Welcome to part seven – fatigue and energy in fibromyalgia! I hope you’re enjoying this series and have made some progress.
We have discussed:
FATIGUE AND ENERGY IN FIBROMYALGIA
I hope that by improving your sleep, managing pain as well as possible and meditating that fatigue is also reduced. In this part we will discuss some extra energy boosters, energy saving pacing and supplements that may help. Severe, ongoing fatigue issues that are not mitigated by good sleep and management of pain will need a real partnership with a doctor to work through.
PACING FOR FIBROMYALGIA
Pacing simply means to alternate rest with activity in a manner congruent with your pain and energy levels.
Before I had begun my journey to wellness, when I was still just trying to cope with being a young woman in terrible levels of pain and fatigue, I had this glimmer of hope in the form of reduced work hours. I had begun to conceive of the idea of pacing and boundaries before I knew anything else. Reducing my work hours to ¾ time and cutting the two hours of commuting each day was the beginning of my wellness journey and such a vital step.
HOW TO ASSESS YOUR BOUNDARIES AND IMPLEMENT WISE PACING?
- Write it down!
- Write down what you do each day and track your pain and fatigue levels – look for the patterns over a two week period.
- Listen to what your body is telling you. Grab an empty piece of paper and a pen and free write about your ideal day, see what your intuition is telling you.
- Or, to start, take what you can get. Perhaps the first step you can make is to drop one afternoon or one day off work? Start there!
THE CFS/FIBROMYALGIA RATING SCALE
For a long time, I prided myself on being a 60 on the CFS/Fibromyalgia Rating Scale, “Able to do about 6-7 hours of work a day. Mostly mild to moderate symptoms” despite pain levels more in line with a 50, “able to do 4-5 hours a day of work or similar activity at home. Daily rest required. Symptoms mostly moderate.” (My italics)
I pushed myself to 6-7 hours per day minimum and suffered moderate symptoms. I had missed the key as suggested in this article on understanding our situation: “What is the highest level of functioning I can sustain without intensifying my symptoms?” (My italics) If my pain is at a moderate level, then I should not be striving to work the hours of a person with more mild symptoms, especially given that I go home to small children as opposed to being able to rest. You need to take into account your symptom level and your situation.
These articles are from the website CFIDs and Fibromyalgia Self-Help. They run a free course that takes the idea of pacing into more detail.
SUPPLEMENTS FOR FATIGUE AND ENERGY
See this blog post for more information about supplements for Fibromyalgia energy.
Some things that might be useful for fatigue:
- CoQ10 (ubiquinol in its most activated form)
- Adrenal support herbs
- Acetyl L-Carnitine
- B-complex vitamin
- A general multivitamin such as the Energy Revitalization System by Dr Teitelbaum
Action: I’d love to hear your favourite energy boosters, feel free to come and join Melissa vs Fibromyalgia Facebook group and let us know.
Do you wish that you could have all of the parts of the Fibromyalgia Framework Series, along with the templates to help you plan with space for notes in one place? There is! The Fibromyalgia Framework Series Workbook is available here. Find it physically here. Please note that some of my links are affiliate links and I may make a commission at no extra cost to you.