Forgetting and fibromyalgia
If you continue forgetting names and where you place your keys, fibromyalgia isn’t essentially the one to hold responsible. Like gray hair and wrinkles, memory problems can be a feature of aging. Nonetheless, many people with fibromyalgia nag that they have become scatterbrained and have other cognitive problems, such as poor concentration duration.
There’s even a name for this cerebral ambiguity connected to fibromyalgia: fibro fog. A few small clinical studies seem to confirm that fibro fog is real. One study found that people with fibromyalgia scored lower than average when asked to remember words from a catalog. Some scientists consider that pain may add to remembrance troubles and other cerebral effects.
Remembering that much may help you stick with your fibromyalgia management plan. Fibromyalgia usually presents in younger adult females as chronic widespread pain, stiffness, fatigue, disturbed sleep patterns, and cognitive difficulties. Northwestern University did a study in which they found that chronic pain affects the pre-frontal cortex, the area associated with memory.
The chronic pains, which patient’s with fibromyalgia have, are similarly affecting their memories. Also, sleep and memory have been shown to have important associations and the disruption in sleep patterns which patient’s with fibromyalgia have is playing a role in these patients finding that they are having some cognitive difficulties. Fibro fog is the emotion of being in a mist, this and related symptoms can vary from mild to extreme and may occur on and off. Overstimulation, anxiety, poor sleep, and definite medications can cause them to deteriorate.
Not all fibromyalgia sufferers will acknowledge all fibro fog symptoms, but most deal with some intellectual perplexity and turn down of memory and psychological faculties. Memory problems in fibromyalgia patients are genuine. From muscle pain to chronic headaches, fibromyalgia patients often experience a plethora of symptoms, many of which make it difficult to function on a day-to-day basis.
You may also be finding that your remembrance just isn’t what it used to be before you were diagnosed with fibromyalgia. You may be forgetting where you put your keys or your favorite shirt, or you may be having difficulties remembering plans that you made just a few days ago. If you have seen someone dealing with fibromyalgia you might be recognizable with something like forgetting what the interior of your house looks like, struggling hard to find ordinary words, or even forgetting what it was you were thinking about in the first place. Maybe you had to withdraw from school because you couldn’t remember what you read.
Don’t panic! This isn’t necessarily indicative of early onset Alzheimer’s or dementia. Rather, if you’re dealing with fibromyalgia, there’s a good chance you’re suffering from impaired memory, concentration, and overall cognitive function. Other constant pain conditions can cause effect cognition as well and, stress and anxiety change the way the brain processes information to form new memories and this may be a factor in fibromyalgia memory problems.
If you are experiencing problems with your memory, you may be wondering if you are losing your mind. These cognitive disruptions can be very distressing, particularly if you are used to being able to remember detailed information at the drop of a hat. But it is important to know that you are not alone. In fact, a large percentage of fibromyalgia patients experience problems with their memory.
Some fibromyalgia patients have found that their cognitive function seems to get more impaired as time goes on. It seems that, some people don’t repeatedly have that symptom during the early years of fibro. Rather, it kind of comes with time. And not in terms of impairment that comes with aging. Those around you may be telling you that your memory problems are just a figment of your imagination. But latest studies now disclose that memory problems and fibromyalgia appear to go side by side.
Ways to deal with impaired memory
People suffering from fibro fog find that their symptoms worsen if they try to manage too many tasks at one time. It’s best to pick one task, focus on it, and then move on to the next task. Prioritize the tasks and even the steps of each task that need your attention.
One method is to keep your brain active with word puzzles, reading, brain teasers, or games that stimulate concentration. However, a more common method is quite the opposite. It involves using meditation and relaxation to improve memory and concentration.
Think about it like this: when you are in a stressful situation, it is often difficult to think clearly anyway, whether you have fibromyalgia or not. But when you calm down, rest, and clear your mind, suddenly all the things you were trying to think of before rush into your mind and your thinking is clear and rather succinct. So ultimately, you are aiming to minimize anxiety and clear your mind.
To reduce forgetfulness, keep your life predictable. Do the same things every day in the same way. For example, always put your keys in the same place when you arrive home. If your fog is thickest in the morning, put out your clothes the night before. Most of us have improved and poorer times of the day.
Do the tasks that require the most concentration and mental clarity during the hours you are sharpest. The best time of day varies from person to person; however, many fibromyalgia patients find mornings the best. Organize your house and household items so that they give you built-in reminders. For example, keep your medications by your toothbrush so you’ll remember to take them in the morning and when getting ready for bed.
There are some ideas to help with our foggy days.
I know one of the first things I do is reach for a diet mt dew, or the iced coffee. It is said that using caffeine is causing us to not have restful sleep. I agree that it would hinder our sleep patterns,so I try to not have caffinated drinks later in the day.
It helps to put our minds and bodies in sync. As long as I am not in a really painful day, I try to get out and just walk. It is usually around the circle I live in, but it is something.
Work word puzzles or cognitive games.
There are plenty of game apps, or even the old fashioned way of puzzle books. They take your mind off of the task you have going, and you can just escape for a few minutes. I know we have all heard these suggestions time and time again. I am not going to say any of these will work, but when those dreaded days hit me, I am willing to try anything. Even more than once. Or, I may just end up on the couch watching a movie. That usually always takes my mind off of the present and also gives me much needed down time. You are not alone.
You are not completely losing your mind. Just take a second to allow your mind to catch up. Give yourself a much needed break. It will come to you, and you will feel just fine. We are all still learning about fibromyalgia, physicians included. All we can really do is take each day in stride, learn to laugh at ourselves and roll with the punches. Knowing we are all going through some of the same battles and experiences helps me through each day and fight.
- Memory Loss in Fibromyalgia: Is it Real? via fibromyalgia Symptoms
- 10 Ways to Improve Your Memory with Fibromyalgia via Pain Pathways