Lupus Is Going Down

Helping You Live Well With Lupus

how to combat lupus brain fog

 

Brain Fog- Some days, it feels like you can’t even think straight, but it doesn’t have to be like that. There are things you can do to combat brain fog with lupus. Use these tips and clear up that mental haze.

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor. I’m an individual that suffers from lupus. All content found on lupusisgoingdown.com, including text, images, audio, or other formats, were created for informational purposes only. The Content is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical or mental health advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

What is Lupus Fog?

Lupus fog is a reality for so many lupus sufferers. You know, it’s that inability to focus. Or, that forgetting where you placed something.

My daughter calls it my being “fuzzy-headed”.

Honestly, that’s pretty accurate. This is because brain fog with lupus is cognitive impairment that can be in the form of: memory loss, concentration issues, forgetfulness, and difficulty forming thoughts.

Basically, you’re having processing your thoughts. And, not only is it frustrating, it can create problems.

For example, I once forgot to pay my car note. Actually, I forgot to pay it two months in a row. You see, I had it set to auto pay, but I had changed banks and forgot to change the account number with my car loan company. And, that was disastrous.

But, the effects of brain fog don’t have to be that big of an oops. You can forget someone’s name when they’re standing right in front of you. Let me tell you, that’s embarrassing!

I’m sure you know what it’s like and have your own horror stories. So, why does lupus make our brains get this way?

What Causes It?

First of all, it can be caused by physical conditions, such as chemicals in the body or blood flow issues (just a few of the theories thrown out there by researchers). Or, it could be a combination of factors, such as stress, fatigue, depression, or a lack of sleep.

Unfortunately, no one really knows what causes.

However, you and I know it’s real. We feel the effects of it. Moreover, so do those around us.

How often have you forgotten a word that was right on the tip of your tongue in the middle of a conversation?

Have you ever forgotten a promise you made to your child?

I sure have, and I had to cope with the disappointment afterwards.

And, just like lupus, there’s no cure. It’s the icing on top of the cake.

Yet, you don’t have to suffer through lupus fog. Even though there’s no cure, there are ways to bring some clarity to your thoughts.

Tips For Minimizing the Effects Of Brain Fog

Eat healthy

While there is no prescribed diet for lupus, eating healthy is always a good way to promote better health. For example, you should watch your sugar intake. Also, be sure to eat fruits, vegetables, and whole grain. Finally, include Omega 3 into your diet (think salmon and tuna).

Remember- Lupus effects everyone differently. Talk to your doctor about your diet and know your body.

Exercise regularly

 

lupus fog and exercise

I know, you hurt. And, your brain can’t even process the thought of exercising. But, it’s good for heart and lung health. It gets your blood pumping. Not only that, but it helps relieve stress, too. Moreover, it’s good for the joints, the bones, and the muscles. Over all, it just makes you feel better.

Here’s a tip- Keep it low key. For more on exercising with lupus, read my post8 Things To Consider With Lupus and Exercise.

Get Plenty of Sleep

Impossible sounding, right? I mean, part of brain fog is that you stay awake at night with your thoughts all jumbled. At least, that’s been my experience. I lie awake at night fretting over the things I didn’t get done.

The next thing you know, the alarm is going off.

And, that makes the brain fog worse. I mean, you already suffer from fatigue. Add, lack of sleep, and no wonder you can’t think straight.

Yet, you have to find a way to break the cycle. Find what helps you relax before bedtime. Also, establish a bedtime routine by doing the same things to get ready for bed and going to bed at the same time.

Talk to Your Doctor

This can never be said enough. Honestly, you need to establish a connection with him or her. Be honest about your symptoms and how you feel. He or she can help you with coping with brain fog.

To help you remember to ask him or about it, make notes of it in your health journal. Yes, you really should keep one.

What should you include in it?

