Weight Loss Improves Fibromyalgia Symptoms

fibromyalgia and weight loss

A group of medical experts found that being overweight or obese can intensify your fibromyalgia symptoms. As such, losing some weight can somehow help in managing the pain even better.

Body Wide Inflammation

The cells in our body’s fat tissues are often chemically active. As such, they release certain proteins including other chemicals that can intensify body wide inflammation. Medical researchers are beginning to link obesity to a state of constant inflammation. Although fibromyalgia is not a type of inflammatory disease, increased inflammation in the body can play a role in the level of pain and sensitivity.

Growth Hormone IGF-1

One of the factors behind the link between obesity and fibromyalgia is growth hormone. It is an insulin-like growth factor known as IGF-1. IGF-1 has been known to minimize fatigue as a result of fibromyalgia. In fact, most fibromyalgia patients rank fatigue as the top most annoying symptom in the chronic pain syndrome. It is second to pain, which is the most unbearable symptom of all. This is according to a research done by the University of Gothenburg. Having said that, IGF-1 has a indirect relationship with a person’s weight. The level of this hormone drops when the BMI of a person increases.

During a research and therapy study on arthritis, researchers tested the level of the IGF-1 in 48 individuals who are suffering from fibromyalgia. They also tested other measures. These participants went through a supervised exercise program. Researchers found that doing a 45-minute walking exercise at least twice a week can increase the level of IGF-1. As a resulted, they observed a decrease in fatigue among individuals who are either overweight and obese. The results however occurred faster among those who have healthy weight.

Exercise Decrease Fatigue and Improves Symptoms

Experts believe that moderate exercises can help decrease fatigue in fibromyalgia patients. However, some experts point that this benefit has to do with IGF-1 activity. The effect of regular exercise in a recent study was strongest among lean participants. However, after six months, exercising also benefited obese and overweight individuals.

Losing weight can significantly improve fibromyalgia symptoms. In a study done in 2012, researchers made a comparison between fibromyalgia patients who lowered their BMIs and patients whose weight remained the same. Researchers found that those who lost weight exhibited healthier levels of inflammatory proteins. Furthermore, they also showed improvement in dealing with other fibromyalgia symptoms such as depression and sleep problems.

18 Comments

  • I’ve had Chronic Fatigue & Fibromyalgia for 32 years that has been pretty debilitating at times. I lost 40 pounds two years ago and I felt better overall after that. My friends said I looked and acted healthier than I had in a long time. I’ve been going through a pretty rough flare-up the past few months while going through some painful back problems. Although I haven’t regained any of my weight I’ve gotten sloppy about my diet lately. My doctor doesn’t think I need to lose any more weight; however, I’d like to lose 10 more pounds because I think I’ll feel better and so will my back. I gave up sugar and gluten two years ago and the weight just melted off for the first time in my life. I’m convinced that besides being overweight those two things are poison to people that struggle with these two conditions.

  • Well, I will definitely have to decide disagree with these findings. I have lost 40 pounds and I am now average size, I also walk two to three times s per week, to help with stiffness, and yet my fibromyalgia is worse than ever. I’ve tried all kinds of supplements and absolutely nothing has helped 🙁

  • I too disagree with the statement that losing weight can reduce fibromyalgia symptoms, I have lost over 3 stone in the last 3 years and my fibromyalgia symptoms have got worse. It annoys me because I was also told it would be better for my degenerating spine and absolutely nothing has made any difference

  • I too have to disagree. I am underweight due to the constant nausea.I walk every day that I can and go swimming.I have come off all of my medications because of their side effects. I have never felt this ill in my life.

  • yet another “study” on weight and fibro , I have lost 50 pounds since last September and my pain is no better, in fact it’s worse. This has nothing to do with weight loss or gain, it’s just how fibro is.

  • I have to disagree with weight loss helping Fibromyalgia. After suffering whilst exercising and losing weight i felt alot worst.

  • I once weighed 129 lbs. Then I all of suudden had a weight increase to 170lbs. Shortly after that I lost all that. I was at 110lbs. For for while. Now I am 70lbs. For 3 years now. Doctors can’t find anything wrong with me. I rat like a child now. No meat hardly anymore. Sad.

    • I totally can understand how you feel. Same thing with me I went down to 124, then gained 60 pounds back. Being on medication I feel that’s how I gained weight idk. Also I try to stay active but it’s tough when in pain most of the time

  • I’ve tried everything suggested and nothing has helped. The fibromyalgia just continues to get worse and worse. It’s become crippling, and I’m too tired to do almost anything most of the time. I continue to try supplements that make sense, in hopes of some improvement.

  • I have tried over 13 medications over the past 10 years for fibromyalgia and I experienced bad side effects with all of them. The doctors say they don’t see too many patents like me very sensitive to meds in general but I have to take something for pain and restless legs so the meds I’m on now have made me gain a lot of weight and I have constant nausea too everyday. I have tried everything but many times I throw up anyway. I don’t understand how I can be overweight with this problem.

    • Hi Laura I have finally found something which is helping my Fybromyalga it is CBD I started taking it 2 months ago and since then I have been able to sleep for most nights I still need to sleep for a couple of hours during the day but my pain has been lowered so much it is livable I can only say it has worked for me so maybe give it a try .

  • Thank you, Captain Obvious. Weight loss helps with everything. But you’re way off on this article. I was diagnosed 20 years ago before anyone knew what it was and I was a healthy weight then. Since the disabling pain and fatigue increased, I’ve gained weight.

  • I also agree. I lost 30 pounds two years ago and have gained back 10 pounds over the last two years. (I will be going back to Weight Watchers to help me take it off again.) I also found NO benefits to my health from the weight loss. My fibro pain, fatigue, fibro fog, etc. are just as bad as they always were. I am in constant pain, all day, every day, for over 20 years. I have tried so many different meds that I can’t even remember them anymore. I also live in a climate that has very long winters and a lot of snow. Can’t get my husband to move to the Southwest.

  • PS: Also exercise, even just walking a short distance, makes my muscles go crazy with pain. It can take days or weeks to recover.

  • Losing weight has nothing to due with Fibro. My skinny friends seem to have more pain then me. Everyone has a “cure All” but they don’t live with Fibro or never ever had it to start with. Do what works for you and forget the people who say they know what will change you overnight. Gentle hugs to all I have had this since 1989 with 20 years to a definite DX. I have try many things to no use or help. Cymbalta, Tramadol and Cycloxaphine. I use Essential Oil Lemon grass 14 drops to coconut oil in roller bottle on painful areas and bottom of feet and get the most relief. With out the drug side effects.

  • I’ve had fibromyalgia for a couple of years and overall i’ve gained 15 pounds but i blame it on being on lyrica 3x a day. This condition is so nerve wracking.

  • I had an accident 2 years ago – I fell and broke my foot…I was 54 years old and the pain was excruciating to the point I almost passed out…I have a very high tolerance to pain and couldn’t figure out why my foot hurt so much and other parts of my body were also all of a sudden in so much pain…I went to the specialist at 6 weeks to take the cast off and I could walk but my body just throbbed…Doc told me the only thing this could be was fibro and he explained what it was…I surfed the internet and read up on it, went to 3 more specialists (I was NOT convinced by one Dr.) and finally succumbed to the diagnosis…

    I’ve gained 70 lbs. (from one of the meds that I took myself off of after 2 months)…Between the fatigue and pain, along with the stresses of my life, I’m so depressed…Can anyone tell me there is a cure or a way out of this condition??

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