What Is Brain Fog? Symptoms, Causes, Treatments

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What is brain fog?

Has your thinking gotten fuzzy – which makes you feel confused, decreasing your ability to focus, and rendering your memory slow? Brain fog can interfere with your daily life in so many ways.

Everyone can undergo brain fog after a sleepless night, during a particularly stressful period, or after indulging in a large meal with alcohol. Still, in a few instances, it may be a sign of a more severe issue. If brain fog persists daily or is getting worse, it is time to seek out an evaluation.

Brain fog is not a diagnosis; instead, it is a general term that describes a collection of symptoms. For example, you may have problems with short-term memory, or lack of concentration or mental clarity, or the inability to concentrate on a task.

We all have some days like this, but if you experience brain fog regularly, then it may be the effect of a nutritional deficiency or an underlying health problem. Mental fog can make decision-making particularly hard, and it may interfere with daily work or home life. Once you can determine the reason for brain fog, you can take steps to minimize its consequences.

It’s when you feel fuzzy in your thinking or not able to feel fluent in their thoughts. This is a frequent thing, but it is not supposed to be there. It is not normal, and it is complicated because it can result from any number of lifestyle issues, medication, or other medical conditions. Figuring out what the root cause is a challenge but can be achieved by taking a whole-body approach.

Research indicates that one in seven adults 18 to 39 years old, and one in four adults 39 or older, will experience some short-term memory loss. If this sounds familiar, then you and countless others could be suffering from “brain fog,” also called “baby brain” by new mothers, or “fibro fog” in fibromyalgia, and known as mental fatigue by the medical community. Brain fog is a noticeable sign. Your lifestyle and diet need an upgrade.

See: Functional Medicine For Depression

Brain fog symptoms

Frequent symptoms of brain fog include:

– Memory Issues

– Trouble finding words

– Inability to concentrate or focus

– Difficulty processing information

– Having Difficulty calculating

– Diminished visual and spatial abilities

– Trouble problem-solving

– Feelings of confusion or disorientation

Brain fog causes

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 #1 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. Not getting enough hours can affect your ability to focus and function, resulting in feeling “foggy.”

If we could increase the number of hours of sleep that you get, sometimes the brain fog will go away. That’s not a simple fix, but it is a fix that does not require any medication or supplements to enhance.

What might lead to brain fog? Here are several possible reasons.

1. Prescription medications

Medications such as Benzodiazepines that are prescribed for stress act directly on the portions of the brain that convert short memories to long-term memories. Statin drugs lower cholesterol everywhere in the body, including in the brain, where cholesterol is necessary for connections between nerve cells.

Narcotic painkillers change chemical signals related to cognition. Beta-blockers to treat hypertension also block chemical messages from the brain, like neurotransmitters. Nonbenzodiazepine sedative-hypnotics prescribed for sleep may act on lots of the same brain pathways and chemical messengers as benzodiazepines.

Sleep aids may cause amnesia and sometimes trigger dangerous or strange behaviors, like cooking a meal or driving a vehicle with no recollection of doing this on waking up.

2. Oxidative stress

Oxidative stress is a term that describes an imbalance of free radicals and antioxidants in the body. This condition is caused by two things: excessive reactive oxidative species (ROS) production or a reduced antioxidative defense system.

This can lead to cellular chaos, permanent tissue damage, and chronic illness. ROS are made by anything that causes stress: for example, poor diet, smoking, sedentary behavior, environmental factors, emotional stressors, and irregular sleep routines.

Oxidative stress may impact the brain’s cortex, hippocampus, and striatum, which regulate your memory system.

3. Hormone imbalances

An expectant mother’s forgetfulness may be due to hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy. Even though the mind is on high-alert during a pregnancy, short-term memory changes can result from elevated levels of estrogen and progesterone.

However, a person can undergo hormonal imbalances in their gender or stage of life. During menopause, estrogen reduces can lead to memory issues and a fuzzy brain. A lower testosterone level in men may explain emotional fatigue.

Your thyroid gland is also an important contributor to brain fog. Thyroid hormones link directly with the mind to regulate Energy, metabolism, and executive function, and both hypo- and hyperthyroid can explanation memory problems.

4. Dietary Inflammation

Inflammatory foods may increase pro-inflammatory cytokines In the blood and mind, leaving you low-grade inflammation, which could manifest as a foggy brain. Sometimes, being overweight can lead to inflammation.

