Friday, February 3, 2012

Where do those dust bunnies come from? Brainfog in FM and CFID at its worst and best

Cognitive dysfunction, brain fog, is common in fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue immunodysfunction. It could be due to the centralization of pain found in FM or CFID (ME/CFS) or it could be due to one of the comorbid conditions such as, insulin resistance, reactive hypoglycemia, hypothyroidism, other hypometabolism, poor sleep regulation, or some type of organic brain syndrome. It is important that you discuss all of your symptoms with your doctor so that any comorbid condition can be ruled in or out and be appropriately treated.

I know only too well how frustrating brainfog can be, losing words midsentence, transposing words and numbers. I cannot be trusted to write down a phone number for instance. Short term memory loss can be affected too, and at a greater degree than that of your friends who say, “Oh, I do that too.” In fact, they probably do that too, but not EVERY time they walk into a room, look around, and wonder what they are doing there, if they do, I suggest they too have the above mentioned conditions investigated. Comments like this makes us want to ask them how many times they have driven to their doctor only to be lost in a parking lot, not having a clue as to where they are or how to get to a place they have been many times before, then wondering if someone will want to take their license away if we share that information. (I do suggest that if you are in a flare, have someone else drive if at all possible. Asking for help is ok.) Frustrating seems a simple word to describe this dilemma that has robbed many of us from our livelihood.

We have tried about every supplement available to regain our cognition, and that can be a dangerous thing too, because many interfere with other medications we take.

There is no cure for brain fog, but it is important to understand there could be underlying conditions contributing to this unwanted side effect. There are helpful tools, which we discuss in our book. Being organized and learning to manage time can be very helpful. Will these tips broom away the dust bunnies? Probably not, but they will help with the frustration that is created as a result. Deep breathes, and try to treat yourself with loving care, understanding that your brain is trying to function, despite the road blocks getting in its way. It is chugging along, and we should too. Try to turn the experience into something positive. I am certain if we wrote down each episode, we could put together a really good comedy book.

Things always look brighter when we can look back on it and laugh.

Healing, harmony and hope, Celeste, RN, author, FM expert at

All blogs, posts and answers are based on the work in Integrative Therapies for Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and Myofascial Pain: The Mind-Body Connection by Celeste Cooper, RN, and Jeff Miller, PhD. 2010, Vermont: Healing Arts press and are not meant to replace medical advice.

Author of Chapter Five, Living with and Coping Effectively Through Fibromyalgia: Detecting Barriers, Understanding the Clues, in Fibromyalgia Insider Secrets: 10 Top Experts, 2nd Ed. Ebook complied by Deirdre Rawlings, ND, PhD

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