Fibro fog…the first word that comes to a foggy mind is ‘FRUSTRATING!’
You know there’s something you need to remember, or a word you want to say…but they just vanish into an oblivion of lost thoughts.
My short-term memory was never amazing. I would often misplace things, or walk into a room and totally forget why or what I wanted. The worst and I can’t believe I’m admitting this, looking for my phone whilst talking on it…5 boys in the house, what do you expect?
Despite having seen fibro fog described as forgetfulness or short term memory problems, I think there is much more to it or at least from my experience. Here’s how I’d describe it; complete muzziness, loss of clarity of thought, overwhelm, fatigue topped off with a dose of frustration.
Tricky to explain, so here’s how fibro fog feels:
When I was at the end of my tether in pain, I started medication which impacted hugely on fibro fog without alleviating pain. During a (so called) conversation, mid sentence…I’d forget the subject. Just as a conversation was over, I’d forget what we had talked about. What frustrated me the most was not being able to think of specific words or saying the wrong word, but realising and trying to correct myself. Medication had to stop!
Fibro fog also fluctuates you could be focused one moment and the next, the fogs rolled in and I would lose all concentration. The amount of energy it took to focus on even the most simple of tasks brings on even more fatigue. I’d call it a vicious circle, the more fatigued you are the less you can focus, the more fogged you are the more you need to focus, The more you need to focus the more fatigued you feel.
Pre-diagnosis, I was beginning to think there was something far more sinister happening as my memory was deteriorating so badly. Not knowing what was happening was worse. Despite doctors telling me everything was fine…I knew I wasn’t fine!
What Causes Fibro Fog?
As with fibromyalgia, there is not very much known about fibro fog or what triggers it. I have heard one doctor explain, ‘because of high pain levels it’s hard to concentrate.’ I have experienced severe fibro fog but my pain levels were low. I wouldn’t say it’s as simple as ‘hard to concentrate’, either.
Is Your Diet Contributing To Fibro Fog?
Can diet be partly to blame? I would have to say after tweaking mine…a very definite YES! Changing your diet is definitely a journey and will take trial and error, but it’s worth the time and effort. I am continuing to study nutrition in order to learn in depth, the connection between chronic illness and nutrition and will be posting lots of useful info for you all to use on your journey. Check out Nutrition for Fibro Fog here.
There are food groups, including additives that are well known for causing brain fog even in healthy people so imagine what can happen with the complexities of fibromyalgia.
Can environmental factors play a roll in fibro fog?Definitely in my experience. Fibro fog seems to get worse in damper seasons and when it’s raining BUT when I was in Cornwall staying near the sea, it was damp and raining for a few days, but I had no symptoms including fibro fog or pain, whatsoever…Yippee, it was as thought I had been given my life back!
What Can I Do To Lift The Fibro Fog?
‘I can see clearly now the fog has gone,’ Ok I tweaked Jimmy Cliff a little and yes I was singing…and yep you should be very thankful you can’t hear!
I have listed lots of ways to help alleviate fibro fog, mainly because no two people are the same and what works for one might not for another. You may very well need to use a combination of techniques as I have. I believe Fibro needs a holistic approach, nutrition, exercise, meditation & stress relief and adequate rest to quell it.
Always remember alleviating the symptoms of fibromyalgia is definitely a journey. Don’t be harsh with yourself if you fall off the track, remember climbing Mt. Everest could make for an easier journey! Gently remind yourself of how you want to feel and that you are taking steps to get there. Never forget how truly amazing you are!
Sleep is key to so many things including clarity of thought and a clear head. I know this can be a challenge with fibromyalgia but just ensure that you have a bedtime routine that induces the best rest possible.
Are you kidding me? Was my reply when my coach suggested exercise, it was the last thing I wanted to do. I started with small gentle exercises. There are many ways in which exercise can help fibromyalgia symptoms overall, but it’s also great for lifting fibro fog. Why? When your heart beats faster, blood flow increases, helping memory, concentration and focus.
Take a look at: Yoga, tai chi, chi kun
I have seen many reports that state caffeine is good for concentration and focus, perhaps for a time, but the negatives far outweigh the positives. I would avoid caffeine at all costs!
‘Tummy’ breathing exercises as I call them work wonders for fibro fog. Breath in deeply for the count of 4, feel your tummy and rib cage expand, then breath out for a count of 6. This will help you feel calm, collected and start to lift the fog.
Yep good old plain simple water. I used to be terrible for drinking water, but it’s so important to fuel good health.
The best way to drink water for hydration (what? I hear you say, what the heck is she talking about…the best way to drink water), is at room temperature. I know, I know cold refreshing water tastes great, but if it’s too cold it is a diuretic and doesn’t hydrate you.
So many health issues come down to not being hydrated, but often it’s the last thing we think of. Water is critical to our body functioning correctly, including brain function. Drinking enough water each day will help increase mental clarity and concentration. Water will fend off headaches and help remove those nasty toxins lurking inside, which are carried in the blood and travel to the brain.
I have found drinking filter water to be the best. I think it tastes better than mineral water and certainly costs less. If you are looking for a great water filter, I use Aqua Optima which can be purchased on Amazon.
This is never a good idea at the best of times. Multi-tasking can lead to overwhelm, reduced concentration and fatigue. I know in today’s world there’s a million things to do…they will wait! The most important thing to focus on is for you to feel so much better.
If you haven’t got your free copy of 14 Ways to Improve Your Fibromyalgia Memory Daze, click here. There’s some great info which will not only help your memory, but manage fibro fog too.
Have a wonderful day xx
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