"Fibro fog" is the name commonly given to the cognitive problems that
can go along with fibromyalgia syndrome and chronic fatigue syndrome. These
problems with concentration and memory can lead to confusion, losing your train
of thought, or forgetting or mixing up words or details.
You can take steps to manage fibro fog. Try some of the following
Write it down. Making a
note helps you get a thought more firmly in your mind. You might want to keep a
calendar or notebook with you so you can write things down while you're
thinking of them.
- Get treated. Other
symptoms that commonly go along with fibromyalgia—including depression, pain,
and lack of sleep—can also make it harder to concentrate and remember. Medical
treatment for these other problems may also help your memory.
- Stay active—mind and body. Keep your mind working by doing
puzzles, reading, or seeing a play to get yourself thinking. Moderate physical
activity can increase your energy and help clear the fibro fog. Talk with your
doctor or physical therapist about an exercise program that is right for
- Find ways to help you focus. Try
breaking tasks up into small steps. Don't take on more than you can comfortably
manage, so you're not trying to do too much at once. When you do start a task,
avoid distractions that can keep you from concentrating. A loud radio or TV, or
trying to work where other people are talking, can make it hard for you to
focus on what you're doing. Try working in a quiet place when you are trying to
concentrate or remember, so you can give the task your full attention.
Information on fibro fog is just one part of a fibromyalgia workbook
called The Good Living With Fibromyalgia Workbook from
the Arthritis Foundation. You can order the book from the Arthritis Foundation
or through bookstores.