If you’ve ever had a chronic illness flare-up, you know how debilitating they can be. Not only do they leave you feeling exhausted and in pain, but they can also cause memory loss and “brain fog.” This phenomenon is known as “chronic illness flare amnesia,” and it can be frustrating for both patients and caregivers alike.
In this blog post, we’ll explore what chronic illness flare amnesia is, why it happens, and how keeping a journal during a flare-up can help.
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What Is Chronic Illness Flare Amnesia?
Chronic illness flare amnesia is a form of memory loss that can occur during or after a chronic illness flare-up. It can cause patients to forget recent events, have difficulty concentrating, and feel disoriented or confused. In severe cases, patients may even lose consciousness.
Chronic illness flare amnesia is most common in patients with autoimmune disorders, such as Autoimmune Arthritis, Lupus, or Multiple Sclerosis, but it can also occur in patients with other chronic illnesses, such as Cancer, Fibromyalgia, or HIV/AIDS.
Why Does Chronic Illness Flare Amnesia Happen?
The exact cause of chronic illness flare amnesia is unknown, but it is believed to be caused by the stress of the flares on the body’s immune system. When the immune system is working overtime to fight off a flare-up, it doesn’t have enough energy to function properly. This can lead to inflammation in the brain, which can damage neurons and cause memory loss.
How Does Chronic Illness Flare Amnesia Affect Our Healthcare?
Chronic illness flare-ups are already difficult enough to deal with without the added complication of memory loss. Unfortunately, chronic illness flares are often unpredictable, which can make it hard for patients to get the care they need when they need it.
If a patient forgets to schedule an appointment or take their medication during a severe flare-up, this can lead to further complications down the road. That’s why it’s so important for caregivers to be aware of the possibility of chronic illness flares and amnesia.
How Journaling During a Severe Flare-up Can Help:
One way to combat chronic illness flare amnesia is by journaling during a severe flare-up. Journaling allows patients to track their symptoms and moods so that they (and their caregivers) can better understand their condition.
It also provides a written record of what happened during the course of a flair-up, which can be helpful if there are any gaps in the patient’s memory afterward.
Chronic illness flares are already difficult enough to deal with without the added complication of memory loss. If you or someone you love suffers from chronic illness flares, it’s important to be aware of the possibility of chronic illness flare amnesia.
If you’re interested in starting a journal, be sure to check out my tips on how to get started. Get chronic illness journaling tips and prompts here!