The pain of fibromyalgia can be debilitating enough, but for many people living with this chronic health ailment, the fibro fog may be even more challenging to cope with. What is fibro fog? What causes this series of symptoms to occur for fibromyalgia patients? Is there any way to deal with fibro fog naturally? We will address the answers to these questions for you.
What Is Fibro Fog?
Fibro fog is a series of cognitive symptoms that are usually called brain fog. The term is just slightly altered to show that the brain fog is due to fibromyalgia. These cognitive symptoms can include everything from memory problems to attention issues. You may find it difficult to concentrate, think of the right word, or remember what you walked into a room for. This is more than just ordinary forgetfulness or lack of attention to detail. This series of cognitive symptoms is related to neurological issues associated with fibromyalgia and other health conditions.
Fibro Fog Causes
It’s easy to say that fibromyalgia causes the cognitive symptoms and leave it at that. However, there are several specific reasons that brain fog symptoms are among the most common for fibromyalgia patients. Here are a few of the factors that relate fibromyalgia to cognitive difficulties.
#1 Pain Levels
Long-term pain can make it more challenging to focus, think, or pay attention. Researchers have revealed this over years of study. So it makes sense that a chronic pain condition would cause cognitive symptoms, if for no other reason than the fact that you are regularly in pain.
#2 Lack of Sleep
Poor quality of sleep or not enough sleep can both have significant effects on cognitive function. Sleep disturbances is another of the most common symptoms for fibromyalgia patients. So once again, there is a clear link between having fibromyalgia and lacking clarity of thought and alertness.
#3 Mental or Physical Overexertion
Exerting yourself too much either mentally or physically can trigger a flare-up of your fibromyalgia symptoms. As a result, most people who are living with this condition find that cognitive symptoms grow worse when subjected to physical or mental exertion. This can include extreme emotional stress.
#4 Reduced Oxygen Levels
One of the first things associated with cognitive function is oxygen levels. If your brain doesn’t get enough oxygen, you can become disoriented, confused, or experience reduced cognitive function in other ways. While fibromyalgia doesn’t cause breathing problems, it may be related to reduced blood flow to the brain. Since the blood is how oxygen gets to the brain, that means reduced oxygen levels and fibromyalgia may go hand in hand.
These are just a few of the reasons that fibro fog is common for fibromyalgia patients and why it may seem to be worse at some times than others. How can you cope with these debilitating symptoms?
How to Find Natural Relief from Fibro Fog
If you are living with fibromyalgia, you may have already made some lifestyle changes to reduce your pain levels. We would like to share with you a few tips for reducing the cognitive symptoms of fibromyalgia.
#1 Improve Sleep Habits
This can be tough for a fibromyalgia patient, but you may be able to get more sleep and reduce the impact on brain function by following a few reminders.
- Go to bed and wake up at the same time each day. This helps set your body’s clock to know when it is time to sleep.
- Only use the bed for sleep. Take naps on the couch, so your body knows the bed is for long periods of rest.
- Create the right environment for sleep. This includes eliminating lights and sounds, setting a suitable sleep temperature, and avoiding mobile device use in bed, which can keep you up way past your bedtime.
#2 Cope with Stress
You can’t eliminate all stress from your life, but you can develop ways to cope with stress. Reduce stress where you can and use positive methods to deal with the remaining stress. For example, you can take up a relaxing hobby, get some exercise (just be careful not to overdo it), go for a massage, take a vacation – each person deals with stress in a different way. Just stay away from harmful coping mechanisms, like cigarettes and alcohol, that can make symptoms worse.
#3 Go at Your Pace
It can be tempting to push yourself to do more out of feelings of guilt. Or, on your good days, you may simply want to accomplish as much as you can. However, pushing yourself in these ways may lead to more frequent and more prolonged symptom flare-ups. The best way to cope is to learn to go at your own pace and be happy with what you can do.
#4 Try Upper Cervical Chiropractic Care
Upper cervical specific chiropractic involves gentle adjustment of the top two bones of the neck. This can be beneficial for the central nervous system in general because the neck facilitates the proper flow of blood to the brain. Additionally, the C1 (or atlas) vertebra surrounds the brainstem. Therefore, proper positioning is vital for brainstem function.
If you are living with fibromyalgia, why not see an upper cervical chiropractor to find out if this can help to improve your symptoms, fibro fog in particular. To learn more, contact a practice in your area and schedule a no-obligation consultation today!