Fibro Fog (Brain Fog)

Fibromyalgia Symptoms

The cause of Fibro Fog is still being debated. However, what we do know are the common symptoms below:

  • Forgetting conversations
  • Forgetting simple details
  • Awkward in social situations
  • Missing important dates
  • Losing things
  • Word use & recall; Difficulty recalling known words, use of incorrect words, slow recall of names. Verbal Confusion.
  • Multitasking difficulties; Inability to pay attention to more than one thing. Forgetfulness of original task when distracted.
  • Math/ number difficulties; Difficulty performing simple math, remembering sequences, transposing numbers, trouble remembering numbers.
  • Confusion and trouble concentrating. Trouble processing information, easily distracted.
  • Short term memory problems; Forgetfulness, inability to remember what has been read or heard. Forgetting what I am doing.
  • Directional Disorientation; Not recognising familiar surroundings, easily becoming lost, having trouble recording where things are. Getting lost, even with a GPS.

Possible contributors

Abnormal cranial blood flow or volume

This could be contributed to inflammation in the back of the neck and head that flares the trigger points.

Lack of restorative sleep

There is common consensus between many physicians and researchers that fibro fog could be related to sleep disturbances and not reaching enough restorative sleep.

Mental distraction due to pain

The physical stress on the body from being in pain 24/7 can leave the body with not enough energy to function the brain fully.

Sensory overload

Other factors include: Toxic environments, such as synthetic smells, highly perfumed products, travelling, chemicals etc. Low level radiation such as Wi-Fi and mobile phone signals.

Poor Diet

The gut can become inflamed by a poor diet. Nutrients processed in the gut power the brain. Sugar, processed foods, additives and a number of grains can be detriment to optimal brain function.

What can I do to improve the fog?

It is believed widely that it all starts in the gut, so finding the right diet for you is essential for optimal brain activity. It will help reduce inflammation in the gut tract and ensure the right nutrients feed the brain

Avoiding sensory overload will help reduce stress and anxiety that maybe caused by Multiple Chemical Sensitivity. Products with chemicals or strong smells can trigger symptoms and overload the mind and body. This is also the case for noise, artificial lights, screens, busy areas, highly patterned carpets and wallpapers etc

Staying within your baseline limitations will reduce the fog symptoms. The more physical energy you use the less there is to enable the brain the function fully. Regular breaks throughout the day to immerse yourself in relaxation will help reduce boom and bust.

Keeping the brain active while exercising has been proven to increase brain capacity. Learning Tai Chi and Qigong is perfect for Movement Therapy and mind/ body connection. The gentle exercise will also help prepare you for more restorative sleep. The better quality REM sleep we achieve, the more chance the brain and body will restore overnight reducing symptoms such as morning stiffness and fibro fog.

Many of us feel embarrassed and find dealing with these symptoms quite difficult especially when meeting new people or being under stressful situations. Try to relax and put everyone at ease. Be frank and open that it’s part of your illness. Tell them you are great at Charades and get them to join in guessing the word, because you will be able to describe the word perfectly, you just can’t find it, but if you relax it will come to you.

One great piece of advice is if you have lost your mobile and you are talking to someone on the phone while you are trying to find it, it’s most likely in your hand!

Programmes and activities that Fibro Active offer to help manage your symptoms

Fibro Active have several programmes and activities that can help you with your symptoms of Fibromyalgia.  We focus on a healthy lifestyle, gentle exercise and sharing information whilst supporting it's members to accept and manage their illness in a positive and friendly atmosphere.

Tai Chi

Tai Chi for Arthritis is designed to enable people to be active when they are unable to participate in other forms of exercise. For more information as well as times and dates please visit our Tai Chi page.

Space to Think

We offer funded 1 to 1 emotional support sessions with a facilitator from Open Minds, a local Nottingham based charity. These sessions are open to group members and our Tai Chi students. 

ActiveAte

A new and fun interactive educational nutrition programme that aims to support those with living with Fibromyalgia and other related health conditions.