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.