How Fibromyalgia Patients are Affected by Obesity?

Obesity can put people at risk for developing several physical and psychological disabilities and conditions.  Recent research has found that women who are overweight or obese, especially those that do not exercise at all or who exercise less then an hour a week, carry an increased risk for developing fibromyalgia, a widespread pain disorder, mostly prevalent in women.

Fibromyalgia affects an estimated 10 million people in the United States.  Symptoms such as widespread pain and tender points on the body, fatigue, sleep problems, depression, anxiety, headaches, IBS, dry mouth and trouble concentrating all mark this condition.  Other then overweight and obesity, other risk factors for fibromyalgia include stressful and traumatic events, family history or the presence of rheumatic disease such as lupus.  Many treatments can be put into place to treat fibromyalgia including prescription medications, massage, acupuncture, chiropractic care, herbal supplements, stress reduction and better nutritional intake just to name a few.

Exercise has been found to offset the risks of fibromyalgia that overweight and obesity may cause.  The more that women exercised the lower their risk of developing fibromyalgia seemed to be.  It is believed that the protective effects of exercise on the risk for fibromyalgia even held true among obese women.  Though experts are not completely sure why being overweight or obese increases one’s risk for developing fibromyalgia, some studies have suggested that an increase in the levels of certain inflammatory proteins may play a role in the relationship.

Experts agree that adopting a healthier lifestyle, maintaining a healthy weight, eating healthy and developing the habit of regular exercise is vital in  properly managing the pain and improving the quality of life of fibromyalgia patients.


Fibromyalgia Health Center: Fibromyalgia Health Center:

National Fibromyalgia Association: http://www.fmaware.org/

Fibromyalgia: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001463/

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