Brain Fog
19 Case Studies
38 Member Stories
2273 Research

Brain fog can be the result of a wide range of health conditions, such as stress, dietary sensitivities, hypothyroidism, depression, anxiety, and sleeplessness. The importance of detoxification when it comes to our neurological system is key. Learn to recognize the effects toxicity has on your brain and the integrative approaches such as an infrared sauna and craniosacral therapy that can change your neurological health for the better.

What is brain fog?

Brain fog is not a medical condition. Rather, it is a set of symptoms of other medical problems. It's a form of cognitive dysfunction between memory issues, lack of mental clarity, poor concentration, and inability to concentrate.

Brain fog is a term that describes feelings of confusion, forgetfulness, lack of attention, and mental clarity. While a substantial problem by itself, brain fog is also an indication of underlying health conditions. If you are feeling like your head feels cloudy, your brain is sending a signal that something in your life that is out of balance has to be addressed.

Brain fog can be the result of a wide range of health conditions, such as stress, dietary sensitivities, hypothyroidism, depression, anxiety, and sleeplessness. If you are experiencing brain fog, it does not mean that you have any specific condition. Rather, it is an alarm bell to your general health and wellness.

Some people also describe it as mental fatigue. Based on the severity of brain fog, it may interfere with school or work. Brain fog is a set of symptoms. Though it is not recognized as a listed medical condition, it is quite widespread. It can be elaborated as a state of mental confusion where the head feels cloudy. There are a delusion and lack of mental clarity and hence the name, brain fog. 

The patients can feel depressed and discouraged due to recurring episodes of forgetfulness. People of all age groups are equally susceptible to this condition. Patients tend to face problems at school, work, and in their personal lives. Low self-esteem, frustration, and inability to function well are some significant setbacks associated with brain fog conditions. [1]

Once the root cause is discovered, alterations in lifestyle, diet, drugs, and stress management can clear the fog and restore clarity, focus, and energy.


Brain fog symptoms & causes

Brain fog is itself a symptom of underlying mental health issues. However, many people may not be able to interpret brain fog related symptoms. These are very common and can be misinterpreted as casual occurring. However, conditions mentioned below relate to brain fog and must be taken seriously: [2]

● Difficulty in focus

● Short term and long term memory loss

● Slow thinking

● Lack of concentration

● Confusion

● Frequent episodes of forgetfulness

 

Brain fog causes:

A broad spectrum of factors can contribute to brain fog. A complex series of events result in brain fog. These may include emotional, toxic chemicals or infections. 

● Metal toxicity may be one of the most common causes of brain fog. Copper, mercury, aluminum, cadmium, and lead are the most potent metals resulting in such toxicity

● Toxic chemicals like solvents, pesticides severely affect brain functioning and may lead to brain fog

● Bowel toxicity due to improper digestion, constipation or intestinal function can also result in brain fog

● Hypoglycemia is another potential cause of brain fog. Low blood sugar generally results in confusion, irritability, and episodes of blackouts

● Food allergies may also result in brain fog symptoms

These are some of the common causes of brain fog. Other causes may include diseases, hormonal changes, stress, drug side effects, nutrition deficiency, etc. [1]

Functional medicine brain fog treatment

You can heal from brain fog; however, identifying the root cause is vital. The first thing is to find out what is causing your issues. It might need lab testing to check over your thyroid and gut health, all of which are possible causes of brain fog. The potential causes could be relative to your lifestyle, diet, and medical history.

Among the most common causes of brain fog is simply not sleeping enough. That is probably one of those number one lifestyle changes that are required make to improve the signs. Normally, they are busy parents or students who have reduced the number of hours they sleep.

Thankfully, whether the reason is because of diet, nutrient deficiency, stress, sleep disorders, underlying health conditions or medication side effects, it's possible to get to the bottom of the true cause. A holistic specialist can help you research the many possible causes, and narrow them down according to your life history, individual symptoms, and results of lab tests, among other actions.

Checking for symptoms of brain fog after eating can be an important assessment tool too. If you realize that your brain fog dissipates after you eat certain foods, then observe that. That food is likely part of the issue. Conversely, if you observe some foods make you feel more clear-headed - that meals can probably help.

In addition to identifying and addressing underlying health Conditions, it's also important to check at which medications you're taking. Talking to your doctor about your symptoms of brain fog, as it pertains to your current drugs, is an excellent way to start.


Lifestyle changes

Anxiety, painful emotions, difficult relationships, or other lifestyle factors can all cause or contribute to brain fog. If you are experiencing brain fog, it finds out what in your life could be causing you considerable stress or other psychological turmoil. Like many health problems, finding ways to decrease your stress levels, relax, and find greater peace may be an integral part of healing.

Relaxation techniques can include yoga, meditation, deep breathing, walking, swimming, music, or massage. Make lifestyle changes in how you live your life by finding ways to decrease stress at work or home; spend more time with friends & family. Lower the stress in your life and your brain.


Dietary modifications

To address the dietary causes of brain fog, many nutritionists recommend that you eat a diet full of fat from healthy sources such as avocados, nuts, coconut oil, olive oil, fatty fish such as wild salmon, eggs, and grass-fed meat. Stay away from vegetable oils such as sunflower, safflower, or canola oil. Vegetable oils are high in pro-inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids that lead to brain inflammation. Chronic brain inflammation may be an underlying cause of brain fog, ADHD, anxiety, depression, and memory loss, in addition to severe neurological diseases such as stroke and Alzheimer's.

Eating fresh foods is best. This means lots of dark, leafy greens, lean proteins. This goes hand in hand with reading food labels and preventing food additives in addition to artificial sweeteners.

