Have you ever had trouble staying focused, paying attention and getting things done? I know
I have. Cognitive difficulties are a significant problem for many of us with fibromyalgia. And, lower cognitive function results in lowered working efficiency, relationship arguments and a significantly reduced quality of life.
Some of the most common symptoms are confusion, difficulty finding the right words, and trouble remembering facts, faces, or names. These symptoms are called "fibro fog," which impairs your ability to focus, pay attention and concentrate on mental tasks.
Symptoms can vary from mild to severe and from day to day. Stress, poor sleep, and certain medications may cause it to get worse.
It doesn't have to be this way!
Explore Your Options
It's essential to have a variety of strategies for dealing with fibro fog.
Not all therapies will help everyone. Experiment and see what works for you.
I drink an eight-ounce glass of water with ½ of a lemon squeezed into it the first thing each morning. Clean water with fresh lemon juice provides the body with hydration, anti-oxidants, and electrolytes. Lemon is a rich source of the immune-boosting vitamin C. It also has beneficial quantities of electrolytes such as potassium, calcium, and magnesium. Lemon is a tremendous source of citrus bioflavonoid anti-oxidant phytonutrients that have been given the label Vitamin P. These nutrients can recharge your brain!
Practice mental exercises
Games that require strategic thinking help keep your brain active. Crossword puzzles and other mentally stimulating activities may also help reverse fibro fog. Chess, checkers, bridge, and jigsaw puzzles are good choices too.
Physical exercise can reduce pain caused by fibromyalgia. Of course, it needs to be gentle. Walking is an excellent exercise, and it's free.
Exercise can also relieve mental symptoms, report researchers in the . Exercise helps reestablish the natural neurochemical balance in your body. It also increases your production of feel-good endorphins. Exercise may help you feel more focused and alert. It can also help alleviate symptoms of stress, anxiety, and depression.
Research suggests that tai chi — a practice originating in China that involves moving the body slowly, gently and with awareness — may provide a benefit to people with fibromyalgia. Yoga and the Chinese healing art of qigong, which combines meditation, controlled breathing, and movement exercises, also have shown promise.
Vitamin D deficiency affects 90% of our world`s population. According to Vitamin D expert Michael Holick, "We estimate that vitamin D deficiency is the most common medical condition in the world." It is clear that most people are not getting enough healthy sun exposure.
Your skin can produce vitamin D on its own when exposed to sunlight. The ideal amount of sun exposure depends upon the amount of body exposed, the strength or angle of the sun and the color of the individual's skin.
Following is the approximate amount of time each skin type needs of sun exposure to get the appropriate 10,000–20,000 IU considering that at least 60% of the body receives sunlight. You should get this amount at least three times weekly to fully optimize vitamin D3 levels.
- Find the right sun exposure for you: Light complexion = 15-20 minutes; medium complexion = 25-30 minutes; dark complexion = 40-45 minutes.
- Apply a natural moisturizer: Use coconut oil, aloe vera or green tea extract as a moisturizer before and after sun exposure for added antioxidant protection.
You can also get vitamin D from eating foods rich in this nutrient, such as fatty fish, eggs, cheese, and fortified products. Your doctor can test you for vitamin D deficiency and if you are low, will probably recommend taking a vitamin D3 supplement with vitamin K2 to enhance absorption.
Vitamins that are important in combating fibro fog include vitamin B6 found in beans, eggs, meats, whole grains, fish, and legumes. B6 is vital to nerves and muscles. It helps in the absorption of B12, which is often deficient in people with fibro. Milk, cheese, shellfish, chicken, and fish are hihg in vVitamin B12.
Your body cannot store B vitamins. So, you need to replenish your B vitamins almost daily if you want to maintain healthy energy levels and support your overall health.
These have a concentrated form of the minerals calcium, potassium, manganese, magnesium, selenium, zinc, copper, and iron. These nutrients along with the intense flavor will stimulate your brain and improve memory and cognitive processing.
Fennel seeds increase circulation to the brain, neutralize acids, aid in digestion and as a bonus are an incredibly good breath freshener.
People with fibromyalgia experience a buildup of toxins due to a systemic yeast infection, environmental pollutants, and lifestyle choices like smoking or eating highly processed foods with low nutritional value. Acupuncture helps to clear the mental confusion by flushing out a buildup of toxins.
When people pull toxins out of the body through dietary cleanses and other detoxification methods, they notice a significant decrease in their symptoms. As a result, these people usually experience more mental clarity and less brain fog. When fibromyalgia patients get acupuncture treatments to eliminate toxins, they often see a reduction in their brain fog also.
According to the , some studies suggest that acupuncture may help relieve symptoms of fibromyalgia. Others have found no benefits. Since the risks involved in this complementary therapy are very low, you might decide it's worth a try.
Add yoga to your routine
A study published in the suggests that yoga may help reduce psychological symptoms of fibromyalgia. It may also relieve your pain. As an added benefit, this meditative exercise can help improve your flexibility, balance, and muscle strength.
Consider practicing yoga at least twice a week. Many community centers, gyms, and yoga studios offer classes for a variety of skill levels.
Try massage therapy
Massage therapy can help alleviate stress, anxiety, and depression associated with your condition. It might also relieve physical symptoms of fibromyalgia.
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to reversing fibromyalgia. Symptoms can vary from one person to another. So can the best treatment options.
This condition remains a mystery to most allopathic caregivers. Work with a doctor knowledgeable in complementary therapies and lifestyle changes to find treatment options that work for you. They can help you understand the potential benefits and any possible risks of self-help therapies.
Stay informed. Get involved. Become an FCI member today.