Fibromyalgia & Hypoglycemia

Instructor: Justine Fritzel

Justine has been a Registered Nurse for 10 years and has a Bachelor's of Science in Nursing degree.

In this lesson, you will learn about a couple conditions called fibromyalgia and hypoglycemia. You'll also learn about the connection between the two conditions.

What Is Fibromyalgia?

Heather is a 45-year-old single mother of three teenagers. As long as she can remember, she has always had pain. It wasn't any specific type of pain but more overall, generalized pain. Joint pain, muscle pain, or abdominal pain. She has always taken ibuprofen and Tylenol daily to keep the pain tolerable.

Last year she broke her ankle when she was out hiking. Ever since that time, her pain has increased and her daily pain medication isn't managing her pain any longer. She feels tired all the time and feels as if she in a fog. She has been seeing her doctor for tests and after not finding any other cause for her pain, he diagnosed her with fibromyalgia.

Fibromyalgia is a disorder in which the predominant symptoms are pain, sleep issues, and lethargy. It is believed that in fibromyalgia the way the brain interprets painful stimuli is affected. The body is more sensitive to pain or the brain overreacts to painful stimuli.

Impact of Fibromyalgia

It is more common in women, and there is no cure. Oftentimes, fibromyalgia impacts the ability to work or to be fully functional. Many people also suffer from depression. There is no cure but medications and lifestyle choices can help to ease the symptoms.

What Is Hypoglycemia?

Heather is overwhelmed with her new diagnosis. Three years ago she was diagnosed as having episodes of hypoglycemia and she has been trying to learn to live with that.

Hypoglycemia is when your blood glucose levels are low. When you eat, your body converts food into glucose to provide energy to your entire body. This elevates your blood glucose levels, and in turn, your pancreas produces insulin to decrease your blood glucose level back to normal.

In Heather's case, her pancreas produces too much insulin after she eats which makes her blood glucose low. She gets hungry only hours after eating a meal. She feels shaky, anxious, and clammy. After she eats again, she begins to feel normal again.

The Connection Between Hypoglycemia and Fibromyalgia

Heather's doctor informs her that hypoglycemia and fibromyalgia can be a bad combination. He explains that when you have fibromyalgia, hypoglycemia can actually worsen the symptoms. In fact, it is very common for someone to have both conditions.

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