The confusion and memory problems associated with fibromyalgia, called “fibro fog” by many patients, can be a debilitating symptom of this condition. There is little in the way that explains the causes of fibromyalgia, and even less for fibro fog. However, many health professionals suggest that fibro fog may be caused by the lack of sleep, brain abnormalities or aging, and chronic pain that are other symptoms of fibromyalgia. It may also be caused by medications that patients take to treat their fibromyalgia.
What is fibro fog?
Fibro fog is characterized by forgetfulness, an inability to stay focused, and confusion. While this may seem like only a small inconvenience that can be remedied with to-do lists, the effects of this are much farther reaching. Fibro fog may make it difficult to do well in a job or could even cause patients to lose focus while driving. The fog has been described by many patients as incapacitating, like ping pong balls bouncing around in their head.
To minimize fibro fog’s effect on your life, try some of the following strategies.
1. Talk to your doctor
If you suffer from fibro fog, talk to your doctor or pain specialist. He or she may be able to prescribe different medications to see if they lessen the impact of this symptom. They may also be able to recommend specific strategies based on your condition.
2. Find better sleeping habits
Fibromyalgia sufferers know of the sleep problems that this condition causes. Whether you find that it’s difficult to sleep with the pain or indulge in caffeine to help you stay awake during the day, your sleep schedule can quickly be disrupted. This, of course, can lead to even more pain and fibro fog the next day. Take a proactive approach to your sleep schedule in order to bring it back to order. Avoid caffeine during the day. Construct a regular nighttime routine that allows you to ease into sleep. Minimize screen time before bed.
3. Consider trying supplements
If approved by your doctor, you may try using different supplements to help with the fibro fog. Some patients have found that vitamin D or magnesium supplements have helped improve their symptoms.
4. Minimize distractions and commitments
Many patients note that fibro fog becomes worse with the more stress and anxiety they are feeling. Bright lights and loud noises are obvious stressors, so aim to reduce their use in your own home. Also take note of other distractions and commitments. Is there any way you could streamline some of your activities or practice saying no to new commitments?
5. Incorporate exercise into your routine
While exercise may be the last thing on your mind when you have fibromyalgia, exercise does have a restorative effect. It helps regulate your body’s natural hormones and helps you manage your stress levels. Low impact activity may also help your pain symptoms.
6. Practice relaxation methods
Finally, think about ways to incorporate relaxation methods into your life. Yoga, acupuncture, tai chi, and massage therapy can all help you relax. A Mayo Clinic study found that acupuncture can help improve fibromyalgia symptoms, including fatigue and depression. Another study from the Oregon Health and Science University noted that practicing yoga produced clinically significant improvements in fibromyalgia patients.
How do you deal with your fibro fog?
Image by Chris Marchant via Flickr