How to Identify and Get Rid of Brain Fog?
If you complain to a doctor about brain fog, you’re likely to be informed that it’s not a recognized condition. However, if you describe brain fog to a friend, they will immediately correlate to the condition. Foggy thinking, difficulty concentrating, fumbling for the correct word, and sudden numbness or slowing down of the brain are common in brain fog. In reality, brain fog is not a medical condition in itself, rather a warning sign for your body.
What Is Meant by Brain Fog?
Confusion, forgetfulness, loss of attention, and lack of mental clarity are brain fog symptoms. Excessive work, lack of sleep, stress, and excessive time spent on the computer could be the causes of brain fog. On a molecular level, it is believed that brain fog is produced by elevated levels of inflammation and changes in the hormones that regulate mood, energy, and focus. Hormone imbalances cause the entire system to malfunction. Additionally, brain fog syndrome can develop additional illnesses such as obesity, irregular menstruation, and diabetes mellitus.
Causes of Brain Fog
Depression, bacterial overgrowth from sugar consumption, or even a thyroid disease can cause brain fog. Other typical reasons for brain fog include overeating, inactivity, lack of sleep, persistent stress, and a poor diet. Common causes of brain fog are:
1. Hormonal shifts
It’s normal to go through hormonal fluctuations throughout your life. One study indicated that 60% of women have trouble concentrating during menopause. Mood or sleep changes may be contributing to your foggy brain, but it might also be due to shifting hormone levels as your body tries to rebalance.
2. Sleep issues
A lack of sleep, or exposure to blue light before bed, alters your circadian rhythm or internal body clock. This causes brain fog in several ways. Blue light exposure before bedtime reduces the hormone melatonin, which is required for deep REM sleep. Memory consolidation and processing require both REM and non-REM sleep. Being active between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m. disturbs the body’s normal detoxifying process and might contribute to fogginess.
3. Inadequate diet, food sensitivities
Vitamin B12 builds red blood cells and maintains the nervous system. That’s why a B12 deficit will leave you feeling tired and drained. Vitamin D insufficiency is linked to reduced cognitive performance and can cause brain fog. Unidentified dietary intolerances can also contribute to brain fog.
Though stress is a popular and harmless term, persistent stress can cause serious health issues. Stress triggers the sympathetic nervous system (SNS), or the fight-or-flight response. This response causes the body to release epinephrine and norepinephrine, diverting energy away from normal operations. This can impair your ability to think effectively or focus and weary your brain sooner.
Certain prescription and OTC drugs have been linked to brain fog. Though a hazy head after taking medication may appear typical, it isn’t.
6. Mood disorders
Anxiety and depression have been proven to impair executive function, attention, and memory. The loss of energy and motivation is connected with mental health disorders or physiological impacts on the brain that make optimal brain function harder.
7. Metal poisoning
Heavy metals are existent in our food, beauty products, and even dental fillings. Heavy metals include Arsenic, Mercury, Aluminum, Lead, Thallium, and Cesium. While small levels of these metals may not be hazardous, persistent exposure can induce immunological malfunction, hormone imbalance, weariness, cognitive fog, and high blood pressure.
Signs & Symptoms of Brain Fog
Feeling down or stressed out on occasions is natural. However, if you’ve felt anxious, tense, depressed, or despair for more than two weeks, you may have difficulty thinking coherently and may divert your focus from the tasks at hand. Some symptoms of brain fog are:
- Lack of energy
- Inability to focus
- Lack of motivation or ideas
- Absent mindedness
- Impaired mental health
- Mood swings
How Long Does Brain Fog Last?
Brain fog can linger anywhere from a few minutes to years. Because mental fog is a symptom rather than a serious condition, it is critical to determine the underlying reason. Consultation with a physician and administration of a test may be the simplest way to determine the cause. Even if the cause of fog, such as chronic fatigue syndrome, is identified, treating it may not be as straightforward.
When to Consult a Doctor?
A person should consult the doctor if they have additional symptoms that indicate an underlying medical illness, if their brain fog started or worsened abruptly, or if their symptoms do not improve despite lifestyle adjustments.
Before testing, a doctor will typically request information about the patient’s mental health, diet, and other symptoms.
How Is Brain Fog Diagnosed?
