If you are one of the 5 million Americans living with fibromyalgia, then you know all too well how debilitating the chronic pain condition can be. But did you know that fibromyalgia can also affect your cognitive function?
Called "fibro fog," this condition can cause difficulty thinking and concentrating, often making everyday tasks seem overwhelming. While there is no cure for fibro fog, there are ways to naturally manage its symptoms, including consulting with a fibromyalgia chiropractor in Upland.
Here, we look at the cognitive symptoms of this condition and the approaches to self-care.
We use our cognitive skills to process information and solve problems in any situation. However, there is an impairment in cognitive abilities for people with fibromyalgia, making it difficult to remember dates and recent events, understand directions, and organize tasks.
People with fibromyalgia often have difficulty concentrating, finding it hard to stay focused at work and other settings and struggle to retain information. The symptoms associated with fibromyalgia are commonly called "fibro fog" or "brain fog" because they affect how a person thinks and remembers things. For instance, a fibromyalgia sufferer may have difficulty remembering where they last put their car keys or what they were talking about just a few minutes ago because they quickly lose their train of thought.
One of the most common cognitive problems experienced by fibromyalgia patients is short-term memory loss. According to a study by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, people with fibromyalgia have impairments in different types of memory, including semantic memory, working memory, and metamemory. These memory types have important roles in holding information, following instructions and maintaining concentration, so an impairment in one or many can affect how a person processes and stores information.
This can be attributed to fibromyalgia's effect on a person's memory. When a patient cannot reach conclusions regarding situations, they become prone to making decisions and may do irrational actions.
Because fibromyalgia patients have difficulty concentrating, their disorganization can worsen when dealing with multiple things at once. They may forget instructions and leave tasks unfinished simply because their brains are not able to hold the information long enough until they complete all the tasks at hand
People with a vast vocabulary usually do not have problems expressing themselves. But when you have fibromyalgia, even your proficiency in words is impacted. A person with this condition may struggle to tell what they want to say because of the impairment in their memory. In addition, they may have a tough time learning new words or developing their speaking skills.
Fortunately, you can manage your symptoms by making some lifestyle changes, practicing self-care, and seeking the help of a fibromyalgia chiropractor in Upland. Here are simple things you start doing today:
If you're experiencing fibromyalgia symptoms, sleep inadequacy may be the culprit. In fact, studies suggest that people with chronic pain and lack thereof report worse cognitive function when they don't get enough restful hours in each night, which means scheduling regularity is key for those living with FMS!
Post-Its are a big help for remembering things when you have fibro fog. Stick them where you can easily see them, like the back of your smartphone or on your fridge. Keeping small notes beside your bed is also great, so you know the things you need to do first thing in the morning.
Coffee, chocolate, colas, and teas are stimulants that can exacerbate fatigue, which is why it’s best to limit your daily caffeine intake. Unfortunately, caffeine-rich beverages can also negatively affect your sleep and trigger headaches.
Following a healthy diet is a good practice for anyone. But even more so for people with fibro fog. A 2018 literature review found that a well-rounded diet rich in antioxidants and other nutrients is particularly helpful in reducing symptoms. So aim to consume fresh fruits and vegetables, low-fat dairy, lean protein, and whole grains.
Routines are great because they help you to increase consistency. They are instrumental in managing fibromyalgia, as they reduce the chances of encountering new situations and give you a way to live by habit. Routines help in remembering your next actions, as you start doing them regularly.
Upper cervical chiropractors use a natural method to alleviate the pain associated with fibromyalgia. It involves adjustment techniques focusing on the neck bones to enhance the body's natural healing capabilities and relieves pain. A fibromyalgia chiropractor in Upland can discuss this procedure with you.
People with fibromyalgia often experience cognitive symptoms such as memory issues and difficulty concentrating. It's essential to get a diagnosis from your physician before trying any care alternative, but there are also things you can do on your own to relieve these symptoms.
For example, trying relaxation techniques like yoga or meditation is helpful when feeling anxious or overwhelmed. You can also take omega-3 supplements to help improve brain function (which would greatly help during high-stress periods).
If none of these tips work for you or your condition worsens over time, schedule a consultation with our licensed fibromyalgia chiropractor in Upland. Atlas Brain & Spine is open to cater to your health needs.
To schedule a consultation with Dr. Murray, call our Upland office at 909-343-5896.
If you are outside of the local area, you can find an Upper Cervical Doctor near you at www.uppercervicalawareness.com.