Fibromyalgia And The Cognitive Impact It Has On Its Patients
Fibromyalgia is a painful condition that is both a physiological and psychological one as well. Although the symptoms and signs of fibromyalgia are different with each individual, all patients who suffer from it have pain, and their symptoms often lead to debilitating health conditions as their life goes on. These complications of their health greatly impact their daily living and impair their abilities to engage in daily activities and sometimes even maintaining a job.
Fibromyalgia patients deal with the challenges of how to treat their condition both medically and psychologically. Both sudden and severe cognitive lethargy can be present when the condition first develops. When this happens, it can greatly impact the most basic and simple of activities. This is referred to as “brain fatigue”
Reaching a diagnosis for the cognitive impairment of fibromyalgia can be fairly simple to obtain. When a patient informs his or her physician of their symptoms and complaints, they will then conduct a series of tests and exams. Some of the symptoms a patient may have complaints of include:
●Sense of fogginess
●Incapable of processing information
The purpose of the lab tests are so that the physician can rule out any underlying conditions that could be the cause of the patients’ symptoms. An example of these possible underlying conditions could be thyroid disorder or diabetes. If the tests for these are negative, then the next step would be to have an MRI or SPECT scan done. Some signs of what a patient with fibromyalgia may be experiencing could include:
●Lack of oxygen reaching areas of the brain
●Inability to retain information
In addition to the testing that is performed, a patient with fibromyalgia may appear to suffer from brain fatigue. Because of this brain fatigue, the patient will begin to notice that they are experiencing further cognitive impairments which include the inability to grasp the simplest of information such as facts, and dates. This impairment isn’t due to any memory loss, but rather to the inability to focus and process information given. If a patient is unaware of their condition of fibromyalgia, they may just attribute their symptoms to the stress, fatigue or anxiety they may be experiencing since these symptoms are often misdiagnosed for other conditions.
What Is The Treatment?
There are some simple treatment suggestions a physician could recommend for someone who is experiencing some cognitive impacts with their condition of fibromyalgia. Patients that are trying to treat their brain fatigue may find that engaging in several power naps throughout the day can be very helpful in relieving their symptoms. The purpose of the power naps is to lead to a greater cognitive functioning however there is a slight impairment of daily activities due to the time taken out for these nap periods. Some other suggestions for treatment that your physician may recommend include:
Fibromyalgia patients must have an excellent diet and nutrition plan that they follow that will encourage blood flow and ability to be alert. A patient should avoid foods that are high in sugar and complex carbs. If avoided, it will improve a patients’ level of cognitive function throughout their day.
As with any condition, a person should always discuss their pain and symptoms with their physician so that he or she can guide you on a treatment plan that will be right for you. By taking care of your body through diet, nutrition, sleep and exercise, it will provide a better cognitive function throughout your day.