The interesting paradox with any pain syndrome, regardless of the cause, is there is a common paradox which boils down to cognitive disruption and pain. The question is a chicken or egg issue.Which came first?
Did the pain cause the cognitive confusion or did the cognitive confusion perpetuate the pain, making it worse which then made the cognitive confusion worse resulting in what is now known as “fibrofog?” That was confusing, was it not?
Regardless, it all boils down to the simple fact this is a reality which almost everyone who suffers and lives with the condition must contend with.
All questions and postulations aside, the issue is real, it affects lives and livelihood and it needs to be addressed.
One issue is clear and this is how pain definitely affects concentration and mood. Next, we need to consider how fibromyalgia syndrome may be affecting brain chemistry and cellular energy production overall.
A Musculoskeletal and Metabolic Condition
Fibromyalgia and fibrofog go together like bread and butter. Not exactly, but the analogy sticks, pun intended.
Fibromyalgia is actually a syndrome, meaning it has numerous contributing factors.
As a musculoskeletal condition, both the nervous system and cellular metabolic systems are clearly involved. There is no doubt about this.
Upon understanding this, we need to understand why muscle cells move in the first place. It is because of a cellular energy molecule called ATP.
So, cellular energy is potentially compromised in some manner in the condition of fibromyalgia.
It just so happens that this same energy process is exactly what runs brain cells and neurotransmitter production.
This is correct. The Whole process which produces ATP starts with something called NADH+.
This just happens to be responsible, along with methyl donor groups from methylfolate and methylcobalamin (bioactive folic acid and vitamin B12 respectively) which produce serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine while regulating the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA.
All of these neurotransmitters have been implicated in cognition control and control of fibromyalgia symptoms.
As a matter of fact, all approved medications for the conditions of both fibromyalgia and associated cognitive disorders involve accentuating the function of these exact neurotransmitters.
Therefore, ATP plays a serious role with fibromyalgia and fibrofog. It is useless to ignore the correlations and the facts. They stare us right in the face. There is a myth about how we cannot increase ATP production. This is incorrect.
First of all, a sedentary lifestyle will definitely not allow for any increase in ATP production and will contribute to Fibromyalgia and fibrofog.
This is because muscle cells switch to a process called glycolysis rather than aerobic respiration.
In other words, your body feeds off of glucose and temporarily halts ATP production.
It just takes some walking and light exercise for maybe 15 minutes a day to get aerobic respiration going and you can increase ATP synthesis.
Supplementation For Mental Energy
NADH+ was mentioned. There has been some controversy about its use for fibromyalgia, but for fibrofog? It would be a useful choice without a doubt.
This is because it will help support normal brain cell energy and mental clarity. It will also support normal neurotransmitter production. Only one company in the world actually makes it, ENADA.
However, it is sold under many different brands as both sublingual and enterically coated tablets to bypass stomach acid. Make sure you get the ENADA logo on whatever you should choose to purchase.
Also, it is a good idea to take a simple vitamin C supplement but make sure it is not acidic.
This will help with fibromyalgia and fibrofog, especially if you combine it with a b-complex vitamin supplement.
B-vitamins help with memory and concentration while helping support healthy energy levels and digestion. This will ensure you can maintain clear mental activity and combat the fibrofog.
Try to Avoid Stimulants
While caffeine may help provide a temporary boost, In the long run, it will actually wear you down and lose effect.
It actually drains your adrenal glands and, with fibromyalgia, your adrenal glands are already drained.
Particularly if you are dealing with fibrofog, the temporary effects of caffeine or even prescribed ADD medications are only going to pull you further down.
These effects may seem fantastic at first, but they wane rapidly. Soon, you just find yourself in a terrible low of energy and in more pain than before.
You could try some herbal remedies which are stimulant free. American Ginseng or Siberian Ginseng may be good, but you should check with a qualified healthcare consultant on this issue.
A better idea may be green drinks without any stimulants and even try probiotic supplements and fermented foods to improve digestion. Also consider fresh, organic juices and some healthy dietary changes.
These small shifts can go way further than stimulants to making your mind more clear and giving your body more energy.
Health and dietary changes can make a tremendous, life changing difference and this is fantastic, but it doesn’t always do the full job when you are dealing with fibromyalgia and brainfog.
It is sometimes just all too blinding and the inability to concentrate coupled with the chronic pain begins to rip through the fabric of your life like a jagged blade through all comprehensible reality.
Coping becomes next to impossible and greater help is needed. There is fantastic news in this respect. There are medications approved to help.
Ask your doctor about the options. There are currently three medications approved for the treatment of fibromyalgia symptoms and two of them seem to be helpful for fibrofog issues as well.
Many sufferers have seen significant improvements using Cymbalta, for example. They have found improved concentration, ability to speak to others, greater confidence, reduced anxiety, reduced pain, improved sleep, and many other benefits.
Some have found similar benefits with Lyrica, a medication which works through a different neurotransmitter system. Try some different approaches.
Most importantly, communicate with your care providers to determine the best options for your specific issues and take a holistic approach for best results.
Find support and maintain a solution-oriented attitude for better mental clarity.