Consult your physician if your lack of clarity persists or worsens. A single test is incapable of diagnosing brain fog. Because brain fog may indicate an underlying problem, your doctor will conduct a medical examination and inquire about the following:
- Mental health
- Medication or supplements being taken
- Physical activity
If you notice additional symptoms, consult the doctor immediately. For instance, someone suffering from hypothyroidism may experience brain fog in addition to hair loss, dry skin, weight gain, and brittle nails.
Blood tests can assist your doctor in determining the reason for brain fog. A blood test can be used to determine the following:
- abnormal glucose levels
- liver, kidney, and thyroid function deficiencies
- inflammation-related disorders
Your doctor will decide whether to pursue the matter based on the results. Other diagnostic tools may include imaging tests that examine the body, such as X-rays, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), or computed tomography (CT) scans. Additionally, the doctor may perform allergy tests or a sleep study to rule out a sleep condition.
Treatment for Brain Fog
Depending on the cause of symptoms, your doctor may be able to assist you. While not all cases of brain fog can be easily resolved with medication, certain lifestyle modifications can help clear brain fog instantly.
There are numerous technology tools available in the digital age that can potentially assist you in changing your condition. Whether it’s a programmable timer set to remind you to take your medication at a specific time, a digital calendar to remind you when and where you need to be next, a software that helps you block out distractions while you work, or a note-taking app that helps you organize your day, the key is to incorporate fail-safes that can assist you as you go about your daily activities. These tools, referred to as ‘external memory,’ can significantly impact how you navigate the environment when coping with brain fog.
Caffeine consumption in excess might result in further difficulties, such as a racing heart or raised blood pressure. Additionally, most energy drinks are high in sugar and include many ingredients that may cause health problems. Preferable recommendations include increasing daily movement – this may sound counterintuitive, but the more we move, stretch, and discover ways to be active, the more energized we feel.
Various Supplements That Help Stop Brain Fog
It is possible to experience brain fog for various reasons, such as a medical condition, stress, unhealthy diet, lack of sleep, and certain medications. Various supplements may be effective in alleviating symptoms that are caused by a medical condition.
- Fish Oil: Fish oil is a type of long-chain omega-3 fatty acid that includes DHA. Salmon, tuna, mackerel, and sardines are the primary sources. It has been shown to improve cognitive function, motor abilities, and vision.
- Ginkgo Biloba Extract: The benefits of ginkgo Biloba include improved cognitive performance, a more positive mood, higher energy, improved memory, and a reduction in symptoms associated with a variety of chronic conditions. Additionally, it may help lessen the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
- Choline Bitartrate: Choline is a vitamin that chemically belongs to the B group of vitamins. Such vitamins are necessary for cell membranes formation and synthesis of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which is involved in memory and muscular function.
- Gamma Oryzanol: It is believed to increase neurotransmitter levels in the central nervous system. Additionally, it aids in mood relaxation and comfortable sleep.
- L-Theanine: It aids in relaxation and sleep by raising serotonin, dopamine, and GABA levels. L-theanine is classified as an anxiolytic, which means that it serves to alleviate anxiety.
- Phosphatidylserine: It is a critical molecule that performs a variety of functions in the body. It is a structural component of the cell and plays a critical role in maintaining cellular function, particularly in the brain. Phosphatidylserine supplementation may help alleviate some of the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Additionally, it aids in the improvement in the thinking capacity, attention, impulse control, and hyperactivity (ADHD) of children and adolescents with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
- Inositol: It was previously regarded to be a component of the vitamin B complex. It is involved in the neurological system and the metabolism of fat. It aids in forming healthy cells in the bone marrow and creating the cell membrane – the myelin sheath. Additionally, it is necessary for hair development.
- Ginseng Extract: Ginseng is an adaptogenic herb that efficiently modulates the immune response and hormonal changes associated with stress, promoting homeostasis. In addition to preventing the onset of psychological ailments such as anxiety and depression, ginseng protects against physiological diseases connected with stress.
- Soy Lecithin: Phosphatidylcholine-based, Soy Lecithin enhances memory and the ability to learn. Additionally, it assists in lowering the danger of gallstones and improving liver function. It has been shown in research to boost brain function and help prevent dementia.
- L-Carnitine L-Tartrate: It is essential for the synthesis of acetylcholine. It aids in the improvement of cognitive functions and dementia. This amino acid can cross the blood-brain barrier (BBB) and modulate the brain’s neurotransmitter levels.
