Fibromyalgia symptoms in women are not affected by weather conditions, like temperature, precipitation, or sunshine. The findings published in Arthritis Care and Research suggested that changes in temperature could impact fibromyalgia symptoms, but the latest findings found no such impact.
First author Ercolie Bossema said, “Many fibromyalgia patients report that certain weather conditions seem to aggravate their symptoms. Previous research has investigated weather conditions and changes in fibromyalgia symptoms, but an association remains unclear.”
The team looked at 333 female patients with fibromyalgia who completed questionnaires about their pain and fatigue over a 28-day period. Researchers recorded temperature, sunshine duration, precipitation, atmospheric pressure, and relative humidity for each day.
In 10 percent of analyses, weather conditions had a small effect on fatigue and pain. In 20 percent of analyses, researchers found small differences to patients’ reaction to weather conditions, for example, experiencing greater pain with either low or high atmospheric pressure.
Dr. Bossema concluded, “Our analyses provide more evidence against, than in support of, the daily influence of weather on fibromyalgia pain and fatigue. This study is the first to investigate the impact of weather on fibromyalgia symptoms in a large cohort, and our findings show no association between specific fibromyalgia patient characteristics and weather sensitivity.”
The researchers suggest further analysis into patients’ personality traits, beliefs about chronic pain, and attitude towards weather conditions and symptoms be conducted in order to explain differences between fibromyalgia symptoms and changes in weather.
Fibromyalgia is a condition characterized by chronic pain, and yet it still remains a mystery as to how the condition is caused. Prevalence of fibromyalgia in the population is estimated at two percent, and it commonly affects more women than men. Some studies suggest that pain experienced in fibromyalgia is caused by an increase in sensitivity to stimuli.
Symptoms of fibromyalgia in women include:
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