly an increase in pain.

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