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Fibromyalgia: Managing Fibro Fog

British Columbia Specific Information

Many Canadians are affected by complex chronic diseases (CCD). CCD’s are illnesses that last a long time, require treatment and management, and often do not get better on their own. Fibromyalgia (FM), Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME), which is also called Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), and Chronic Lyme Disease  are examples of complex chronic diseases.

To learn more about fibromyalgia, myalgic encephalomyelitis or chronic Lyme-like disease, visit HealthLinkBC’s  Complex Chronic Diseases health feature.

Topic Overview

"Fibro fog" or "brain fog" is the name commonly given to the cognitive problems that can go along with fibromyalgia 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 tips:

  • 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 physiotherapist about an exercise program that is right for you.
  • 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.

Credits

Adaptation Date: 9/23/2021

Adapted By: HealthLink BC

Adaptation Reviewed By: HealthLink BC