Discovering the Source of a Fever

Discovering the Source of a Fever

Living with Fibromyalgia: What's Wrong with My Brain?

by Phoebe Jensen

There are a variety of ways that fibromyalgia can affect your brain functioning. You may not have realized that some of these are attributable to your condition, and may feel a little better knowing the cause. Fibromyalgia patients may suffer

  • memory issues,
  • being easily distracted,
  • inability to focus at times,
  • decreased ability to multi-task, and
  • difficulty comprehending or retaining new information.

Research on the Brain Changes

The hippocampus in your brain is considered a gateway in which perceptions of events pass through and become memories that are stored up in your brain. You need a good working memory to retain what you learn or to pull up information when you need it.

Incidentally, the hippocampus is the first area of the brain to show reduced mass in brain scans of Alzheimer's patients (which is caused by abnormal protein formation which in turn results in progressive cell death due to lack of oxygen and other nutrients.)

Fibromyalgia patients also show reduced gray matter in the hippocampus but for different reasons. This is because you have less dopamine in hippocampal neurons.

There is another area of the brain called the ventral tegmental area (VTA) and the VTA regulates the amount of dopamine released in the neurons but it also doesn't function well when you have fibromyalgia.

Another problem that affects the size of the hippocampus is that fibromyalgia reduces the normal amount of a metabolite named NAA/Cr which stands for N-acetylasparate or NAA, and creatine (Cr). The amount of NAA present is an indicator of effective neuron function while the detection of creatine levels indicates energy consumption and overwork.

If all this isn't bad enough, the supplementary motor area (SMA) in your brain also experiences a loss of gray matter and this affects your ability to filter distractions so you can concentrate. All these cumulative effects can result in a brain mass loss of up to 11%. However, the good news is that the destruction of neurons is minimal, and this indicates the damage is reversible.

Things That May Help You

Your doctor may recommend an omega fish oil supplement that contains EPA and DHA to improve the condition of the hippocampus. Dopamine-like agonist drugs may also help.

Research is also showing that early treatment for pain relief is necessary because chronic pain exacerbates the brain damage. Pain relief may come in the form of opioid type medications, or synthetic versions such as tramadol. Other types of medications that may reduce pain include sleep aids, NSAIDs, antidepressants, anticonvulsants, and narcolepsy drugs.

Finally, regular aerobic exercise can help in three ways: it can reduce pain, improve your overall cardio-vascular health, and increase the size of your hippocampus. You will want to start out with short routines and build up your tolerance for exercise. Click here for more information.


About Me

Discovering the Source of a Fever

A few months ago, I woke up one morning with a high fever. Because I hadn’t felt ill the day before, I didn’t understand why I was running a fever. I took over-the-counter medications all that day to control my situation. Unfortunately, I still had the fever the following day. I was concerned about the situation, so I visited a local health care clinic. After an examination, the physician on call told me that he believed I had some type of stomach infection. After a couple of days of taking antibiotics, my fever went away. If you are running a fever for no apparent reason, you should visit a health care clinic immediately, because a fever is an indicator of some type of infection in the body. On this blog, you will discover several possible causes of fevers.