Together with eliminating food additives, brain fog may also be Increased by identifying food allergies and sensitivities. If you suspect an allergy or sensitivity, then going on a trial elimination diet is a way to discover which kinds of foods are not working for you. A fundamental elimination diet entails cutting suspect foods from your diet for some time and observing how you're feeling. It's always recommended to reflect upon your food choices and ask yourself if they're likely to create your body feel great and energized.

After the root cause is determined, your functional medicine practitioner may recommend some of the dietary supplements items listed below can help in treating the brain fog:

●     Luteolin: It is a natural flavonoid that can help manage the symptoms of brain fog. Luteolin offers anti-inflammatory as well as antioxidant action. It also helps in boosting memory by the neuroprotective mechanism. The activity of a liposomal lutein formulation in olive fruit was studied. Improved attention was reported in the subjects. Thus, Luteolin can be a potential treatment option for brain fog.[3]

●     Citicoline: It is one of the best brain boosters available. Citicoline can help in enhancing overall brain health. It improves the blood blow to the brain and also prevents the free radical-induced damage to brain cells. However, this must be used only in lower quantities. Consuming large amounts can result in the opposite action. Thus, this powerful nootropic must be used wisely to treat brain fog. [4]

●     Vitamin B: Vitamin B includes a complicated family of vitamins that together help the body in various away vitamin B-9 and vitamin B-12 work in conjugation to protect the brain and enhance communication. They do so by lowering the level of homocysteine in the brain, which is a natural amino acid that adds on to the mental fatigue. It is also responsible for the permanent loss of cognitive brain functions. Vitamin A and Vitamin C must be taken along with vitamin B complexes as they promote better absorption of Vitamin B in the body. [4]

●     Rhodiola Rosea: Mood disturbances, absent-mindedness, and a long stretch of fatigue are the most common symptoms of brain fog. Rhodiola Rosea helps to combat all these symptoms by energizing the central nervous system. It also aids the repair of damaged neurons and stimulates the growth of brain cells in the hippocampus. Overall it is a potent nootropic to beat the brain fog. [4]

●     Phosphatidylserine: This is a potent nootropic that can even reverse the nerve cell restoration. It helps in improving both short term and long term memory functions. Phosphatidylserine (PS) clears away the brain fog by enhancing such memory functions like learning, attention, and recall. The underlying mechanism behind the working of PS is the protection of the myelin sheath surrounding the nerve cells. It improves communication, language skills, and the ability to concentrate. PS is an excellent supplement to protect cognitive aging and retain optimal cognitive functioning abilities. [4] 

●     N-Acetyl L- Tyrosine: Stress is one of the significant factors contributing to brain fog. There is a depletion of neurotransmitters such as dopamine and norepinephrine in stressful situations. These neurotransmitters are essential for a sharp and quick response from the brain. However, a reduction in their level during stressful conditions result in brain fog symptoms. N- Acetyl L- Tyrosine (NALT) overcomes the symptoms of brain fog by enhancing the level of neurotransmitters in the brain. [4]

You can consider other nutritional supplements for treating brain fog after consulting with a health care expert. Many vitamins and herbal supplements can help treat brain fog or encourage your brain health. 

• Omega-3 essential fatty acids - combats fatigue, poor memory, mood swings, and depression.

• Gotu kola - cures mental fatigue, anxiety, depression, memory loss, and insomnia.

• Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) - fuels your cells' mitochondria to boost brainpower.

• Curcumin - boosts attention and memory, reduces inflammation, helps treat depression.

• Vitamin D - helps clear brain fog, lifts depression, enhances memory and clarity.

• Bacopa - improves memory and cognitive functioning reduces stress and anxiety, helps with symptoms of ADHD.

• Magnesium - calms the central nervous system, blocks stress hormones, helps migraines.

• Probiotics - improve gut health by producing healthy bacteria.

Who can heal brain fog?

An appointment with a functional medicine or integrative medicine practitioner is a good start for healing your brain fog, since they may evaluate and treat hormonal imbalances. As diet is probably part of the issue, a nutritionist or dietitian can help you receive your consumption on track to strengthen your gut and mental health.

Summary

Brain fog is a prevalent condition prevalent across the world. It can be classified as a symptom of various underlying diseases, rather than a disease itself. Brain fog makes the head feel cloudy and affects the lifestyle of the patients. The patient suffers from problems like absent-mindedness, blurred memory, and poor communication. These symptoms result in various challenges. The causes of brain fog can be multiple and absurd. Causes like toxicity, infection, and allergies can work together or solely to result in reduced cognitive abilities. These must be identified at an earlier stage itself to seek an optimum and timely cure. Many supplements & nootropics are available in the market, which helps in strengthening memory and brain functions. Cognitive supplements like vitamin B & luteolin work by varied mechanisms to treat the brain fog. 

 

References

1. Brain Fog. (2019). Retrieved 16 December 2019, from https://www.drlwilson.com/articles/brain_fog.htm

2. Ocon, A. (2013). Caught in the thickness of brain fog: exploring the cognitive symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Frontiers In Physiology, 4. doi: 10.3389/fphys.2013.00063

3. Theoharides, T. (2015). Brain “fog,” inflammation and obesity: key aspects of neuropsychiatric disorders improved by luteolin. Frontiers In Neuroscience, 9. doi: 10.3389/fnins.2015.00225

4. Pro, M. (2019). Nootropics for Brain Fog - Restore Sharp Mental Clarity Naturally. Retrieved 16 December 2019, from https://www.mindlabpro.com/blogs/nootropics/nootropics-brain-fog/

5.  Dr. Mark Hyman, https://drhyman.com/blog/2016/06/10/7-steps-to-a-super-brain/

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