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How to 'Beat the Heat' This Summer If You Have Fibromyalgia

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Do you have problems regulating heat? Are you sensitive to weather changes? Does the heat make you sick?

Many people with fibromyalgia find the better weather usually means less pain, but they find themselves with a new problem: the heat makes them very, very sick!

Unfortunately, that seems to be a common problem.

Fortunately, we can do things to keep ourselves cooler, starting with our homes. If you don’t have central air conditioning, it is probably worth the small investment for a window or portable unit.

Keep your bedroom cool, even if just using fans. Having somewhere you can sleep is one of the most important things you can do. Getting a restful night’s sleep is challenging enough. Trying to do it when you are hot is miserable!

You can find other tips for cooling your home here.

Once our house is cooler, we are halfway there!


Take special care to use sunscreen. Some medications might make your skin more sensitive to the sun.

But we can’t stay in our cool and hopefully air-conditioned houses all summer…not if we want to enjoy it, even a little bit! So, what can you do to help keep cool this summer?

– Be picky about the time of day. Avoid being outside during the “hottest” parts of the day, usually between 11:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. If you have a choice, spend these hours indoors!

– Choose your clothing wisely; light-colored, loose and breathable clothing will be cooler. Wearing a hat, especially one with a wide brim. This will protect your face from the sun. Sunglasses (polarized) will help to protect your eyes – a necessity if you get migraines.

– Stay hydrated. If you feel thirsty, you are already dehydrated – or that’s what I have been told all my life. The minimum you need is eight glasses a day, more if the temperature is higher and you’re sweaty! One of my personal favorites is ice water with lemon, but you can infuse water with all kinds of fruits!

  • Make it a habit to have a reusable water bottle with you whenever you go out.
  • Something I learned from one of the many times I have had heat exhaustion, is to make sure to include something with salt to help balance electrolytes.

– Make sure to eat something! Save the heavier meals for cooler days, and stick to light and refreshing choices. These are the perfect days for sandwiches, salads and fresh fruit. Outdoor BBQ-ing is another great option! Or just order in.

Some Great Tips…

I recently asked my family, friends and a Facebook group I love what tips they had to “beat the heat” this summer and they had some great ideas!

Plenty of people choose to stay indoors; a general agreement was the need for A/C.

And a whole lot of people said they spend the time in water…either a local pool, the beach or a lake. The cool water is definitely a favorite!

Some other ideas included…

“Use a spray bottle filled with water and a few peppermint essential oil drops, spray on skin and it will cool you down.” One I didn’t know, and am looking forward to trying (I mixed in five drops to about three ounces of water, but it’s raining today.)

“I take showers to cool off – really helps before bedtime,” “running water over my wrists and feet” and “going to bed with damp hair” were a couple other great ideas!

“Cold compresses” was another, either using a regular damp facecloth or towel (put the facecloth in a Ziploc in the freezer for drip-proof version).

“Cooling cloths” from a store (I found some at my local Winners store and Amazon online). You wet it, wring it out and it stays cold for hours and doesn’t drip and get you all wet. Perfect to take anywhere, even to bed! Using one on the back of your neck can help cool you down.

And if you have a family, spend a day at the water or spray park. Jump in when you’re hot, sit in the shade when you’re not…and spend some quality time with the “little ones.” Take a picnic.

And a Couple of Fails…

I have heard of people putting sheets and pillows in freezers before bed for a more comfortable sleep… I can see the pillow, but by the time I remake the bed with the sheets from the freezer, those sheets wouldn’t be cold anymore!

A friend suggested eating spicy food, as it apparently drops your body temperature and makes you sweat. Personally, I don’t need any help sweating, and spicy food doesn’t agree with my tummy, so nope, not for me!

Do you have any tips or tricks to beat the summer heat?



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Thinkstock photo via Chitra Tatachar.

Originally published: June 12, 2017
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