Define a 'flare'?

All your fibromyalgia experiences, questions and answers.

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Define a 'flare'?

Postby SchroedingersCat » Mon Feb 15, 2016 10:13 am

I've been hanging around on here for quite some time now, but I still don't quite get what constitutes a 'flare'. Me, I have normal days, good days, very good days, bad days, and really rubbish days. The really rubbish days usually coincide with my catching a virus of some description and being miserably ill with that, which on top of the fibro usually means a day or 2 in bed doing bog all. I also have 'bad weeks' - I've had a stomach ache since Xmas that has resulted in a succession of less than brilliant weeks (and yes, I have finally signed up with a local GP and am seeing them about this), but nothing that I would consider a 'flare'. In my head, I just don't get them, but maybe I'm misdefining them.

So what do YOU mean when you say you're suffering a 'flare'?
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Re: Define a 'flare'?

Postby thesse » Mon Feb 15, 2016 12:15 pm

Hello,

I am being investigated for psoriatic arthritis and in my research I found this

http://rheumatology.oxfordjournals.org/ ... eq455.full

Which is about Rhumatoid Arthritis but explains the different ways people measure and monitor flares in their condition.

I think everyone is a little different but it basically means a significant worsening of symptoms which requires different levels of management.

xx
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Re: Define a 'flare'?

Postby SchroedingersCat » Mon Feb 15, 2016 4:12 pm

Sounds like I don;t have flares then, as I don't change the way I manage things depending on severity...
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Re: Define a 'flare'?

Postby FluppyPuffy » Tue Feb 16, 2016 11:16 am

Just because what you experience differs to what others go thru during a flare~up, it doesn't necessarily mean that you don't have them SC. What you experience may well be what constitutes a flare for you as they can be as individual to each of us as can FM. Some of what I experience differs to what has been mentioned here and across the rest of the boards. I asked the same question when I started reading about how others are affected during their flare~ups, and it was only after talking to my GP that I was able understand more about how individual/unique the condition can be to each of us xx
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Re: Define a 'flare'?

Postby clairbear » Tue Feb 16, 2016 9:15 pm

I agree with Fluppy here,
Just because you don't change your med pattern or seek help doesn't mean you're not within a flare.

I tend to have flares that last week's not days which consists of worsening of everyday symptoms (like your really bad days) where bed rest is the only thing I can manage and even that is painful.

I max out my painkillers pretty quick and require repeat prescriptions weekly (because im taking painkillers overnight).
I still take my other meds as normal but may as well not bother as they have zero effect.

My emotions are all over the place, because of a combination of sleep deprivation, pain and fatigue. I've sat and sobbed at home not really knowing why - my GP recognises this as one of my flare symptoms as I normally plod along just barely managing but when I've had enough I'm normally sat with my GP in tears wanting to end everything.

All this said I don't change my meds - only occasionally we'll temporarily increase something to try and help and then reduce it again when say my sleeping pattern goes back to 'normal'.

I think everyone is different I have friends who say they are in a flare but continue as normal in day to day life (I wish I could) but I class a flare as when I'm floored - when all my symptoms combine together to make it unbearable.

It's a very subjective topic, research has shown there are 4/5 variations of the term flare and Dr's are still trying to decide at what point a flare becomes a flare.
Is it when you suspect a difference in your symptoms, when the difference gets worse, when the symptoms haven't gone after a number of days, when you start self medicating to stop it progressing or when you've gone to seek help?
Because so many of of us just 'get on' without making a fuss my guess is it will take a lot more research to come up with a guide!
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Re: Define a 'flare'?

Postby SchroedingersCat » Wed Feb 17, 2016 10:17 am

I'm non-medicated, I manage with occasional OTC painkillers (not even including codeine as I'm allergic to opiates) and the only thing that puts me in bed for the day is a virus. So life generally continues even if I feel pretty rubbish. I might work from home rather than commute if I'm really bad. I saw a GP recently for the 1st time in over 2 years because of the stomach ache I mentioned in my OP. So I tend not to think in terms of flares as it doesn't match most of what other people seem to go through
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Re: Define a 'flare'?

Postby clairbear » Wed Feb 17, 2016 3:02 pm

It's hard isn't it, one persons flare is another's slight annoyance or someone elses every day!
I have a building list of other problems as well as Fibro so my biggest issue is whether it's a fibro flare, a new issue or one of my other conditions.
It makes sense that a virus knocks you about I think all of us would say infections and viruses tend to make fibro symptoms worse.
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