I have read many articles in the past which actually blame FMS on over-use of antibiotics, so there is no doubt, if I looked, I could find articles that would support that fibro flares can be brought on by antibiotic use. Furthermore, there is no doubt that we all need to be as educated as we can be regarding FMS, but in the end, how much does it matter?
If you are not inclined to dig that deeply into the existing research, does that mean you are not doing a good job of managing your FMS? If you do not feel well enough to read an article on the subject, should you force yourself to do so anyway?
I do not know if it is easier for you, but when I am not feeling well, the basics are certainly enough for me! In fact, I run into people all the time who say they do not want to hear all the science, because it overwhelms them. That is why I have come to advocate that we create plenty of information and tools that deal with just the basics—of course, I call them fibroBASICS.
First of all, fibroBASICS to me means just what it sounds like: what are the usual, every day things I have to do to manage FMS. Among “my bag of basics” is making ONE change at a time. I know that if I make more than one change, if I go into a flare, I have no way of identifying which change caused, or at least contributed to, the flare.
So, going back to my fibroBASICS, I know that recently the only change I have made in medications or supplements is the addition of an antibiotic for a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI). Granted, the UTI alone could have caused the flare, but I had been battling the UTI for a bit before I started the antibiotic. The UTI alone was causing me not to feel as well as usual, which I had duly noted.
Next came my first antibiotic. The first antibiotic did not increase how badly I was feeling from the level I had noted from just the UTI. When I had my follow-up appointment, however, the UTI was not entirely gone. That is when my doctor decided to go with a different antibiotic.
Within an hour or so of taking the new antibiotic, my pain was through the roof! The muscles in my hands, arms, and legs began pulling, hurting, and burning so badly—it was definitely a significant increase in pain! Of course, this could have been a fluke, so I reserved judgement, until I took the second scheduled dose—then I was sure! Every time I take a dose of this particular antibiotic, I have had the exact same increase in pain.
The increase of pain of course has increased my overall stress, made me more tense, and has caused me to not rest as well as usual. These three factors equal a Fibro Flare for me, every time.
I want to stress a few points:
· First of all, you cannot know what causes a flare if you make more than ONE change at a time.
· Secondly, similar items may cause you to react differently, as demonstrated by the first antibiotic not causing an increase in by FMS pain but the second one certainly did.
· Thirdly, regardless of the “science” behind it or not behind it, for me I have identified that this antibiotic is an issue. After all, we know that FMS varies from person to person, thus the causes of flares can vary from person to person.
So, can antibiotics cause Fibro Flares?
Without getting into the science behind it, I have identified yes, they can—but they do not always do so.
More importantly for me, I have identified that one particular antibiotic certainly causes an increase in my FMS pain.
I still advocate learning as much as you can about FMS, but I do understand how badly FMS makes you feel and there is a lot of information out there to cover, some of it even conflicting. So, I understand if you do not pour over all the research and updates.
I do want to stress, however, regardless of how much you read or do not read about FMS, always stick to your fibroBASICS. Make one change at a time so you can identify what causes your Fibro Flares. Hopefully, this will help you avoid them in the future.