Take notes of your diet, exercise, sleep patterns, but most especially note when you’ve experienced lupus fog. Be sure to write what happened. Be as specific as possible like time and place, and what was going on inside your head.

These are all medical concerns, and your doctor is a professional. You need his or her advice.

Strategies for Adapting to Brain Fog with Lupus

 

If those tips were not enough, there’s some other practical things you can do to help you live a productive life in spite of brain fog. lupus fog infographic

Get Organized

Learn to live with making lists: to-do lists, a list of bills you need to pay, and important dates. De-clutter your house (cuts down on distractions). Put things back things like your car keys back in the same place. Use your technology to help you.

To illustrate, I use Apple products. First of all, I sync my Google calendar to my Apple calendar. Then, I sync my iPad to my iPhone. By doing this, I can access my calendar with all of my devices, whether it’s my laptop, my tablet, or my phone. Finally, I set a reminder to go off on my phone so that I won’t miss something.

Along with this, I use the Notes app in my phone to take notes throughout the day. Now, I don’t have to carry a notebook around with me.

Likewise, instead of having someone tell me something, I have them text it to me. I will forget if I just hear it.

Give Your Brain a Workout

Just like you exercise your body, you need to exercise your brain. You can do this with activities that stimulate your brain like puzzles, word games, reading, or taking up a hobby. If you pick a hobby, choose one that makes you learn something new.

For myself, I like to read something that is easy and doesn’t take much effort (fantasy/ sci-fi). On top of that, I play games on my devices. To get my daughters involved, we play board games.

The point is to keep your brain active, even if it’s hard to do so.

Cut Out the Stress

There’s so many things you can do to alleviate stress. Here’s a few of my favorites:

  • Take on one task at a time.
  • Prioritize your to-do list and do the most stressful first.
  • Express your feelings healthily. Don’t keep things bottled inside.
  • Practice mindfulness, meditation, or yoga.
  • Take a mental break for a few minutes. I use YouTube videos that make me laugh.
  • Learn to say no.

Create a Plan to Process New Information

Trust me- If you just hear it, you’ll forget it. So, you will probably want to write things down. Again, I use my smartphone because I never go anywhere without it (even to bed. It’s right beside me on the nightstand).

Furthermore, there are a couple of things you can do to help you remember things. For instance, you can use mnemonic devices. Or, you can say it out loud when you hear it (like learning a new name).

Too, if you journal your day, you can include any new information. Then, at the end of the day as part of your bedtime routine, you can review your journal.

Of course, the key is repetition. The more times you see a piece of information, the deeper it gets embedded into your memory.

Be Positive

Now, I know this is hard to do in the face of what you’re going through. But, being negative only makes it worse.

On that note, create a positive environment in your home. Liven the place up. Bring in some plants. Let nature does its work.

Along with a positive environment, establish and nurture positive relationships. Spend time with the people you care about.

Remember- You’re more than lupus. Focus on the good things in your life. Count your blessings. You’ll be surprised you had more than you realized.

Communicate With Those Around You

You’re the only person that knows what’s going on inside you. Those around you may not know what brain fog feels like or its effects. Educate them.

In fact, tell them exactly what it feels like. Let them know what you’re going through. It will increase understanding, and they can provide you with support.

Likewise, you can warn them when it’s a “fuzzy-headed day”. Most likely, they’ll be able to tell anyways. It’s just nice to get a heads-up.

Cut Yourself Some Slack

It’s not you. It’s lupus. You didn’t purposefully forget something.

Learn to forgive yourself. You didn’t do this to yourself. It’s not in your control. no control over this.

You didn’t ask for your head to feel like it’s in a blender. Definitely, you didn’t ask for lupus.

Accept that, Some days, you’re going to have cognitive impairment. Work to overcome it. And, take pride in the fact that you did.

Brain Fog is Only Part of Your Reality

 

There’s more to you than brain fog with lupus. You are a person with a life to live and a purpose. Pursue that and don’t let brain fog stop you.

