Girl Interrupted

Monday, January 23, 2006

[+/-] Fibromyalgia: I'm losing my mind! Literally!

Over the last two years (since my fibromyalgia has been worst), I have somehow felt that I have been getting stupid. I can't seem to think as clearly as I did before, and I certainly don't seem to be as clever. Now I know why.

In the first episode of the Fibromyalgia Weekly podcast, I heard Betsy Singh-Anand mention a link between chronic pain and the loss of IQ points due to brain shrinkage. I asked her for more information, and oh my gosh! What scary stuff for the chronic pain sufferer!

According to a study at the Northwestern University Institute of Neuroscience, by Professor A. Vania Apkarian, chronic pain causes cognitive losses due to shrinkage of the prefrontal cortex and other areas. Previous research found that ongoing back pain (at least 6 months) causes abnormal brain chemistry in areas important in emotional assessments, decision-making and control of social behaviour.
So, if I've gone postal at you, my friends, at any time in the last few years (a specific MTG tournament organising thing comes to mind), well, I'm sorry, its obviously that my brain has gone loopy.
Further research using MRI, published in the Journal of Neuroscience, showed that people who lived in chronic pain had brain shrinkage per year equivalent to 10-20 years of normal aging! (Shaky voice: You know, when I was young...). Although this shrinkage is indicated in the gray matter (i.e., the thinking part of the brain), the study did not link this loss to brain function, so it could be non-critical areas that are becoming atrophied. And, they're not sure whether this brain damage is irreversible. Suck to be me right now!

Another study has linked an overweight or obese BMI to brain shrinkage.
Double whammy for me! Another reason to lose weight post haste!
Other studies by Catherine Bushnell, a researcher at McGill University's Center for Research on Pain in Montreal, have shown that it helps to be distracted from your pain, so tell your family to stop asking you how you feel and listen to more music or something.,1863.html

Filed as: Fibromyalgia »
  [+/-] Links to this post
  • At Thu Jan 26, 02:22:00 pm GMT+2, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Oh god! I've heard about people like you. Attention seeking, lazy hypochondriacs with a made up disease that no-one can prove or medically test for, draining our economy by going on "disability" handouts - sorry, I mean disability benefits. Get a life and stop slacking!


  • At Thu Feb 16, 12:54:00 am GMT+2, Blogger chronicpainblog said…

    Hey - I've linked to you - Will you link back?

    Ow! A Chronic Pain Relief Blog


  • At Thu Feb 16, 03:28:00 am GMT+2, Blogger Gimpy Mumpy said…

    "anonymous" poster better be intending that post to be a form of sarcastic humor. grrrrr....
    Anyone who does not believe in chronic pain needs to spend a day in our bodies, feeling what we feel.
    Oh, AP you better have been kidding! Ugh!


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  • At Fri May 18, 01:35:00 pm GMT+2, Anonymous Jessica said…

    I must certainly can relate to what you're feeling (ie, those days when you feel the need to keep running tabs on your current levels of functioning brain cells), as I have FMS and several other chronic (exhausting) conditions as well. On days when the "fibro fog" parts it sometimes seems like our minds return to (nearly) their former (aka, pre-fibro) days, but still I've really turned to things like lists and alarms to help me keep my sanity and whits about me (and not forget to pay the rent half a month late again, as I did about a year and a half ago during a really rough month).

    On a side note, this is my first time posting on your blog, and I think it's terrific. Keep up the wonderful (FMS themed or otherwise) writing.

    Healing wishes to you ~ Jessica


  • At Fri May 18, 01:37:00 pm GMT+2, Anonymous Jessica said…

    Opps, let us not forget the infamous fibro typos (seriously, it's like sometimes FMS puts blinders on you while you're very frustrating). I meant to say "I most certainly can relate". Sorry to post a second time, my dear.

    Tender fibro hugs ~ Jessica


  • At Sat Jun 30, 02:45:00 pm GMT+2, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hi, have you ever considered doing any emotional/spiritual cleansing or healing? I had a horrendous candida problem, and I couldnt' really shift it properly until I started looking at the mind and heart issues. A friend of mine who suffers from fibro has had amazing results from doing Kundalini Yoga practice, and she's a total skeptic.
    Love, Kaetie


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  • At Sat Nov 24, 09:05:00 am GMT+2, Anonymous Linz said…

    Oh boy, some comment moderating needed!

    I just foudn this blog via technorati and wanted to post that despite the loss of brain matter, the loss of IQ from fibro is, in my exeperience, still largely down to cognitive fog brought on by lack of dopamine in the brain. I though I'd lost it, but since getting the fms treated, my marbles have come back!


  • At Mon Apr 28, 04:04:00 pm GMT+2, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Fibromyalgia is real and serious but, like most diseases it leaves you with one choice, fight it or sign your life over to it. Fighting it is not just taking a couple pills to feel better, it is about lifestyle change.
    We need to nurse our bodies to health with good food, exercise and less stress. Managing those changes will take a lot of energy and support. Here is a great link to the DISB, great info there.


  • At Tue May 27, 12:43:00 am GMT+2, Blogger Hailey Harris said…

    I just want to give helpful information for all fibromyalgia sufferers.

    Fibromyalgia is a condition where you feel chronic pain in certain parts of your body; it is a muscular pain especially around the joints. There can also be centralized pain felt in the spinal chord, brain, neck shoulders etc. People with fibromyalgia generally complain of pain in the joints, but it actually is the muscles and the tendons around it that cause the pain, it can be excruciating sometimes and can be a continuous throbbing pain. People suffering from Fibromyalgia also show symptoms of depression, sleeplessness, irritable bowel syndrome, stress and many others, which are caused due to the pain.

