While the medical community doesn't fully recognize the condition known as brain fog, it is real. If you're wondering what brain fog is or how to get rid of brain fog, keep reading because it can increase the likelihood of depression and anxiety.
What is Brain Fog?
Brain fog is basically the opposite of when you feel calm, optimistic, level-headed, and motivated. Brain fog keeps your thoughts elusive and you're not able to comprehend things easily.
Your memory fails, normal intellectual types of jobs are difficult to do, and so on. And it can come and go too, occurring frequently or even persisting indefinitely. It can be slight, it can be severe. It can come in waves where it may be strong in one instance but ease off in the next.
What is the Cause of Brain Fog?
There are lots of medical conditions that could be the reason for brain fog, so be sure to discuss your symptoms with your doctor.
These are diseases or conditions associated with brain fog:
- Chronic fatigue
- Sjogren syndrome
- Alzheimer's disease
- Autoimmune diseases like arthritis, lupus, and multiple sclerosis
- Lyme Disease
- Tick Bite Fever
- Celiac Disease
But there are other less concerning reasons you may suffer from brain fog. Let's look at other reasons:
The more stress you are under, the more persistent the brain fog. Stress affects short-term memory and concentration. Our response to stress can suppress the memory and learning area of the brain, which makes it difficult to store and retrieve information.
You can feel comforted knowing that brain fog can completely disappear when your body's stress has returned to a healthy level. Putting it simply, brain fog a typical sign that your body is overly stressed.
When you are exhausted, your brain function is very affected. All states of stress rob you of getting enough quality sleep and too few hours of sleep can have a negative impact on your brain cortical levels.
Blood Sugar Imbalances
Your brain relies on glucose in the blood to keep your brain focused and memory intact and functioning well.
When your blood sugar is low because you skipped a meal, you are causing low blood sugar. If you want your brain to be sharp all day, start with a healthy breakfast that includes high protein foods and healthy fat. For example, a good breakfast for brain health would be an egg cooked in olive oil with an avocado on the side.
Depression and Anxiety
Depression and anxiety impact our ability to focus, to remember, and to be mentally sharp. There are many reasons for depression and anxiety that include:
- Difficult life situations
- Nutritional deficiencies
- Dairy intolerance
- Changes in your gut microbiome
- Disruptions in Your Microbiome
When there is a disruption in your gut microbiome, such as candida (a naturally occurring yeast) overgrowth, it can affect your memory and ability to focus and concentrate.
Your microbiome can become disrupted because of your diet, stress, and the use of antibiotics. It is vital that you restore your microbiome if you are experiencing brain fog. This will require a diet with more fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kimchi, organic yogurt, kefir, as well and probiotics.
Brain inflammation is associated with depression, anxiety, brain fog, and worse, and dementia. It occurs when your immune system and chemicals cause inflammation in the circulation of your body. The inflammation crosses over your blood-brain barrier causing inflammation in the brain.
The first thing you must do is find the root cause of the inflammation, removing the foods that trigger inflammation. These could be gluten, grains, flour products, and dairy, grain-fed meat, for example.
You must feed your brain the nutrition that it requires if you want it to function properly and reduce inflammation.
The top nutrients to nourish the brain are the correct proteins and fats. Include foods like salmon, avocados, pecans, virgin olive oil, and coconut oil. These foods form the basis of healthy nerve cells.
Don't skimp on the dark green veggies and dark berries either. The brain requires plenty of B-vitamins to function properly. A low B12 will have you suffering from cognitive problems. Low iron levels also cause brain fog.
Studies reveal that when you eat high protein meals with plenty of natural iron sources, you improve your brain function.
Thyroid and Adrenal Imbalances
One of the functions of the thyroid is to take care of brain health. Hypothyroidism (an under-active thyroid) impacts your cognitive functioning to the point that it can cause memory and focusing problems. Over time it can cause dementia.
Medication Side Effects
There are some medications, particularly antihistamines, anti-anxiety medications, blood pressure-lowering medications, medications for urinary incontinence, some sleep medications, even some antibiotics that can bring on brain fog and affect the memory.
If you are taking medication and have noticed that your mental clarity has changed, or taken a dip, you should speak to a doctor.
Did you know that water makes up 83% of your brain? This means that even mild dehydration can cause an imbalance in your body. You might have noticed how runners and marathon runners sometimes seem disorientated and confused at the finish race.
