Brain Fog Causes, Symptoms and Treatment
Do you have brain fog or feel fatigued? Most of us sometimes feel foggy, tired, and weak. But how would you cope with it, especially when it’s already affecting your tasks and relationships? Let’s go through the causes of brain fog, its symptoms, and how it can be treated.
What is Fatigue
Fatigue is described as a feeling of overall weakness or tiredness, which can be mentally, physically, or both. Causes of fatigue bring back to a person’s lifestyle and medical condition.
What is Brain Fog
Brain fog is a symptom that affects the cognitive or mental processes; however, it is not considered as a medical condition.
Brain fog is the inability of a person to have a sharp focus or sharp memory, which can sometimes lead to mental fatigue.
When a person experiences a brain fog, they tend to have trouble remembering or processing information. They may experience difficulty in concentrating and paying attention.
Some people who experienced brain fog had language and speech problems. While some experienced mental block or short-term memory loss.
Brain Fog Causes
Here are some of the primary causes of brain fog.
- Sleep Disorders
A restless night will affect your mental processes, particularly how your brain functions. Sleep deprivation decreases your cognitive abilities, and it causes headaches and nausea.
Moreover, people with sleep apnea experience more severe and frequent brain fog.
- Poor Diet
Your food intake is one of the factors of your overall health. If you lack the essential nutrients that your brain needs, your brain will have difficulty in doing its job.
Vitamin B-12 plays a vital role in a healthy brain, which is why B12 deficiency causes brain fog. Some of the signs of low B12 are muscle weakness, tiredness, numbness, and difficulty walking.
The older you are, the more difficult for your body to absorb B12.
Also, consuming food that you have allergies (such as peanuts and dairy) may result in brain fog.
- Chronic Stress
Chronic stress increases blood pressure, triggers depression, and weakens the immune system.
Feeling stressed occasionally is normal. However, if you are stressed for more than 2 weeks, it will already affect your daily tasks, and it may even affect your relationships.
Stress can cause mental fatigue, making it harder to focus and think. Mental exhaustion or brain drain causes brain fog.
- Hormonal Imbalance
Hormonal changes such as the increase of estrogen and progesterone during pregnancy can trigger brain fog. It affects your memory and triggers short-term memory loss.
On the other hand, the decrease of estrogen levels can result in foggy thinking, forgetfulness, and lack of concentration.
Other hormonal changes that can cause brain fog is perimenopause and menopause, but these usually clear out once the hormone stabilizes.
Those who take anticholinergics (such as oxybutynin, diphenhydramine, and amitriptyline) may experience being foggy as it blocks the effects of the neurotransmitters in the brain.
Brain fog can be a side effect of your medication (both over-the-counter and prescribed drugs).
Depression comes with a loss of motivation and energy. When your depressed, it would be more difficult for you to focus on what you’re doing.
Feeling worthless, helpless, and hopeless are some of the symptoms of depression.
Brain Fog Symptoms
Brain fog can affect different people in different ways and varying intensities. The most common symptoms are:
Lack of Concentration
This is the inability to focus since your mind is wandering, making it difficult for you to finish a task.
This is the feeling of extreme tiredness wherein caffeine and taking rest won’t help in improving what you feel.
This is the inability to remember information frequently, such as your daily tasks, keys, and personal memories.
This is the feeling of being dull, depressed, unproductive, and unmotivated.
Brain Fog Treatment
The cure for brain fog depends on its cause. If the brain fog is left untreated, it can affect how you live. It is crucial to understand the reason why you feel foggy so it can be addressed as soon as possible, and you can improve your mental capacity.
Get enough sleep
Sleeping gives your brain time to rest and recover so that it will function properly. Aim for 7 to 9 hours of quality sleep every night. Too little and too much sleep will make you feel foggy.
Sleeping at the same time every night and waking up the same time every morning will help you get a good sleep.
Practice Intermittent fasting
Intermittent fasting is not only about losing weight, but it has plenty of benefits to offer. Restricting food intake for an extended period promotes neurological health.
Also, it decreases the neurodegenerative diseases.
You can start by extending the hours between your last meal of the day and the first meal of the next day. Aim for 12 hours of intermittent fasting. You can set a specific day/s in a week that you would like to fast.
Giving your digestive system a time to rest promotes ketogenesis, which helps in brain regeneration.
Eat foods for your brain
Generally, your body needs a wide range of nutrients to keep it healthy. And to keep your brain functioning at its best, you need brain-boosting foods.
Study shows that digestive health is linked to mental health. When your digestive system is happy, your brain will also be in a good mood.
Skip the sugary processed food and go for plant-based Paleo.
Include omega 3-fatty acids in your diet. Aside from omega 3’s inflammatory power, it offers plenty of antioxidants and coenzyme Q10, which is essential in the production and regeneration of the body’s essential minerals and vitamins.
Consider foods that are high in Vitamin B12 (like meat and eggs) to maintain healthy blood and nerves.
Give yourself some exercise
Exercise aids in the release of cytokines and endorphins. These are chemicals that help in brain rejuvenation. Exercising increases the blood flow going to the brain, which can improve your sleep, boost your memory, and reduces stress.
Increasing the activity levels of your body can result in better memory, mood, and mental acuity.
Aerobic exercises are recommended as increases the part of the part that is responsible for memory and thinking.
Consult an Expert
If you feel depressed or stressed for more than 2 weeks, it would be better to consult your doctor so they can thoroughly diagnose your condition.
Also, talk to your doctor if you think that your medication makes you feel foggy. They may lower down the dosage or prescribed a different drug.
How to Cope Up with Brain Fog
The best way to cope up with brain fog is “pacing”. Pacing means you need to balance your activities and your rest so your brain will not be overwhelmed.
Avoid activities that are cognitively demanding. Know your limitations, and don’t push yourself too much to avoid being mentally exhausted.
To cope up with short-term memory loss, you can list down your schedule like appointments, meetings, events, and activities. That way, you can just look on your list as your reference.
If you tend to be forgetful on where you place your items in your home or office, you can set a specific area that you can quickly look up when you need to look for something.
Your overall functionality depends on your health, which includes mental health. Taking care of your body also means taking care of your psychological and emotional well-being.
Let us know on the comments below how you feel when brain fog strikes and how you cope up with it.