Most people know fibromyalgia as a debilitating pain condition. However, more than half of patients also present with a series of cognitive symptoms that have been dubbed fibro fog (sometimes called brain fog when associated with other conditions). What decline in mental faculties may a fibromyalgia sufferer be dealing with? This article can help patients to realize they are not alone and that there is hope out there. It can also help the relatives and friends of patients to be more understanding of this condition.
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Research has revealed that fibromyalgia patients suffer from impairment in various types of memory including:
A person suffering from fibro fog may feel like he or she has ADD. It can be difficult to focus on assignments at work or at home or even just on a conversation. Lack of concentration can add to the problems with short-term memory and retention, making it tough to remember what you went to store for, what you did with your keys, or what was last said in a conversation.
It can be very difficult for a person with fibromyalgia to find the right word at times, even if he or she is known to have a good vocabulary. This goes back to problems with both the semantic and working memory. The lack of ability to recall general facts affects one’s vocab recall. The inhibited working memory makes it tougher to remember the first half of a sentence while searching for the words to say the second half. As a result, verbal fluency suffers and it can be tougher to learn new verbal or even reading skills. Speech may take place slowly or be altered in other ways.
This goes back to the effect of fibromyalgia on metamemory. When you can’t utilize memory to make future decisions, it can be easy to repeat past mistakes. It’s not that the memories themselves cannot be recalled. The patient has a reduced ability to connect memories to outcomes in order to predict the consequences of present actions.
Studies also show that fibromyalgia patients have a reduced ability to carry out simple cognitive tasks. Everything from performing a simple computation in one’s head to executing problem-solving tasks are a part of the cognitive function of the brain.
The lack of ability to concentrate or focus is evident when a patient does multiple tasks simultaneously. The instructions on how to complete each task may become jumbled, some tasks may be completely forgotten, or all assignments may be partially completed but not finalized.
While these conditions are not a part of the cognitive issues of fibromyalgia, researchers have found that fibro fog seems to be worse for patients who are also dealing with depression and anxiety, sleep issues, or hormone fluctuations.
There are a number of ways that you can counteract these symptoms at home through a few lifestyle adjustments. A few of these practices include:
You may also benefit from trying to go after fibromyalgia at its source. Many cognitive problems and pain conditions can be related to a specific misalignment of the C1 (atlas) vertebra. Such a misalignment can inhibit proper flow of oxygen-rich blood to the brain as well as affect brainstem function.
Upper cervical chiropractic is a subspecialty in the chiropractic field that involves very precise measurements of the atlas and gentle adjustments that result in improved blood flow and nervous system function. As a result, some fibromyalgia patients have seen the condition completely resolve under upper cervical chiropractic care.
To learn more about upper cervical chiropractic and how it may benefit you or a loved one, contact a practitioner in your area and schedule a no-obligation consultation. If may be your first step toward conquering the fog once and for all.
The content and materials provided in this web site are for informational and educational purposes only and are not intended to supplement or comprise a medical diagnosis or other professional opinion, or to be used in lieu of a consultation with a physician or competent health care professional for medical diagnosis and/or treatment. All content and materials including research papers, case studies and testimonials summarizing patients' responses to care are intended for educational purposes only and do not imply a guarantee of benefit. Individual results may vary, depending upon several factors including age of the patient, severity of the condition, severity of the spinal injury, and duration of time the condition has been present.