- Vitamin C (Calcium Ascorbate): It is a critical component of the human body. It is required to keep the skin, cartilage, teeth, bone, and blood vessels healthy. Additionally, it is employed to protect the body’s cells from injury. It is a well-known antioxidant. Additionally, it aids in the regulation of body temperature and hormonal production.
- Vitamin A Acetate: It is a fat-soluble vitamin of critical importance. It enhances vision and protects against night blindness and eye problems. Vitamin A contributes to the correct functioning of the immune system. Additionally, it is required for optimal cell growth and development. Another critical function is that it acts as an antioxidant, protecting cells from free-radical damage.
- Vitamin E (DL-Alpha-Tocopheryl Acetate): It neutralizes free radicals and helps prevent the development of diseases. Certain isomers of vitamin E provide potent antioxidant properties that help reduce free radical damage and inflammation, thereby naturally slowing cell aging and combating health problems such as heart disease, hypertension, aging, and cancer.
- Vitamin B Complex: B complex vitamins assist your body in converting food into energy, forming red blood cells, and performing several biological activities. Vitamin B1 is a neuropathy treatment. Vitamin B2 aids in the conversion of food to energy. Vitamin B3 aids in the normal functioning of enzymes in the body by assisting the body in utilizing other B vitamins. Vitamin B5 supports a healthy digestive system and skin. B6 is necessary for immunological function and brain development. It is involved in the synthesis of neurotransmitters. Vitamin B12 is necessary for red blood cells and DNA synthesis. It is also necessary for the metabolism of proteins.
Exercises for Preventing Brain Fog
While you are certainly aware that regular exercise strengthens and protects your body, you may be shocked to learn that these benefits extend to your brain as well. While scientists do not fully understand all of the mechanisms at work, evidence consistently demonstrates that physical activity improves cognitive health.
1. Exercises to prevent brain fog
- Walking briskly for 30-60 minutes, 3-5 times a week, resulting in demonstrable improvements in cognitive functioning.
- Resistance training (planks, pushups, squats, weightlifting) and cardiovascular exercises (such as walking, jogging, swimming, and biking) can be more beneficial to your brain than stretching exercises.
- Lifting weights twice or thrice a week for older persons with mild cognitive impairment improve cognitive performance and increase muscle tone
Natural Remedies to Treat Brain Fog
The good news is that you can make lifestyle adjustments that can help minimize chronic inflammation and reduce or eliminate brain fog. Try these natural brain fog cures:
1. Eat properly
Your diet is your first line of defense against any health troubles. Diet is vital to your body’s functioning, including your brain. Consume lots of healthy fats, omega-3 fatty acids, and anti-inflammatory foods to feed your brain.
2. Sleep well
Plan your day in a way you get 7-9 hours of sleep every night.
3. Reduce stress
If you’re always stressed, take actions to manage and lessen your stress, prioritize self-care, add mindfulness or meditation, etc.
4. Regular exercise
Staying active has been linked to greater memory and mental sharpness. For one thing, exercise generates cytokines and endorphins, both of which revitalize the brain.
5. Take correct supplements
Vitamin D is essential for most people, and its link to brain health requires further proof. Add a B-complex vitamin to avoid B12 deficiency.
6. Eliminate foods
Avoid common dietary allergens (gluten, dairy, soy) and vices (alcohol, caffeine, cigarettes, etc.) to see if food sensitivities have caused your brain fog. Repeat and observe the results after abstaining from each food type.
7. Consider Intermittent fasting
It offers several advantages, including enhanced brain function. Numerous studies show how intermittent fasting improves cognitive performance.
8. Buy an air filter
If you suspect air pollution is causing your brain fog, invest in a high-quality air filter or air purifier. While you can’t influence the quality of the air outside, you can spend most of your time inside.
With changing human age, the functions and capabilities of the brain also deteriorate. This is also a result of the age of the brain, which is unrelated to human age. Mental decline is a common occurrence and one of the most feared effects of aging. There are several strategies to assist in maintaining brain function, including limiting your use of a smartphone, tablet, or computer, getting adequate sleep, eating healthy foods, and supplementing with critical nutrients suggested by a team of experts. These can aid in memory enhancement, stress reduction, and emotional balance.