The Mighty Logo

The Frustration of Fibro Fog

The most helpful emails in health
Browse our free newsletters

Brain fog is the not-so-scientific name for the inability to focus and recall things. It is a cognitive deficit. It has to be one of the most frustrating things that fibromyalgia warriors deal with daily. Can I just say kudos to those who work a 9-to-5, I don’t know how you do it. I would really struggle personally trying to recall instructions or conversations.

We have difficulty concentrating, especially when we’re tired. It’s hard to find the words you’re looking for. Carrying on a conversation can, at times, feel like an Olympic event. We have difficulty remembering where we put things, words and names, etc. it is completely frustrating!

We say things like, “what was I just talking about?” “What did I come in this room for?” We forget directions to someplace we’ve been to a million times. I heard about a study done that showed that sometimes, people who have fibromyalgia don’t receive enough oxygen in different parts of their brain, which fascinated me. One possible reason is that our nervous system causes changes in the brain’s blood vessels.

Lack of good, restorative sleep, feeling anxious and/or rushed, some of the meds we take and increased pain can all contribute to brain fog. Is there anything that can be done?

I always advocate food over supplements. Some foods that are brain friendly could include: wild caught fish, walnut and coconut oil, organic eggs, fruits and vegetables (especially avocados, blueberries, and broccoli), carbohydrates, turmeric, and my favorite, dark chocolate. Supplements could include a good source of omega-3 and B vitamins. In my opinion, a good CoQ10 is invaluable. Do your due diligence, though, and find good quality supplements that don’t interact with your current medications. Check with your doctor.

Brain fog could also be an indication that you are doing too much, and your energy is headed for a deficit. When I get like that, I know I need to engage in some “mindless” activity, such as indulging in Netflix. It just feels like I hit a wall — do you ever feel that way? I also work on crossword puzzles to keep my brain a little sharper. I read a lot of books, mostly fiction, but I also like learning new things through non-fiction books.

I can’t tell you how much my brain kept “losing” thoughts while I was writing this column. It’s profoundly frustrating, but I also try to see the humor in it. Whining about it doesn’t benefit me or those around me, so I work at keeping a positive attitude. That’s not to say that I am always successful. I would love to hear about your experiences.

Getty photo by yngsa

Originally published: June 10, 2018
Want more of The Mighty?
You can find even more stories on our Home page. There, you’ll also find thoughts and questions by our community.
Take Me Home