JRA.... Journal of a Radical Arthritis Chick

Here I give advice, speak of my experiences and give information to those who want to better understand Rheumatoid Arthritis. I am NOT a medical professional, and you should always seek advice from a doctor.

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Location: MA, United States

Hello everyone! I am 28 years old and was diagnosed with JRA (Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis) when I was just 3 years old. I've had my battles with this disease over the years, and have decided to create a blog. I want to share my stories and adivce with other RA chicks, or anyone interested, to raise awareness and get insight from others. Feel free to comment/question me about anything. Thanks, and I hope you enjoy!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Fibro Fog

First, so sorry I have not written a blog in a while.  I was sick for a while, and I was feeling overwhelmed with different things in my life so I just needed a break.  I'm sure everyone can relate to that! So here I am back to helping my fellow friends and family understand what they are going through a little easier. Today's topic is Fibro Fog! Thanks to Marie for asking this question. :)

Fibromyalgia is often associated with symptoms of muscle pain and fatigue.  However, unlike normal fatigue, Fibro fatigue can often lead to social isolation and even depression.  Those who have Fibromyalgia, often refer to this feeling of fatigue as Fibro Fog, because it leaves them literally in a fog.  They forget things, and aren't able to do everyday things.

After doing research into this, I found that  Fibro is the intrusion of Alpha-waves during Delta sleep results in non-restorative sleep, which exacerbates the pain and fatigue.  It is this same lack of restorative sleep, as well as life with chronic pain and fatigue (physical exhaustion), which very often results in a cognitive dysfunction commonly referred to as “Fibro-fog” (mental exhaustion). Other contributing factors to Fibro-fog may include depression, decreased oxygen flow to the brain, certain medications, poor nutrition, or changes in the central nervous system.

Fibro-fog is not a psychological condition, but rather the direct result of sleep deprivation and other contributing factors. It is also not the result of Alzheimer’s Disease, dementia, or other conditions that cause deterioration of brain functions.

The severity of Fibro-fog fluctuates from day to day, as well as from person to person. The following is a list of possible signs and symptoms:
  • Mental confusion and fatigue
  • Loss of short-term memory
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Impaired thinking
  • Absentmindedness
  • Inability to recognize familiar surroundings
  • Disorientation
  • Inability to comprehend written or spoken words
  • Trouble with directions
  • Short attention span
  • Acquired dyslexia (includes difficulty speaking known words)
As Fibro-Fog is directly related to non-restorative sleep then getting good, quality sleep should be the first priority. This may require the use of prescribed medications designed to promote sleep such as amitriptyline, cyclobenzaprine, alprazolam, diphenhydramine, and trazodone.

Many people find that keeping to a regular routine, by going to bed and rising at the same time every day, is a necessary component of good sleep hygiene. Provide a relaxing atmosphere, listen to soft music, enjoy light reading, don't eat too close to bedtime, limit caffiene and purchase a quality mattress.


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