Many find that drinking alcohol makes their fibromyalgia symptoms worse. This is because alcohol depletes various vitamins and minerals, including those that are needed for a healthy nervous system. These include essential B vitamins, calcium, zinc, magnesium, and amino acids such as tryptophan. As you know, deficiencies in these nutrients have been linked to various fibromyalgia symptoms. Hence, drinking can make things down right worse!
There are other issues with alcohol. It can cause exacerbate sleep problems and disrupt normal sleep patterns. Hence, it can worsen fibro symptoms especially fatigue. Furthermore, if you suffer from depression or anxiety you may be tempted to have a few just to self medicate. For the moment this may seem helpful as it raises serotonin levels. Unfortunately, as the effects where off you may feel more jittery and anxious because it stimulates the release of the stress hormone adrenaline as a depressant effect that can exacerbate a low mood.
Alcohol can also interact with some of the medications commonly prescribed for fibromyalgia including anti-inflammatories, painkillers, antidepressants, and sleep medications. Always speak to your doctor about alcohol consumption when filling a new prescription.
So what is one to do? Simply crawl under the rug and be swept away as life goes past? To reduce symptoms, if you must go out, you can sip on a beer, wine, or other beverage for an hour or two. This allows the body to slowly absorb the alcohol and release it rather than guzzle. Limit drinks to no more than two throughout the night. Limit your "out time" to four hours. More than that causes undue stress on your body that will wreck havoc the next day. Drink a full glass of water in between drinks to wash away the toxic wastes of alcohol residue. When you come home drink two large glasses of water before retiring.
Most importantly, don't do this on a week night if you must go to work the next day. Save this valuable time for weekend adventures when you have one or two days to recuperate. If its worth it!