From an early age I’ve always been a person that is generally cold a lot of the time. This has got a lot worse since having fibro but not only being cold. In these past weeks where in the UK we’ve been having a mega heatwave it has been worse. Some days it has just been too hot for me. I’ve found this is anything over around 24’c and I’ve had to stay indoors. I’ve really struggled to keep cool too and been extremely restless. I hope that by the end of this blog post you’ll understand more about how fibromyalgia affects your body’s ability to regulate your body temperature.
What is homeostasis?
The reason why is an inability to regulate your body temperature – yet another symptom of fibro. It is to do with the dysfunction of the autonomic nervous system. The autonomic nervous system controls homeostasis which works to manage a constant internal environment including regulating body temperature, blood sugar levels and carbon monoxide levels.
In fibromyalgia, homeostasis is affected and therefore being able to regulate your body temperature is too. More research is being done into why it is affected and if I find any I will do an updated blog post to let you know.
The best thing you can do is learn what affects your body’s temperature and makes you too hot or too cold. You can then find solutions that work for you to help manage this.
A word of warning…
In healthy people, regulating their body temperature is easy. A fan in the heat or an ice pack works wonders but ethods to cool down or warm up can be different in fibro. For example an ice cold flannel on your forehead may lead to more pain or a warm hot water bottle too. In order to regulate your body temperature try things that aren’t so harsh.
- Try washing your face with cool water if you’re too hot or a lukewarm hot water bottle if you’re too cold. One technique that I find really works is planning for the day ahead in terms of what I’m going to wear. I love the Met Office weather app on my phone as it shows the real feel temperature which takes into account the wind chill too. You can also get alerts if there is a weather warning in place which is really useful too.
- Even on these summer mornings I still plan layers. That way if it’s cooler than expected I’ll be warm enough or when it gets warmer through the day I can take layers off.
- The heat also affects your sleep too so be sure to check out my last blog post on insomnia with lots of useful tips to help you sleep.
- I have friends who use cool pads. They can be popped into your pillow or under a blanket – basically wherever you want them! They won’t break the bank either which is something that I always love.
Let me know if there are any other tips that you have found to be good in helping you regulate your body temperature. I’d love to hear from you!