Written by Dr. Valentina Quintana MD on
March 18, 2022
Reading Time: 6 minutes

Medically Reviewed by our Medical Affairs Team

Written by Dr. Valentina Quintana MD on:

Do you feel like you’re living in a fog? If you have fibromyalgia, you may experience a foggy brain at some point.

Brain fog is a common symptom of fibromyalgia, and it can make everyday tasks difficult to complete.

In this blog post, we will discuss the causes of fibromyalgia brain fog, the symptoms, and how to treat brain fog fibromyalgia.

We will also provide tips for managing fibromyalgia syndrome and reducing the risk of experiencing mental fog.

So, let’s get started.

What exactly is Fibromyalgia fog?

Brain fog or mental fog is a type of cognitive impairment and a symptom of fibromyalgia that can cause difficulty with thinking, memory, and concentration.

If you have Fibromyalgia, fibro fog can make it hard for you to focus on tasks, remember information, or find the right words when speaking.

In addition to cognitive dysfunction, fibromyalgia syndrome can also cause fatigue and sleep problems. 

Fibromyalgia fog can be a frustrating symptom, but there are ways to manage it, which we will discuss in more depth later.

What causes Fibro fog?

There is no definitive answer to this question.

However, fibromyalgia fog is believed to be caused by a combination of factors, including:

Neurotransmitter dysfunction

This refers to the chemicals in the brain that help transmit messages between nerve cells. 

Dysfunction in neurotransmitters has been linked to fibromyalgia pain and other conditions that cause chronic pain, such as rheumatoid arthritis.

Sleep disturbances

Sleep is important for overall health, but it is especially critical for brain function.

People with fibromyalgia often have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep due to chronic pain.

Poor sleep can lead to fatigue and, as a result, fibromyalgia fog.

Hormonal imbalances

This may play a role in fibromyalgia fog as well as other fibromyalgia symptoms.

For example, imbalances in the hormone cortisol can cause fatigue, which can contribute to fibromyalgia fog.

In addition, women with fibromyalgia may experience changes in brain function during their menstrual cycle due to hormonal fluctuations.

Stress

Chronic stress can lead to fibromyalgia, and it can also worsen symptoms of fibromyalgia and other musculoskeletal and skin diseases.

One study found that people with fibromyalgia who experienced high levels of stress were more likely to report cognitive difficulties.

Other factors

There are other potential causes of fibromyalgia fog, including:

  • anxiety
  • depression
  • nutrient deficiencies
  • blood sugar imbalances
  • side effects of medications
  • chronic fatigue syndrome

Now that we’ve discussed the prevalent potential causes of fibromyalgia fog let’s talk about the symptoms.

Common Symptoms of Fibromyalgia Brain Fog

Fibro fog can cause a variety of symptoms, and these may vary from person to person.

The most common fibromyalgia fog symptoms include:

  • memory problems (e.g., short-term memory loss)
  • trouble concentrating
  • difficulty multitasking
  • forgetfulness
  • slowed thinking
  • confusion
  • difficulty finding the right words

These cognitive difficulties can make it hard for you to complete everyday tasks, such as driving, cooking, studying, or working.

In addition to cognitive symptoms, fibro fog can also cause physical symptoms, such as:

  • fatigue
  • sleep problems
  • headaches
  • dizziness
  • numbness or tingling in the hands and feet

These physical symptoms can make it difficult for you to stay active and can worsen fibromyalgia chronic pain.

Now that we’ve discussed the symptoms of fibro fog let’s talk about treatment.

How to cope with fibro fog?

There is no specific treatment for mental fog due to fibromyalgia, but there are ways to manage the symptoms.

Here are some tips for managing fibro fog:

Get enough sleep

Fibromyalgia can cause fatigue and sleep problems, so it’s essential to get enough rest.

Consider going to bed and waking up at the same time each day, limiting caffeine intake, and avoiding working or using electronic devices in bed. 

Stick to a sleep schedule

Sticking to a regular sleeping schedule can help you get the rest you need and improve fibro fog. 

In addition, try to avoid napping when it’s near evening as this can interfere with nighttime sleep. 

Exercise

Regular exercise can help improve fibromyalgia symptoms, including mental fog.

Aerobic exercise, in particular, has been shown to be beneficial for people with fibromyalgia.

If you can, consider doing stretching and strengthening exercises and aerobic exercises.

Manage stress

Chronic stress can worsen fibromyalgia symptoms, so it’s essential to find ways to manage your stress well. 

Yoga, meditation, and deep breathing exercises can help you relax and handle your stress levels more effectively.