Yes, it may slow you down some days, but it doesn’t have to stop you. It doesn’t have to limit you.

You can beat this. It’s just a matter of modifying your habits including diet, exercise, organizing, dealing with stress, and accepting yourself for who you are.

Ultimately, brain fog is only part of your reality, not all of it.

After all, you’re more than lupus.

lupus brain fog

If this post helped you, please share so others can be helped.

If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below. Sharing in the conversation is sharing in the lupus journey.

Best of luck to you on your journey,

Chris

lupusisgoingdown.com

Spread the love

10 thoughts on “How To Combat Brain Fog With Lupus

  1. These are solid tips, especially eating healthy and exercise regularly. I know eating healthy and exercising isn’t the cure all for everything or a magic bullet, but those two things can make all the difference in the world for many conditions. And being positive and jotting down a plan can make all the difference in the world too.

    1. I know from first hand experience that all of these tips have helped me. Otherwise, it would have been a massive chore to even write this post. Honestly, I rely heavily on writing things down. Even when writing posts, I have a pretty thorough outline. Otherwise, it would be a jumbled mess. Plus, I don’t ever want to let my daughters down again by forgetting something that I was supposed to do with them. 

      As for exercise and eating healthy, those two changes in lifestyle has helped considerably with my lupus. It’s improved more than just brain fog. 

  2. This website it so organized and easy for anyone to follow.  It looks like it would be so helpful to anyone that suffers from this disease and any other disease that causes similiar symptoms of brain fog.  It certainly is very positive and encouraging.  I am a RN and I think that this would also be very helpful for healthcare workers when working with patients that have these or similiar issues.  Excelllent aticle and information.

    1. Thanks. Helping others with lupus by sharing things I’ve used myself is the goal of this site. I know that when I was first diagnosed I was in the dark. All of the things were happening to my body, and I had no clue. And, that confusion led to depression. It was a dark time for me and my family. I definitely didn’t talk about it. It was realizing the damage that I was doing to my relationships that caused me to change. From then on, I decided to take a better path. Lupus wasn’t going to defeat me. I was going to rise above it: for myself and my family. If I can help others before they reach that dark place, then I know I’ve made a difference.

  3. Hello Chris, I must say that this article is very helpful and informative. Brain fog is very common today and I have similar symptoms sometimes. I think that my problem is not eating healthy but how is it possible when I work 9-5 and always eat something from the bakery. Thank you for sharing such useful and practical tips, I will try to improve it.

    1. Brain fog is actually something that is common to many health conditions and illnesses. And, yes, health habits such as what you eat do play into helping the situation. Likewise, it can also make the situation worse. Eating healthy on busy schedule is tough, but it’s worth it for your body and your mind. 

  4. ‘How to combat brain fog’ caught my eye and although my wife doesn’t suffer from Lupus, she has been suffering with ‘Brain Fog’. We think this has been due to a side effect of one of the medications she has been on. I can empathise with the symptoms and now I have a few more tips for helping my wife. I am a list maker but my wife is not but I think it is a valuable addition to helping with ‘brain fog’. I think ‘Syncing’ all her devices (and mine) would be advantageous as it’s not uncommon for an ‘event’ to be forgotten. I think the hardest part has been watching the frustration manifest and then turn into bouts of depression. Still, there’s plenty of good stuff here and I know we’ll be using it. Grateful thanks.

    1. It’s very frustrating. Especially, when you have something right on the tip of your tongue, but you can’t remember what it is. Or, you have this nagging sensation that you’re forgetting something, and you can’t put your finger on it. What makes it worse is when others don’t understand that you’re not doing it on purpose. And, it’s hard to get that across to someone. Yes, it came make depression and anxiety worse. Then, that makes the brain fog worse. So, it’s this never ending cycle. At some point, you have to break the cycle, and I’ve found that these tips help. Best of luck to you and your wife. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *