Chronic pain affects your brain

drawing of a human brain in a jar

So a lot of people with Endometriosis suffer from chronic pain…hell, a lot of people without Endometriosis suffer from chronic pain.  There are theories and studies out there that suggest chronic pain affects memory, cognitive function, and mental health.  Not only does Endometriosis present painful symptoms, but it’s also incurable.  And there are many people who do not get any symptom-relief from any of the treatments available.  You can see where this may cause some “mental health” issues.  Here’s some interesting tidbits on how pain affects brain activity and function.

What is gray matter all about?  It maintains memory, sight, hearing, emotions, speech, impulse control, and executive functions (reasoning, problem solving, cognitive functions, etc.).  Gray matter volume naturally decreases with age.  So…it happens naturally.  Chronic pain may just spur it along a bit more.  Studies have indicated that children who suffer from chronic pain have a greater loss of gray matter volume when they are adults.

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