In addition, fibromyalgia support groups can provide emotional support and help you connect with other people who understand what you’re going through and maybe learn a thing or two from them when it comes to coping with fibro fog.

Eat a healthy diet

Eating a healthy diet is important for overall health, but it may also help improve the fibro symptoms you’re dealing with.

There are a few specific diet changes that may be beneficial for people with fibromyalgia, such as avoiding processed foods, eating more omega-three fatty acids, and drinking plenty of water.

Work out your brain

Another way to help manage fibro fog is by doing activities that will “work out” your brain and improve your cognitive function.

Some examples of these activities include:

  • crossword puzzles
  • sudoku
  • memory games
  • reading
  • taking a class that interests you

By doing these activities, you can help keep your mind sharp and hopefully lessen the fibro fog symptoms you’re dealing with.

Scale back your commitments

If you’re trying to do too much, it can make fibro fog worse.

Try to scale back your commitments and focus on the most important things in your life.

This may mean saying no to social events, cutting back on work hours, or delegating tasks to others.

Find ways to help you focus

There are a few things you can do to help you focus when fibro fog is making it complicated.

For example, you can:

  • use a planner or calendar to keep track of your commitments
  • set reminders on your phone or computer
  • break down tasks into smaller, more manageable steps
  • take breaks often
  • find a quiet place to work or study
  • make a commitment to not use your phone for social media for at least 30 minutes to an hour, especially when you’re working or studying.

Do your best to get organized

Another way to help manage fibro fog is by getting organized.

This may mean keeping a planner, setting alarms, and making to-do lists.

By getting organized, you can help ensure you’re completing your tasks and not forgetting anything important.

Make time to relax each day

It’s essential to make time to relax each day, especially if you’re dealing with fibro fog.

There are a few ways you can relax, such as:

  • listening to calming music
  • reading a book
  • taking a bath
  • doing yoga or stretching
  • getting a massage
  • journaling
  • meditation or breathing exercises

By making time to relax each day, you can help reduce stress and hopefully improve fibro fog.

Help others see what you feel

If you’re dealing with fibro fog, it’s important to let your family and friends know what you’re going through.

This can be a difficult conversation to have, but it can help them understand your situation better and maybe even offer some helpful suggestions.

In addition, there are fibromyalgia support groups that can provide emotional support and help you connect with other people who understand what you’re going through.

Talk to your doctor

If you’re struggling to manage fibro mental fog on your own, talk to your doctor.

They may be able to recommend medications or other treatments that can help improve your symptoms, especially the mental fog.

Brain Fog Fibromyalgia: Other Treatment Options You May Want to Consider

In addition to the fibromyalgia fog treatments and coping strategies that we’ve already discussed, there are a few other options you may want to consider, such as the following:

Herbal supplements

There are a few herbal supplements that have been shown to help improve fibro fog, such as Ginkgo Biloba, Rhodiola Rosea, and Curcumin extract.  

Acupuncture

Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medicine treatment that involves placing thin needles in the skin. Some people with fibromyalgia have found relief from their symptoms with acupuncture. 

Cognitive-behavioral therapy

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a type of psychotherapy that can help you change negative thinking patterns and behavior.

A few studies have found that CBT may be effective in treating fibromyalgia, including fibro fog. 

If you’re considering any of these treatment options, make sure to talk to your doctor first to see if they’re right for you.

How does Fibromyalgia affect the brain?

Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition that can cause a variety of symptoms, including nerve pain, fatigue, and mental fog.

While the exact cause of fibromyalgia is unknown, it’s believed to be related to changes in the way the brain processes pain signals.

In addition, fibromyalgia may also be associated with changes in the levels of certain chemicals in the brain, such as serotonin and dopamine.

These changes can result in a variety of symptoms, including fibro fog.

While there is no cure for fibromyalgia, there are treatments that can help relieve its symptoms. If you’re struggling with fibro fog, talk to your doctor about treatment options.

Concluding Thoughts

We hope this blog post has been helpful in providing you with some information on fibromyalgia and brain fog.

If you’re struggling with fibro fog, remember that you’re not alone, and there are treatments and coping strategies available that can help alleviate your symptoms.

If you have any questions or would like to share your own experiences with fibro fog, please feel free to leave a comment below.

And if you want to learn more about mental fog and how to get rid of it efficiently, check out these educational blog posts and feel free to join this online community of brain health enthusiasts

Join The Mental Health Community You've Been Dreaming Of


This discord family is a safe place where we can all (anonymously if we choose) talk about and seek help for what is going on in our heads.

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