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Fibromyalgia Fatigue does take it’s toll!
One of the major symptoms of Fibromyalgia is fatigue. The basic reason for the fatigue is that you are sleep deprived. As you know, with fibro, sleep is so difficult. You’re not getting the sleep required, thus you’re extremely fatigued. Many people with fibromyalgia are prescribed sleep medications perhaps the most common being Amitriptyline. In reality, this is an antidepressant medication with a side effect of drowsiness and sleepiness, thus allowing you to fall asleep. The problem lays in that this medication along with the other sleep medications do not allow you to reach that level 3 deep sleep (called R.E.M.) sleep which is where your body rejuvenates itself. Therefore you might be taking medication and getting some sleep, but not the real sleep you need, thus you are fatigued.
Depending on the individual, fatigue can be mild and bothersome, or worse. Many people report being able to fight their way through the day, though they’re always tired. For some, constant rest periods throughout the day are enough to allow them to function. For others, the fatigue is so severe that work is impossible, even getting off the couch becomes a chore. Some feel so fatigued and tired all the time that they have to rely on a wheel chair or scooter. It really depends on the individual.
Some people rely on cup after cup of coffee, not a very good solution as caffeine, a drug, pushes the adrenal glands (you have two adrenal glands, they are small triangular shaped glands that live above each kidney and are part of the endocrine system which produces and controls hormones in your body) to produce more adrenalin. The problem lies with the fact that one of the symptoms of Fibromyalgia is poorly functioning adrenal glands. Thus caffeine, in short term might seem like a viable solution, in the long term it is doing more harm and causing your fibromyalgia to become worse.
I spoke to a young 20 year old woman 2 days ago who had told me that her doctor recommended coffee throughout the day. This young woman did not like coffee nor did she drink it, but gave it a try. I honestly have no idea what this doctor was thinking, but I assure you that he had no understanding of Fibromyalgia.
Now I realize that most of us like and depend on that morning cup of coffee to get moving in the morning. Just the smell of fresh coffee can be quite tantalizing, but for people with Fibromyalgia, coffee is not a good idea. The same goes for caffeinated teas or and energy drinks which are often loaded with caffeine.
There really is no simple answer for how to stop the fatigue short of being able to get rid of the fibromyalgia.