My doc thinks cognitive issues

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by jofla, Oct 27, 2006.

  1. jofla

    jofla New Member

    Hi, I don't post that often, but I have had fibromyalgia for quite a few years. I just had my 6 month check up and I told my doc about the cognitive issues I am dealing with.

    I asked if he thought it was due to fibromyalgia which I know that it is a very good possiblity. His response was "no, its more likely from the xanax that you are taking, and proceeded to look it up in his book and said yes, thats the problem."

    Well of course I was leery of his answer and just nodded. What does everyone else think? And also does anyone see an internal med doc for fibro? I am seriously thinking about trying to change to internal med doc. The cognitive issues are driving me crazy. Sometimes I feel normal, and somedays I cannot get a word out without getting tongue tied.

    I really wonder what the other person thinks when my words are all mixed up and I don't make sense when I talk. Wish there was a magic pill to make my brain work better.

    Thank you
  2. dani78xo

    dani78xo New Member

    It could be the Xanax causing your cognitive troubles, but "brain fog" is a very common symptom of FM. I think it's more likely the FM rather than the medication.

  3. Lolalee

    Lolalee New Member

    All meds can have side effects and it's very easy to blame a drug for a symptom you are experiencing. If your doctor does not even think it possible that your cognitive dysfunction is due to illness, I would say he is wrong.

    I saw a Rheumatologist years ago who absolutely would not even entertain the fact that FMS and CFIDS caused memory loss and cognitive issues. I knew he was wrong. I also saw a Psychologist who I felt was helping me. When she found out that I was taking pain meds, she immediately attributed all of my emotional issues to the drugs and felt that if I stopped meds my problems would go away. This really saddened me because I had some valid problems that were beginning to surface and everything came to a screeching halt since she didn't think I needed counseling.

  4. Nelca

    Nelca New Member

    I am currently being tested for varius autoimmune diseases. I strongly suspect FM. I have had various symptoms over the past 3 years or so including having shingles while otherwise healthy, active 36 year old, lower back pain, and major issues with dry eyes, conjunctivits and sleep problems. Last year I tested positive for high levels of ANA but then when finally saw a specialist I was feeling better and the second test was negative. I've had trouble with hips and shoulders but put it off as pain from lifting weights and over doing it.

    Now have achy joints, back pain, major problems with my grip and pain in hands and elbows, weakness in hands, tingling in feet and hands, tired (although not so that it is effecting normal life), sharp stabbing headaches (like I had as a kid...dr. told mom they were growing pains, my brain was growing...hmm).

    And very annoying, as I am a teacher...trouble saying the right word. I am thinking the right word, I just say something else and can't seem to spit out the right thing. I usually realize it was wrong after I said it but now my students are said____ and I swear I didn't.

    Is this what is called Fibro Fog? I was releived to see your post. Maybe I'm not really getting Altzheimers? I'm only 37!
  5. getfitat40

    getfitat40 New Member

    This article proves a tie-in to cognitive issues - but mostly with distractions. I was lucky enough to go through cognitive testing with Dr Leavitt since Dr Katz is my Rheumy. It was really amazing because I did fine with all the normal testing but when he started the tests that included distractions - I could not answer correctly or even at all.

    At the time I did not know why I was having so much difficulty with a certain set of tests, so I was almost in tears. He didn't point out the difference in the tests and I could not pinpoint the difference. I have a hard time explaining them but for example - he would say a group of numbers and I would have to add two numbers together while skipping a number. This was hard enough but then he was reciting words at the same time and I could not even remember one word.

    So he validated that I was smart enough and my logic and thinking skills were fine under normal situations, but add in the distraction and I was lost. I complained about my cognitive issues at work - saying the wrong words, unable to think of a word, typing the wrong word. It got so bad that people noticed at work. So he recommended that I try Strattera - yep the ADHD med. It works most of the time - when I am exhausted at the end of long work week - I still have issues but not as bad.
    How many people with Fibromyalgia have complained about cognitive impairments and memory dysfunction, only to be tested and informed that they don’t exhibit any problems [they test normal]? Well, finally researchers have asked the question, “Why”?

    Researchers Frank Leavitt and Robert S. Katz looked at the phenonmenum of people with Fibromyalgia who complain of poor memory and cognitive dysfunction, severe enough to affect job performance and to lead to disability. The researchers noted that:

    “neurocognitive examinations often fail to document cognitive abnormalities to validate the symptoms of patients. Drs. Leavitt and Katz investigated whether the method of neurocognitive examination of people with Fibromyalgia may be flawed.”(1)

    The researchers related that,

    “Often, neuropsychologists gauge memory competence with measures free of distraction and produce high rates of normality on neurocognitive examination. We hypothesized that neurocognitive tests encoded with a source of stimulus competition that interferes with the processing and/or absorption of information would be better than others in gauging FM memory competence.”(2)

    Drs. Leavitt and Katz report the study:

    “validated the perception of failing memory in patients with Fibromyalgia. [These findings] are the first psychometric based evidence to our knowledge of short-term memory problems in Fibromyalgia linked to interference from a source of distraction.”(3)

    The study concludes that the source of memory impairment and cognitive dysfunction in people with Fibromyalgia is related to distraction.

  6. deliarose

    deliarose New Member

    as getfitat40,.. with Leavitt.. same results.

    I'm doing better on transfer factor and glutathione ,. esp. IV glut.

    The cognitive issues are clearing up.

    None of the ADHD drugs worked for me.. IMHO, they don't address the root cause.

    BTW, I have CFS, not fibro, and am pretty sure the cause of my illness is viral, complicated by toxin overload.

  7. larayne

    larayne New Member

    Yes I have memory problems. I try to think of a name or what ever and can't think of what I want to say. Later it comes to me. This is much worse when I am tired and recently it seems I am always tired. I could start watching TV and fall asleep but when I go to bed I can't sleep well. Always a new smyptom to deal with.
  8. chloeuk

    chloeuk New Member

    that it could be the xanax...but I also think that drs will automatically look to medication or underlying depression to explain/blame any new symptoms on.

    I saw a new dr last week and he was very nice and he listened to me but he thought my symptoms were "very strange and unusual"...well I may well print out the cfs guide for him to read...if they cant see it/prove it they dont understand it.

    Have you tried cutting back on the xanax, how much are you taking, how long etc...the reason I ask is that you can build up a tolerance really quickly to it and then you need more to have the same effect and this can cause problems.
  9. jofla

    jofla New Member

    all of my aches and pains everything that has to do with me is tied into anxiety. I hate that. I know better. He does not believe in fibro and whenever I have the nerve to even say the word to him I get a rolling of the eyes.

    I have been taking .05mg of xanax for quite a few years now, twice a day.

    A lot of docs here aren't taking new patients. But I thought I would try to get into an internal med doc if I could find one. I am wondering if they would help.

    The fibro fog is terrible, when you can't find your words, where you left something, especially your car. I try to park in the same place when I go shopping so I don't forget where I parked. If I have to park somewhere else forget it. I have to try to find landmarks as I am going to the store and hope that I remember them when I leave. Otherwise I am walking around the parking lot trying to find it. How embarrassing for me.

    Do you feel sometimes when you talk that your tongue is tied or feels thick? Happens to me. Hate that.

    Take care

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