Does Fibromyalgia Cause Weight Gain – How to Manage It?

Does fibromyalgia cause weight gain


Are you struggling with unexplained weight gain while also dealing with the debilitating symptoms of fibromyalgia? You’re not alone. In this blog, we’ll explore does fibromyalgia cause weight gain, the complex relationship between fibromyalgia and weight gain, and offer practical tips on how to manage your weight while managing your chronic pain. Get ready to take control of your health and well-being!

Understanding Fibromyalgia and Weight Gain

Fibromyalgia is a chronic pain characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain, fatigue, and sleep disturbances. While the exact cause of fibromyalgia is not fully understood, it is believed to be related to abnormalities in how the brain processes pain signals.

In addition to the physical symptoms, many individuals with fibromyalgia also struggle with weight gain. Research has shown that up to 70% of people with fibromyalgia are overweight or obese. This can significantly impact their overall health and quality of life.

The Connection Between Fibromyalgia and Weight Gain

The Connection Between Fibromyalgia and Weight Gain

Several factors contribute to weight gain in individuals with fibromyalgia. First, the chronic pain associated with this condition can make it difficult for people to engage in regular physical activity. This leads to a decrease in daily calorie expenditure and an increase in weight. Furthermore, many people with fibromyalgia experience fatigue and low energy levels, which can make it challenging to maintain a healthy diet or stick to an exercise routine. Additionally, some medications used for treating fibromyalgia symptoms may have side effects that can contribute to weight gain.

Moreover, studies have shown that there may be hormonal imbalances involved in both fibromyalgia and weight gain. Individuals with fibromyalgia often have higher levels of cortisol (the stress hormone) in their bodies, which has been linked to increased appetite and fat storage.

Managing Weight While Living With Fibromyalgia

Maintaining a healthy diet is essential for everyone but becomes even more critical when living with fibromyalgia. A well-balanced diet can help manage symptoms like fatigue and inflammation while promoting overall health and well-being.

Here are some tips on how you can maintain a healthy diet while living with fibromyalgia:

1) Focus on nutrient-dense foods

 Eating a variety of whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, lean proteins (e.g., fish, chicken), whole grains, and healthy fats (e.g., avocado) is essential. These foods provide essential nutrients like vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to support your body’s overall health and function.

2) Avoid highly processed foods

Avoid highly processed foods

 Processed foods are often high in sugar, unhealthy fats, and additives that can worsen inflammation and contribute to weight gain. Try to limit or avoid these types of foods as much as possible.

3) Stay hydrated

 Dehydration can worsen symptoms like fatigue and headaches. Drink plenty of water throughout the day, aiming for at least 8-10 glasses daily.

4) Plan ahead

Planning meals and snacks in advance can help you make healthier choices and avoid impulsively reaching for unhealthy options when hunger strikes.In addition to making dietary changes, finding ways to incorporate physical activity into your routine is crucial. Start slowly with low-impact exercises such as walking or gentle yoga and gradually increase intensity as tolerated.

Does fibromyalgia cause weight gain?

No, fibromyalgia itself does not directly cause weight gain. However, several factors associated with fibromyalgia can contribute to weight gain in some individuals. These factors include:

1. Limited Physical Activity

Chronic pain and fatigue associated with fibromyalgia can make it challenging to engage in regular physical activity. As a result, individuals with fibromyalgia may lead a more sedentary lifestyle, which can lead to weight gain or difficulty in losing weight.

2. Medication Side Effects

Medication Side Effects

Some medications commonly prescribed to manage fibromyalgia symptoms, such as certain antidepressants or anticonvulsants, may have side effects that include weight gain or changes in metabolism, contributing to weight gain.

3. Emotional Eating

Living with chronic pain and fatigue can take a toll on mental health, leading to increased stress, anxiety, or depression. In response, individuals may turn to food for comfort or distraction, leading to emotional eating behaviors and potential weight gain.

4. Hormonal Changes

Fibromyalgia may disrupt the body’s hormonal balance, including hormones that regulate appetite, metabolism, and energy expenditure. These hormonal changes can affect weight regulation and potentially contribute to weight gain.

5. Sleep Disturbances

Sleep Disturbances

Many individuals with fibromyalgia experience sleep disturbances, such as insomnia or non-restorative sleep. Poor sleep quality can disrupt the body’s natural hunger and satiety signals, leading to increased appetite and potential weight gain over time.

While fibromyalgia itself does not directly cause weight gain, managing symptoms effectively and adopting healthy lifestyle habits, including regular physical activity, balanced nutrition, and stress management techniques, can help mitigate the risk of weight gain and promote overall well-being for individuals with fibromyalgia. It’s essential for individuals with fibromyalgia to work closely with healthcare professionals to develop a personalized treatment plan that addresses their unique needs and concerns, including maintaining a healthy weight.


Remember, maintaining a healthy diet with fibromyalgia may require some trial and error. It’s essential to listen to your body, make adjustments when needed, and seek support from a healthcare professional if necessary. With dedication and patience, it is possible to maintain a healthy body.

FAQS about Fibromyalgia and Weight Gain

1. Is weight gain a symptom of fibromyalgia?

Weight gain is not a direct symptom of fibromyalgia. However, many individuals with this condition may experience weight gain due to various factors such as changes in metabolism, reduced physical activity, or medication side effects.

2. Why do people with fibromyalgia tend to gain weight?

There are several reasons why individuals with fibromyalgia may struggle with weight gain. Firstly, many people with this condition have a slower metabolism, which means their body burns fewer calories at rest compared to those without fibromyalgia. This can make it easier for them to gain weight even if they are not consuming more calories than usual.

Secondly, the chronic pain and fatigue associated with fibromyalgia can lead to reduced physical activity levels. This lack of movement can contribute to weight gain over time. Certain medications used to manage symptoms of fibromyalgia may cause weight gain as a side effect.

3. How does excess weight affect someone who has fibromyalgia?

Excess weight can worsen symptoms of fibromyalgia and make it more challenging to manage the condition effectively. The added pressure on joints from carrying extra pounds can exacerbate pain and stiffness in muscles and joints. Moreover, studies have shown that obesity is associated with an increased risk of developing other conditions commonly seen in individuals with fibromyalgia such as sleep apnea and diabetes.

4. What are some ways to manage or prevent weight gain while living with fibromyalgia?

Maintaining a healthy and balanced diet is the first step in managing or preventing weight gain. This means incorporating a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins while limiting processed and sugary foods.

Regular physical activity is also essential for managing weight gain in individuals with fibromyalgia. While high-impact exercises may not be suitable for everyone, low-impact activities such as walking, swimming, or yoga can help improve muscle strength and burn calories. It is also essential to work closely with your healthcare provider to determine the best treatment plan for your fibromyalgia symptoms.