Complementary Medicine

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Brain Fog in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia

It can be frightening, but it isn't Alzheimer's

Brain fog is a classic part of CFS and fibromyalgia, presenting as:

  1. Difficulty with word finding (e.g., remembering someone's name),
  2. Word substitution (e.g., calling your husband by the wrong name!), and
  3. Loss of short-term memory.

It can be very severe and even frightening, leaving people with CFS concerned that they are developing Alzheimer's. But they're not. CFS brain fog is when you keep forgetting where you left the keys - Alzheimer's is when you forget how to use the keys!

The good news? Brain fog responds very well to treatment with the SHINE Protocol. Especially helpful are the following nutrients:

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  1. B vitamins, magnesium amino acids and zinc.
  2. Fish oil
  3. Ribose - Taken daily, ribose not only increased energy an average of 61% in a study of 257 CFS/FMS patients, but also improved mental clarity an average 30% and overall well being 37%.

Optimizing sleep and thyroid support and eliminating Candida also dramatically helps brain function.

So you CAN get your brain back!

Meanwhile, the "you're crazy, it's all in your mind" school of thought on CFS continues to recede into ancient history. There were those who attributed the brain fog (and all of CFS) to depression - which was, well, crazy! Here is another new study showing that the brain fog of CFS and depression are NOT related.

Study: The role of depression in cognitive impairment in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome

In the test, 57 women with CFS were evaluated for cognitive function using neuropsychological tests that measure mental acuity in areas such as ability to pay attention, to count forward and backward, auditory-verbal learning skills, executive functions, and psychomotor skills.

Participants were divided into two groups, with one group including those CFS patients who suffered depression (based on clinical assessment to determine scores on the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale) and the other including those CFS patients who were not determined to be depressed.

The results showed no difference between the two groups in their levels of cognitive deficit in performing attention and executive functions. Researchers therefore concluded that there was no link between depression and the cognitive impairments exhibited by patients with CFS.

References

The role of depression in cognitive impairment in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome. Santamarina-PÃrez P, Freniche V, Eiroa-Orosa FJ, Llobet G, Sáez N, Alegre J, Jacas C. PubMed.gov. 2011 Mar 12;136(6):239-243. Epub 2010 Dec 9.

 

 

Jacob Teitelbaum, M.D., internist and author of From Fatigued to Fantastic!, researches treatments for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and fibromyalgia.

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