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    We must know the symptoms of this illness. For us to know what would be the approach we will going to apply. Here's Signs and Symptoms of Fibromyalgia and steps to treat it naturally.

    We must also be responsible and aware to the things to gain and cope up with this kind of illness. Eating nutritious food with regular exercise would be result to a better life. Here's Basic Tips in Coping Fibromyalgia.

    If we say Fibromyalgia Diet, there is no specific recommended diet for fibromyalgia. But a healthy diet rich in vitamins and minerals can certainly help in coping with the illness. Magnesium rich vegetables are recommended for patient's suffering from fibromyalgia. Here's some information for you to help in Fibromyalgia Diet.

    We must also think that vitamins are important for Fibromyalgia sufferers. This will give us additional energy and strength to kept a healthy living. But of course, you must be aware that not all vitamins are effective or directly gives you a good result. Find the best vitamins that would easily give a good response if your taking it. The best thing is your healed and keep your body healthy as possible. Here's The Benefit of Vitamins for us to know why vitamins are important for fibromyalgia sufferers.

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    Here's Rid Fibromyalgia, For free info and helpful articles on fighting fibromyalgia.


  • At Sun Jun 08, 10:28:00 am GMT+2, Anonymous Daniel said…

    Hi Nice blog.
    My wife has suffered from fybro for the last 3 years but we have worked very hard together to try to make things better, from massages to regular medication. She recently under went some acupuncture treatment which has helped her allot, I was very skeptical at first but after a few days she said that she actually felt much better, to my surprise. I suppose you don't know until you try. Still just thought i would say hi, my wife does not like me talking about it to others much she is a very quite person, so don't tell her i am here ;)
    After working on this together to help her get better we have now created our own ebook called Fibromyalgia symptoms and treatments
    which many people have bought and have left some really nice comments, we have also added some of their info to the book now as well. The great thing about the ebook is that it has all the facts and tips i could find over three years stuffed into one place, and we are always adding new things to it when we get new information. Still hope you are feeling well soon. Take care and God bless


  • At Mon Jun 16, 12:25:00 am GMT+2, Anonymous dr. lisa said…

    daniel has a good point. it's hard to find empathy. fibro sufferers want to be "normal" especially when they look fine on the outside and others don't "see" their difficulties.

    More Fibro News


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  • At Fri Nov 28, 11:42:00 pm GMT+2, Anonymous Fibromyalgia Research said…

    Interesting that you say you are losing your mind. There is current research that indicates that fibromyalgia is related to blood flow issues in the areas of the brain responsible for pain measurement and emotional response to pain. You can read more at Fibromyialgia May Be In Your Head


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  • At Fri Sep 04, 01:49:00 am GMT+2, Anonymous Vicodin U:S Doctor said…

    There are different views on fibromyalgia although all are based on the constant pain that produces the disease and although not yet really know the accurate cure for it, I have my father suffering from this disease and I am interested in the topic to be able to help their pain to dissipate in any way and have read many books on fibromyalgia and chronic pain and to find findrxonline indicate that opioid narcotics for pain control are excerpts from the opium and are very effective and are commonly used to control and remove moderate to severe pain, these drugs are controlled NARCOTICS opioids which required a medical prescription.


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    The doctor gave me lortab long time after suffering from back pain, I did not take importance to this icon in order to feel pain, until no stamina, after many doctor visits and many tests I found chronic fibromyalgia, and after evaluating and conduct a comprehensive review told me that the most appropriate to ease the pain were lortab, vicodin or oxycodone, but I asked my doctor to prescribe me the most effective and less addictive and prescribed Lortab, have already taken this medication 2 years and though it causes some kind of anxiety I control myself properly, I have no problems so addictive, I think if they know their anxiety is effective restraint, this is good because these narcotics findrxonline indicate that opioids can be very dangerous.


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    very interesting post about Fibromyalgia: I'm losing my mind! Literally, I want to add this information Fibromyalgia is characterized by chronic widespread pain and allodynia, a heightened and painful response to pressure. Fibromyalgia symptoms are not restricted to pain, leading to the use of the alternative term fibromyalgia syndrome for the condition. Other core symptoms include debilitating fatigue, sleep disturbance, and joint stiffness. Some patients may also report difficulty with swallowing, bowel and bladder abnormalities, numbness and tingling, and cognitive dysfunction. Fibromyalgia is frequently comorbid with psychiatric conditions such as depression and anxiety and stress-related disorders such as posttraumatic stress disorder. Not all people with fibromyalgia experience all associated symptoms. Fibromyalgia is estimated to affect 2-4% of the population.


  • At Tue Feb 02, 09:33:00 pm GMT+2, Blogger Colleen said…

    That was a very interesting about how pain affects the mind...thanks for sharing that. I can't pass by without sharing that fibromyalgia is reversible. I work for a small little wellness center that uses lifestyle methods to help people regain their life. Even if you never come you might be interested in visiting


  • At Thu Feb 11, 08:55:00 pm GMT+2, Anonymous watson said…

    Fibromyalgia is a disease that causes severe pain and affects quality of life of people. Many of these people are immersed in a profound tension and stress that even your doctor should prescribe anti anxiety drugs like Xanax or Valium to calm them. Many of these anxiety medications are controlled and must be prescribed by a doctor.


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