If you have fibromyalgia, you already know you must be your own health advocate. Part of that is learning which habits trigger your symptoms. Here is a list of four habits that often trigger the exhaustion and soreness of fibromyalgia:
Eating Potato Chips
Potato chips are a popular salty snack, but this “food” is actually nothing more than oxidized fat. The minute you eat potato chips, they start to generate free radicals. Free radicals accelerate the damage that already exists in your body and creates new weak areas. They consume the antioxidants your body needs for energy.
Free radicals also accelerate the progression of symptoms in all degenerative diseases. In the case of fibromyalgia, that means you may feel tired all day, instead of just in the afternoon. You may feel even more tender and more exhausted than before. Soreness that before was only in your back may spread to your arms, legs and shoulders.
Bottom line: Stay away from potato chips. They’re just not worth it.
Drinking Carbonated Beverages Instead of Water
Both regular and diet carbonated drinks contain additives that adversely affect your health. These include sugars, artificial sweeteners, artificial colors and preservatives. When you consume these drinks, your body has to work overtime to get rid of their toxins, and that drains your energy. Also, these additives are addictive, creating a craving for foods that are inflammatory. Inflammation is always a dangerous condition, but it is a special threat to people with fibromyalgia.
People with fibromyalgia often find it difficult to exercise at all. If you are exercising, it is important to know that exercise itself creates free radicals, which worsen your symptoms. You need to learn how much exercise is too much for your body. A good guideline, however, is to limit exercise sessions to every other day for no more than twenty or thirty minutes.
Driving Long Distances Without Breaks
Driving can be extremely stressful, particularly if traffic is heavy or the weather is bad. Stress can cause your symptoms to flare up. Sitting in the same position for a long period of time is also bad for fibromyalgia symptoms, as it inhibits blood circulation and can pinch off nerves in the legs.
If you must take a long car trip, stop frequently for breaks. Climb out of the car and stretch. Let your eyes and your brain rest for a while. Whenever possible, let someone else drive.