Is there a distinct relationship between fibromyalgia and obesity? Considering that many individuals have already been diagnosed with this condition, it is important to determine whether or not a possible correlation exists. This article will take a look at several relevant questions so that you can obtain a bit of much-needed insight while making the appropriate lifestyle changes.
What are the Causes of Fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia is a chronic inflammatory disease that is normally associated with generalized aches and pains. Other symptoms include constant fatigue and trouble falling asleep (as well as remaining asleep). It is estimated that fibromyalgia may affect as much as two per cent of the adult population. However, the rather generalized nature of the symptoms hints that the true figures could be considerably higher.
One of the most confounding factors associated with this illness is that its root causes are still not understood. It is thought that environmental factors (such as emotional stress and concurrent illnesses) may play a role while genetics are likewise believed to be a component.
Treatment will normally attempt to alleviate the symptoms as opposed to representing a cure. Having said this, medical technology could very well be able to provide targeted solutions in the future.
How Might Fibromyalgia Contribute to Weight Gain?
Many studies have centered around fibromyalgia and obesity. In fact, up to 50 per cent of those who suffer from this condition are classified as being obese. It is therefore clear to see that there may very well be a causal relationship. So, what conclusions might we be able to draw?
The first important point is the fact that the inflammatory nature of fibromyalgia could contribute to an increase in visceral fat (fat stores found around the organs in the abdomen). This type of fat is not often apparent to the naked eye and in severe cases, it can lead to serious health issues (such as high blood pressure and poor circulation).
As highlighted earlier, fibromyalgia often causes persistent aches and pains. These can make it difficult to perform physical activities such as participating in a regular exercise class. As more weight is gained, the individual might also find it tough to find the motivation required to make proactive lifestyle changes.
A third component in terms of weight gain involves chronic fatigue and difficulty sleeping. Similar to other conditions such as obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA), feelings of lethargy throughout the day can make it nearly impossible to increase one’s metabolism and to burn off excess calories.
We can now see that all of these scenarios may create a so-called “perfect storm” in terms of fibromyalgia and obesity. So, what are your potential options?
Could Losing Weight Help to Alleviate the Associated Symptoms?
Let us assume that you were able to lose ten or 15 kilogrammes. Would this help to improve your fibromyalgia symptoms? This essentially depends on the individual, any underlying health conditions and other variables such as age.
However, it is a well-known fact that physical activity produces feel-good chemicals known as endorphins. One side-effect of endorphins involves increased pain tolerance. So, losing weight via physical activity could temporarily alleviate some of the discomfort that you might otherwise feel.
It is also wise to mention that carrying too much weight will tend to exacerbate any symptoms that may already be present, especially when discussing certain areas of the body such as the back, hips, knees, and ankles.
How to Lose Weight While Obese with Fibromyalgia
The first step should always involve speaking with your physician or a qualified personal trainer. These professionals will be able to provide medical insight while also illustrating the types of activities that could produce results. Here are some other tips to consider:
- Embrace healthy eating habits and a balanced diet.
- Do not overexert yourself, as this could actually worsen the symptoms.
- Exercise at your own pace.
- Take herbal supplements and/or consult with a specialist if you have difficulty sleeping.
Another powerful solution involves the presence of a Spatz3 adjustable gastric balloon. This device will help to limit your caloric intake while allowing your stomach to feel fuller for longer periods of time (a condition known as satiety). Of course, we will be happy to explain why a growing number of obese individuals have already leveraged this option.
Although fibromyalgia and obesity are inextricably related, there are still plenty of ways to control your body weight while pursuing a healthy lifestyle.