When you have the condition of fibromyalgia, you are all too familiar with the symptom of being confused, forgetful, difficulty with concentration, mixing up words, and short-term memory loss.
Most of the ten million people living with the condition of fibromyalgia in the USA complain of these cognitive difficulties. These cognitive symptoms are often referred to as “fibro fog.”
The medical experts say that they do not have a specific percentage available to explain exactly how many people deal with this symptom on a regular basis, but it truly is a very common complaint among those individuals with the condition of fibro.
The cause of the symptom of fibro fog is not fully understood. Many people believe that it has something to do with the individual with the condition of fibro being unable to get restful, restorative sleep at night.
They experience chronic fatigue and their mind is never fully rested. In addition, the pain of the condition of fibromyalgia can be extremely debilitating- after all, it can be quite difficult to concentrate when you’re in a lot of pain.
On the other hand, another possible reason why individuals experience this symptom is that when individuals experience the pain associated with fibromyalgia, specific parts of their brain are unable to receive sufficient oxygen, which can cause disorientation and confusion.
What You Can Do for Fibro
If you are one of the 10 million people who have been diagnosed with the condition of fibro, there are some things you can do to help alleviate your symptoms, including those of “fibro fog.”
Avoid too much caffeine. Many people believe that they will feel more awake or more alert by consuming caffeine. However, according to experts, caffeine can actually make things worse for those individuals with the condition of fibro.
Keep in mind that even a very small amount can increase your risk for sleep disturbances. While it is true that caffeine is a stimulant, you will most likely crash hard when it wears off.
Use a planner to keep track of your schedule. One way to keep yourself from getting stressed out is to use a planner or calendar to keep track of events and appointments.
There are some computer programs that will allow you to set an alarm to remind you when you need to get something done. Set the alarm on your phone to remind you to do things like taking dinner out of the freezer or take medications.
Create a routine for yourself. You can deal with the symptom of “fibro fog” by creating a rut/routine for simple tasks. After all, research has shown that when you do the same thing over and over, you truly do create a “rut” in your brain.
So, when you get home, you should place your car keys on a hook by the door- this way, you’re less likely to lose them or forget where you put them and will be able to decrease your morning frustrations.
Get organized. When you’re surrounded by junk and clutter, it can be nearly impossible to concentrate. After all, you’re distracted by things around you.
So, take the time to go through your things and throw out anything you no longer need or don’t use anymore.
If there’s something that you do use, just not on a regular basis, find a place to store it. Everything should have a place and everything should be in its place.
Avoid multi-tasking as much as possible. While it can be tempting to carry on that phone conversation while you’re cooking dinner or even answer emails between paying your bills online.
However, it’s more difficult to concentrate when you’re doing too much at one time. The best thing to do is to be completely honest with family and friends who might be asking for help when you’re busy with other tasks.
Just tell them that you can only do one thing at a time- and you will help them when you are able.
Find ways to destress. Often, stress can cause the symptom of “fibro fog” to get worse. Consider trying a stress reliever such as meditation or yoga to help yourself overcome “fibro fog.” Plus, you can also balance your other fibro symptoms.
Try deep breathing techniques. Many times, individuals with the condition of fibro, are shallow breathers. Plus, when we’re under stress, we often hold our breath. However, breathing deeply can do wonders for your brain.
Get adequate sleep. One of the best ways to treat the condition of fibro is to get sufficient sleep. In order to improve your sleep quality, try going to bed at the same time and get up at the same time every day.
You should use your bed only for sleeping- not for watching TV, reading, or working. Your bedroom should be kept quiet, cool, and dark so that you’re comfortable when you’re sleeping. In addition, some herbal supplements can be quite effective in helping you sleep.
Get adequate exercise. Of course, when you’re suffering from the condition of fibro, it can be difficult to exercise.
However, low-impact exercise will help to improve blood flow, which can improve sleep and help decrease some of the cognitive difficulties that are associated with the condition of fibro.
Eat a healthy diet. Eating real food, instead of processed or fast food- in addition to drinking more water- can help to decrease the symptoms of fibro.
You should make sure that your diet is rich in veggies, whole grains, and fruits, as well as includes low-fat dairy and lean meats. You should do your best to avoid processed foods, fast foods, and too much sugar.
Check with your physician about your medications. Chances are, you are on medications to control your fibro symptoms.
Take the time to speak with your physician if you believe that your medications are making you feel confused- which can be a side effect.
In addition, you may wish to speak with him/her about taking something that can help increase your concentration and attention.
While it is true that confusion and cognitive difficulties are very common with the condition of fibro, there are lots of things you can do to take care of yourself and be able to cope with these symptoms.