Unfortunately, it’s easy for chronic pain patients to gain weight. Chronic pain patients are often in too much pain to get up and cook a healthy meal or exercise, so the pounds can add up after years of battling chronic pain. However, could it be possible for chronic pain conditions like fibromyalgia to cause weight gain in the first place?
Fibromyalgia is still a mysterious illness that chronic pain experts are trying to understand. According to various studies, there may be evidence that fibromyalgia could cause weight gain, but the reason why has not yet been determined.
The average fibromyalgia diagnosis happens to women in their 40s, so some theorize that instead of fibromyalgia causing weight gain, menopause is to blame. When estrogen release is slowed down during menopause, the body’s metabolism may also slow down. However, some studies make a case that the condition itself may slow the metabolism and cause weight gain.
When evaluating weight gain after a fibromyalgia diagnosis, the physicians at The Pain Center of Arizona may look at the side effects of pain medication. Since fibromyalgia is different for everyone, patients may have to try a few different medication pairings before they find one that treats their pain most effectively.
A number of pain-relieving medications can cause weight gain. If weight gain gets out of control or causes additional pain, talk to your physician. We may be able to switch up your prescription to a drug that does not cause weight gain. Additionally, patients can opt for pain-relieving trigger point injections as an alternative to medication. These injections can cause longer-lasting relief with little to no side effects.
Aside from pain medication alternatives, patients can take measures to control their weight while managing their fibromyalgia. Our physicians recommend eating a healthy diet full of essential vitamins and minerals.
However, we’ve found that it may be easier for patients to gradually get away from sweets starting out by only switching out a few foods for healthier alternatives and gradually adopting a healthy diet. Finally, our physicians can recommend simple exercises for patients who are just starting out.
It may be difficult to exercise when dealing with fibromyalgia pain, but it’s important to note that when following an exercise routine gets much easier the more you do it. Many patients have found success doing gentle flow yoga and moving up towards low-impact activities like walking and doing weight-bearing exercises.
The advice and information contained in this article is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace or counter a physician’s advice or judgment. Please always consult your physician before taking any advice learned here or in any other educational medical material.