Such cognitive problems may make fibromyalgia patients fear they’re developing Alzheimer’s disease, but the two aren’t related, Dr. Teitelbaum says.
“Fibro brain fog can make you lose your keys,” he explains. “Alzheimer’s makes you forget how to use a key.”
But you can ease symptoms of brain fog. Here are 6 tips from fibromyalgia experts.
1. Fibro fog lifter: Get enough sleep.
Fibro patients often start the day exhausted. They struggle to fall and stay asleep and often suffer from a variety of sleep disorders.
Daily fatigue triggers cognitive problems, says Roland Staud, M.D., professor of medicine at the University of Florida’s rheumatology department. So the more sleep-deprived you are, the more fibromyalgia fog symptoms you’ll suffer.
Try it: Treatment depends on the cause of your sleep issues. So work with your doctor to find out what’s keeping you awake, advises Dr. Teitelbaum.
For example, if it’s restless leg syndrome (RLS), a common fibromyalgia symptom, your doctor may prescribe dopamine agonists, anti-anxiety drugs or anticonvulsants. If you’re wired from anxiety or depression, your physician may prescribe sleep aids or antidepressants.
Keeping healthy sleep habits can also help you rest better. Dr. Teitelbaum offers these tips:
- Put the bedroom clock out of arm’s reach and facing away from you so you can’t see it.
- Take a hot bath before bed.
- Don’t drink alcohol near bedtime.
- Skip caffeine after 4 p.m.
- Get more sleep tips for people with fibromyalgia in Losing Sleep Over Fibromyalgia?