Studies show that being just 2% dehydrated can affect your mental performance. Mild dehydration can change your alertness, your concentration, your short-term memory, and your perception.
No matter your age or ailment, you need to exercise. Getting regular aerobic exercise; the type of exercise that gets your heart pumping and causes you to work up a bit of sweat; is what boosts the parts of your brain involved in memory, thinking, and learning.
Researchers have also found that people who spend many hours sitting, parts of their brain become ‘thinned'. This is because sitting decreases and restricts movement of the blood flow throughout the body. This means oxygen to the brain is also restricted as well as stimulation of the hormones that are responsible for the formation and growth of new brain cells.
Exercise burns up cortisol and releases endorphins, the happy hormones, combatting brain fog, reducing inflammation, counteracting stress, and anxiety.
Brain Fog is Not Normal
While brain fog may be a natural reaction to certain circumstances, it is not normal to have it in your 20s – neither is it normal to have it in your 60s and 70s and beyond. It is not a sign of old age. It's a sign there is something affecting your brain. If you have good health, you should age with all your cognitive functions intact.
Of course, our brains do age. But if we keep them nourished and supple, we should not experience brain fog or any cognitive decline. Our bodies tell us a lot – so when we have symptoms, it is just our body telling us that something needs to shift. This may mean making changes in our diet or lifestyle, our environment, or self-care.
Do Pharmaceuticals Work to Get Rid of Brain Fog?
Unfortunately, some health care professionals prescribe Ritalin and Adderall to treat brain fog. These can help in the short term but can make matters worse in the long run.
The thing is, brain fog is pretty much related to diet. Most people know that their diet affects their health. But I think you would be surprised to know just how much your diet comes into play in a lot of medical conditions.
picture of fruits and vegetables
Do you Need To See a Doctor?
If your brain fog doesn't improve, it may signal any of the above underlying issues. See your doctor so he can give you a physical examination. A blood test will reveal the results on whether you should investigate further. You should not ignore brain fog or write it off as old age or tiredness.
How To Get Rid of Brain Fog with Brain Supplements
Here are some powerful brain supplements to help you clear brain fog so you can see the light:
Omega-3 Fish Oils
Omega-3 fish oil helps to lower inflammation, supporting brain health
One of the most important minerals for your body, magnesium is involved in over 350 biochemical reactions in the body, including transmission between neurons. For brain fog, it is recommended as an excellent supplement, helping to improve sleep as well and to relieve depression.
Also known as Ach, acetylcholine is a vital neurotransmitter and research shows a lack of this possibly bringing on cognitive decline.
The body needs choline to manufacture Ach. Your brain fog could be due to the fact that you don’t have this essential vitamin in your diet. A deficiency will definitely impact your body and mind.
Folate or Folic Acid
Another essential supplement for brain function because a deficiency can cause cognitive impairment. Supplement your diet with folic acid or combine it with other B vitamins to improve your mental function.
A wonderful herb straight from Mother Nature herself; an adaptogenic herb, promoting balance in the body. It also combats mental fatigue, improving energy. Rhodiola has been used mostly to counter physical and boosting cognitive function.
Also known as PS, is a phospholipid, supporting cell membranes. It improves communication between your cells and supports the growth and maintenance of neurons, improving symptoms of brain fog.
Essential oils that are known to help with brain fog are lavender, frankincense, lemon, peppermint, and others. The most effective oils are the therapeutic-grades with pure ingredients.
The Conclusion is that There Are Solutions!
Brain fog has become an undesired side-effect of our fast-paced, industrialized lifestyle. Many of the convenient, processed foods and factory-farmed meat that we eat do not support brain health. It cannot be emphasized enough the importance of a healthy diet. If you want to get good results for any health condition, you have to be very careful what you put in. When you provide your body with the right nutrients by avoiding sugar, refined carbs, and all that processed food, you are doing your body and brain one big favor. You are giving it oxygen and life!
Stress is a major promoter of all things bad in the body – you need to manage it by getting in healthy exercises, doing fun activities that help you relax, socializing with positive and upbeat friends, practicing mindfulness, and not forgetting there are wonderful counselors whom you can talk to as well.
You can learn to cope and fight brain fog with the right remedies such as those mentioned above. Be kind to yourself as you find your own personal solutions and take the necessary action to arrive at your own personal solution. It can be pretty challenging but you will see how worthwhile it was when you see how great you feel! There are wonderful natural remedies and solutions out there that you can use to get rid of brain fog.