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How Fibromyalgia Symptoms can be
exacerbated by the flu


Nobody ever wants to get the flu. We all know how the flu can interrupt plans, and holiday get togethers, and it usually comes when least expected. 

Do you relate to the image above? Maybe that IS you right now? oh, the head pain. 

I was recently at a week long retreat with many people. I went into the retreat feeling pretty good, all things considered, and was hopeful it would be a joyous time away to recharge the old batteries. 

I had a good time, meeting people, socializing, and feeling a "part of" a great group of people. 

I even remember someone saying that people don't generally get sick there, and I thought that was interesting because it is winter time and it was pretty close quarters during the day although we did have our own living quarters.

I've reflected back on that statement a few times now, because I did end up getting the flu right at the end of the retreat, so obviously something was going around. 

How the flu can exacerbate other fibromyalgia symptoms

Now, here's the thing. If you have lived with fibromyalgia for any amount of time, you likely know that flu symptoms have the potential to exacerbate fibromyalgia symptoms. 

One of my most vulnerable areas is my head (due to long time chronic migraine, sinus issues, and occipital neuralgia pain) 

Remember how I often address  in our videos, the referral pain patterns around the head? Well, these can very much come into play when we get the flu. So a flu becomes more than a flu, it's actually activating symptoms in fibromyalgia, at least if it gets the chance. 

It's kind of like the words we use to describe some of the symptoms in fibro, like "fibro flu". Obviously we wouldn't use those words if it didn't already feel like living with the flu, often due to the co-conditions of Chronic Fatigue/CFS/ME

One of my vulnerable areas is my sinuses, due to a deviated septum and a sinus issue as a child. In my case, the very first signs of the flu include massive migraine, vomiting, sinus pain, and occipital pain. (that is where those referral patterns can come into play)

Referral pain patterns around the head in fibromyalgia 


If you have ever watched my videos where I detail the pain referral patterns around the bead, hopefully it brings some level of comfort knowing your are not crazy, defective, or alone if you experience this awful referring pain. 

Especially if you are prone to sinus infections, (you know that pain between the eyes and sinus area) well it can refer to the jaw, ears, and back to the occipital bones behind the ears. 

Fibromyalgia and the Immune System 

Now, this is why I really tend to dread getting a cold, flu. or other virus. It comes in with severe pain, and often results in a sinus infection.

Hopefully you don't experience the sinus issues, but even so, we want to do all we can to strengthen our defenses against theses viruses. 

Here in our Immune Health article, I detail MANY things we find helpful to creating more resilience, especially if you already have the flu. I mean, even the healthiest of people get the flu. 

Bookmark that article, and don't worry it's also at the bottom of this article as well. 

Getting the mucous out 

Have you ever felt tons better when you finally get the mucous up that's been taking residence in your sinus cavity, throat, or anywhere else?

Oh the feeling.  Mucous itself is very sticky. It adheres to toxins, bacteria, and germs. 

Have you seen the mucous monster on the commercial? I mean, he basically wants to cause you as much aggravation as possible, right? 

Yes, because he knows how devious he is, and he wants to "stick around" (pun intended) as LONG AS POSSIBLE. 

SO the GOOD NEWS is that when we are sick, we generally don't feel like eating a whole lot, that's ok. let the body use its energy for healing, but also use this as an opportunity to start avoiding foods that are mucous attractors like dairy proteins, sugars, soda, processed grains, etc. 

In fact, this will be just ONE part of our upcoming course in mid January where we will be immersed in all things that affect fibro for eight weeks. 

Take good care of your heart when the flu hits 

For anyone with underlying conditions or heart issues, it is even more important to take good care of yourself when you contract a virus.

Do you notice your heart beating faster and harder? That is normal. 

And it is a sign that your body is working hard to control the virus, but it can also feel uncomfortable when your heart rate is elevated and you feel your heart pounding, while dealing with all the other flu symptoms. 

In our heart health article, we give suggestions to taking good care of the heart, and this also might include taking anti-inflammatories as necessary when additional stress on the body can lead to inflammation around the heart or entire body. 

The flu and your army of
White Blood Cells 

So the bottom line is that when we get sick, our body rushes into action.

Our army of white blood cells are ready and waiting to take down some enemy invaders. They are working hard to fight that infection. 

It's not fun to be down and out anytime of the year, but especially during the holidays, so just know that you are not alone. 

The first few days of a flu are meant for rest, but even as you start to feel a little better, don't push it too much, allow your body the time it needs, whether it's one week or two...maybe more.

Related Articles:

Fibromyalgia and the Immune System   (tips on staying well or dealing with flu symptoms)

Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome 

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