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Fibromyalgia and Fatigue

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How Can I Get Help With Fibromyalgia Fatigue?

Coping with the symptoms of fibromyalgia is difficult at best. And managing the chronic fatigue of fibromyalgia takes great effort and planning. You may feel like others don't believe you when you are forced to cancel family gatherings or luncheons with friends because of the chronic fatigue with fibromyalgia. That's why planning your schedule without making too many commitments may be helpful, especially when fibromyalgia symptoms flare.

Most fibromyalgia experts recommend talking to others about your specific fibromyalgia symptoms. Then, they will know your fibromyalgia is real -- not something you've made up in your head. In fact, asking for help from your family, friends, employer, or coworkers is important. When you have help, you are better able to make it through the day, even with the limited energy you feel.

What Does Stress Have to Do With Fibromyalgia and Fatigue?

Reducing stress may give you a sense of control with fibromyalgia. Some experts believe that when people with fibromyalgia reduce their level of stress, they also experience a reduction in fatigue and anxiety. In addition, their sleep becomes more restful.

Can I Continue to Work With Fibromyalgia and Fatigue?

People with fibromyalgia who are able to work outside the home say they experience great stress on the job. Some say they fear they may be let go and be replaced by healthier, more qualified workers. Others are concerned because they are not able to perform the way they used to. Employers also report concern over the output of chronically ill patients. They cite reduced productivity, increased absenteeism, poor work quality, and increased workplace accidents. But if you stay mentally and physically able to handle your job responsibilities, you can continue to be a productive employee, even with fibromyalgia and fatigue.

Symptoms of fibromyalgia may wax and wane over time. You may, however, continue to experience muscle pain and fatigue. That doesn't mean there is nothing you can do. Here are actions you can take to help keep fatigue at bay:

  • If your employer will allow it, put a cot in your office or workroom. Then allow yourself to take rest periods throughout the day, especially when symptoms flare and you are fatigued.
  • Try to allow more time during the day to complete your responsibilities.
  • Budget your time carefully to avoid procrastinating. Procrastination can increase your stress level when deadlines come around.
  • Make daily "To Do" lists to remind yourself of the responsibilities you need to complete.
  • Limit outside commitments on work days.
  • Ask for help from coworkers when pain and fatigue are overwhelming. Pay them back with your assistance on days you feel better.
  • Take periodic breaks to avoid getting overly tired or stressed during busy workdays.
  • Listen to music during your workday to help keep your stress levels minimal.
  • Talk to your doctor about medications for fibromyalgia that may help improve sleep and ease fatigue.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini, DO, MS on April 02, 2014
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