First of all, let’s start with my normal disclaimer. I am not a doctor, a health professional or an expert in the field of Rheumatoid Arthritis. I am simply someone who suffers from a serious and aggressive form of this disease and share with you my journey in hopes that I can give you some relief, tips and most of all information.
I recently found myself struggling to stay focused on an important issue that I was dealing with. I was not interested, I was having difficulties concentrating and I generally felt like my brain was in a fog. It is similar to how you feel when you have the flu. You don’t feel like concentrating on a particular task. So I typed in Rheumatoid Arthritis Brain Fog and was amazed to find out that there are numerous articles written on the subject and that I am not alone.
Brain Fog is not a medical term but it appears to be a fairly common problem for people who suffer from Rheumatoid Arthritis. Different research on the internet indicates that people with Rheumatoid Arthritis may have more trouble with memory, the ability to speak, and paying attention than people without the disease.
- Rheumatoid Arthritis brain fog is thought to be caused by a host of different things. It is possible that the inflammation triggers signals that affect brain chemicals which may cause people with RA to feel tired and unable to concentrate.
- Another possible cause is that the medications that are prescribed to treat RA may impact the person’s ability to perform mental tasks.
- Feeling tired or suffering from lack of sleep can affect how you process information.
- Depression could be behind the brain fog. It is not uncommon for people with RA chronic pain to feel depressed. Depression can affect the person’s ability to think clearly.
Alright, so now I know that Brain Fog is real, what do I do?
- Some biologic drugs which block inflammation may improve or prevent the brain fog. By relieving the constant pain which acts as a distraction, you might feel more alert. I am on a biologic which appears to be working for everything but the brain fog. I have an appointment with my Rheumatologist and I will be bringing up the subject of brain fog for the first time. It should be interesting to know how she treats this information. Does she believe that brain fog is real? How will she treat it?
- Sleep. Fatigue can make your RA symptoms worse. There are days and even weeks where sleep is not a problem for me. Unfortunately, as I write this I have not slept well in over a week and I am feeling run down. My brain fog is at an all-time high. I feel like my brain is between channels and I don’t feel motivated to take on new projects.
- Stay organized by writing things down or planning out your day. Try to follow a set routine. In my job, I do not have a set routine nor can I make one. Every day presents challenges and a variety of different tasks. I am inclined to start writing things down but I need to remember where I put the list. That was a joke but seriously, I often don’t have time or the motivation to write things down so things get missed.
- See if there is one time of the day that you are clearer than the rest and try to schedule your more complicated memory tasks for that time period. It is almost 2:00 in the afternoon as I write this and I have been struggling with brain fog all day. Let’s hope the fog clears soon.
“I THINK I HAVE BRAIN FROG, OOPS, I MEANT TO SAY BRAIN FOG.”