Inflammation stresses your body and quickly uses up nourishment – namely the B vitamins, magnesium, and vitamins C and E.

5. Chronic infections

You could be walking around with a fungal, viral, or bacterial disease with little to no other symptoms aside from brain fog. Among the most frequent lingering ailments is an overgrowth of Candida yeast, which is found in your mouth or your gut.

It can overgrow from anxiety, from a high-sugar diet, or from antibiotic use that contributes to an imbalance of less “good” versus more “bad” bacteria in the gut. Since your gut communicates directly with your mind, miscommunication can change your memory capacities.


6. Sleep apnea

According to Sleep institutes, 9% of women and 24 percent of men suffer from sleep apnea. This is a common breathing disorder in which the upper neck muscles relax when sleeping, limiting air supplied to the brain. The low availability of oxygen can lead to brain stimulation in all sleep stages, leading to your body not getting the high quality, highly-oxygenated sleep it requires.

You wake up in a fog that will adversely affect your energy and metabolism daily. Sleep apnea can affect any person but is most often seen in men over 40, especially those people who are overweight or obese.

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Conditions linked to brain fog


Getting distracted while you are going through your daily routines such as parking a car, or forgetting what you wanted to buy in a store – such brain fog symptoms could be associated with adult ADD/ADHD. Approximately 4.4% of adults are diagnosed with the illness, but experts suggest it could affect many more who remain undiagnosed and untreated. Obtaining an accurate diagnosis that includes which sort of ADD/ADHD you’ve got and receiving appropriate treatment can help you think more clearly so that you can perform better on the job and in every area of your life.


Depression can make you feel lethargic – both physically and mentally. Lots of people with this illness have difficulty concentrating, remembering things, and making decisions, which may let you spiral into an even deeper depression. Finding a targeted treatment plan depending on the particular type of depression, you have may help minimize brain fog symptoms.


Frequent symptoms of brain fog, such as having difficulty with Concentrate, problem-solving, and memory, could be signs of Lyme disease. This bacterial disease caused by the bite of an infected deer tick can cause a lot of cognitive and neuropsychological problems. Lyme disease has to be detected and treated appropriately; otherwise, symptoms can worsen.


Losing your train of thought, feeling at a loss by the decision-making procedure, having difficulty navigating familiar areas–such brain fog symptoms could be associated with mild cognitive impairment or a type of dementia, such as Alzheimer’s disease. Having brain fog or feeling as if your memory is slipping when you are in your 40s or even in your 80s is common, but it is not normal. This is a sign of an impending problem. If you live to age 85, you have a nearly 50% chance of being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia. Taking action early to decrease the risk factors that lead to dementia can help you reduce symptoms of cognitive dysfunction.


Laboratory testing and brain imaging can show that brain fog originates from exposure to toxic mold. This cause could be masked if a person is taking drugs prescribed for conditions like dementia, and you may never discover that toxic mold is the origin of cognitive dysfunction difficulties. A cleansing program that includes nutrition, supplements, meditation, and exercise, can improve thinking and memory.

No matter your age, persistent symptoms of brain fog should be taken seriously. If you are struggling with your memory or thinking, now’s the time to find an evaluation. Finding the origin of your cognitive difficulties can help you discover the perfect treatment plan. The sooner you begin with targeted solutions, the more effective they’ll be at helping you clear brain fog.

Natural treatment for brain fog

The right treatment is going to be based on what the root cause is for brain fog.

1. Discuss using non-toxic options with your health-care professional for rest and sleep. There are many products that could mitigate stress and encourage restful sleep.

2. To fight free radical production pathways, your system may benefit from supplementation of vitamins A, C, E, and omega-3 fatty acids. Added antioxidant support can be obtained from glutathione and CoQ10.

3. Assess your hormone levels. eg Fertility and Thyroid, and the results can help you understand your precise levels and how they’re influenced by diet and lifestyle.

4. Identify those foods that might be contributing to inflammation. Common dietary culprits are processed foods such as sugars, processed meats, and alcohol. An elimination diet and other tests can indicate if you’re susceptible, intolerant, or allergic to common allergens, like gluten or dairy products.

See: Naturopathic Medicine For Depression

5. See your health-care professional for the proper diagnosis and treatment choices. Take a probiotic supplement with antibiotics, antifungals, or other drugs prescribed to support your immune health. Eat loads of antifungal spices such as cinnamon, cayenne, or garlic, and foods high in fiber.


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