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Fibromyalgia: Managing Fibro Fog - Topic Overview

"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 tips:1

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  • 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 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.

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.

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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: October 20, 2011
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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