Fibro Fog in the Syndrome of Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue
Brain fog (also called fibro-fog or cognitive dysfunction) is one of the most common complaints of people with fibromyalgia (FM) and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS).
For many, it can have such a big impact on their lives as pain, or fatigue.
In fact, some people say that brain fog is the most disabling of their physical symptoms.
What causes brain fog?
We still do not know exactly what causes cognitive dysfunction in these conditions, but we have a lot of theories about possible contributing factors, including:
• Lack of restful sleep
• Volume or abnormal flow of blood from the skull
• Brain abnormalities
• Premature aging of the brain
• Mental distraction due to pain
In FM, the fog of the brain, in general, is greater when the pain worsens.
In both, FM and CFS, it can be aggravated when you are anxious, in a hurry, or face emotional overload.
Depression , which is common in FM and CFS, is also associated with fibro-fog.
Some studies, however, show that the severity of brain fog does not correlate with the symptoms of depression.
A lot of common medications for FM and CFS can also contribute to brain fog.
Cerebral symptoms of fibro-fog:
• The symptoms of mental confusion can vary from mild to severe.
• They often vary from day to day, and not all patients have all of them.
Use of words and memory:
• Difficulty remembering familiar words, using incorrect words, remembering names slowly.
Short-term memory problems:
• Forgetfulness, inability to remember what you have read or heard.
• Spatial disorientation:
By not recognizing a family environment, it is easily lost, has trouble remembering where things are.
Difficulties to do Multitasking:
• Inability to pay attention to more than one thing, forgetting the original task when distracted.
• Confusion and difficulty concentrating, information processing problems, is easily distracted.
Mathematics / difficulties with numbers:
• Difficulty performing simple mathematical operations, remembering sequences, transposition numbers, problems remembering numbers.
• Some people may also have other types of brain disorders.
Brain fog and learning disorders:
So far, we have no evidence that our brain fog comes from known learning problems.
However, our problems are similar to those associated with disorders such as dyslexia (reading problems), dysphasia (difficulty speaking), and dyscalculia (problems with math / time / spatial problems).
If you think you might have a learning disorder, talk with your doctor.
Diagnosis may help you get reasonable adjustments at work or make a disability claim.
The treatment of brain fog
For some people, brain fog resolves with an effective treatment for pain, or sleep problems.
However, not everyone can find effective treatments, which leaves many affected without treatment for this problem.
Supplements are a common option.
Although we do not have a lot of evidence to support its effectiveness, some doctors and people with these diseases have noticed that supplements help improve brain function / thinking.
Common supplements for brain fog are:
• Vitamins B
• Omega-3 (fish oil) (Chia)
• St. John’s Wort
• Theanine (amino acid present in tea leaves)
Some doctors recommend dietary changes to include “brain friendly” foods , some of which are natural sources of the supplements mentioned above.
Some of these foods are:
• Fish (Omega-3)
• Canola oil or walnut oil (Omega-3)
• Eggs (hill)
• Fruits and vegetables
• Chia seeds (Omega-3)
Some research on Fibromyalgia shows that moderate exercise can also help improve brain function.
Researchers are learning more about the brain and how it works, and new information can help us understand brain fog.
Research on brain aging, and some degenerative diseases show that cognitive training can sometimes delay, stop or reverse the loss of intellectual functions.
Some doctors use intellectual training programs, which often include software that you use at home.
Video game companies and websites that offer games that say they can improve intellectual function, some evidence suggest that virtual reality games improve memory and critical thinking skills.
Because this is a novel area of science, it is likely that more can be learned about mental processes and their functions in the coming years.
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